Thursday, September 5, 2013

Batwoman, stop me if you've heard this one before

"High profile creators leave DC Comics after heavy editorial interference"

Boy howdy, that's a good joke... oh wait, that isn't a joke, it's a fucking monthly occurrence at DC comics right now, and this month, it hits within Gotham Spoiler's jurisdiction, as last night, both JH Williams III and Haden Blackman walked off Batwoman with issue #26 citing multiple last minute changes on DC's part, to big plot lines within their book.

Statement and my reaction after the jump.

Here is a portion of the statement:
"Unfortunately, in recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series. We were told to ditch plans for Killer Croc’s origins; forced to drastically alter the original ending of our current arc, which would have defined Batwoman’s heroic future in bold new ways; and, most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. All of these editorial decisions came at the last minute, and always after a year or more of planning and plotting on our end. 
We’ve always understood that, as much as we love the character, Batwoman ultimately belongs to DC. However, the eleventh-hour nature of these changes left us frustrated and angry — because they prevent us from telling the best stories we can. So, after a lot of soul-searching, we’ve decided to leave the book after Issue 26."
The full statement can be read at JH Williams' website (which has crashed) or Blackman's. It's important to note the class of these two men, as they went out without shitting all over everything, like some have. Even still... this is as always, once again, just fucked up.

Here's the initial problem, yeah... this isn't creator owned work, editorial is required to keep things straight in some cases, you can't have X character doing Y in book Z while they're doing something completely contradictory in their own book. Okay, I get that. But the last minute and straight up absurd changes are insane. They don't stop!

But the thing that really gets me is the marriage part. What is absolutely fucking disgusting is how often DC will use Batwoman to promote their gay friendly publishing practices, and use stuff like the character winning honors from GLAAD for PR... Then they go around and explicitly prohibit anyone from seeing their premiere gay character getting married...


Now, this is not necessarily an "anti-gay" agenda on DC's part, much similar to the whole Saga/iTunes/Comixology thing, as we know DC doesn't really like their characters being married in general at this point, but given the fact we're talking about two gay characters, it's definitely special circumstances. You can't use Batwoman as your poster child in the press for gay characters, citing awards and what not, then turn around and completely shut down something like a scene of her getting married. That's ridiculous, hypocritical, and scummy as all hell. This particular plot line was set up months ago, and was brought up again as recent as the previous issue, if DC really didn't want it to happen, they should have shut it down way back then. You know what the irony is? If they allowed it to happen, they could promote the shit out of it, get all sorts of good, topical press, and sell more books. But no, that would make too much god damn sense. I hope GLAAD straight up denounces DC after this bullshit and makes a huge stink about it. How's that for some press?

But you know what makes this funny in a way? The complaint I brought up from last issue. Bane. Over in Talon it was explicitly explained that after our last encounter with Bane in Batman: The Dark Knight, Bane turned his focus on the Court of Owls and retreated back to Santa Prisca to plan a war on Gotham, then gets recruited by the Secret Society, which of course leads into Forever Evil. Pretty clear line on the character path, correct? So what the hell is he doing in Batwoman, getting caught by the DEO in Alaska, then being brought to Gotham to start some shit? How about focusing on making sure basic continuity is in place, especially when it involves one of your massive events, instead of impeding stories that have been set up for months from being told?


Fuck, man... The worst part is, I know this isn't the end.


  1. Fuuuuuck. Everything u said as usual was spot on tho.

  2. It's a shame DC hasn't learned from their editorial mistakes even now. I didn't like every idea in Batwoman, I didn't think Killer Croc needed to "become" her villain instead of Batman's as they said they tried to do, but they had a very clear vision of the character and it seems like only Azzarello and Snyder have been allowed to actually follow their vision for the characters they're writing.

  3. First of all, good for JH Williams III and Haden Blackman for taking a stand for the character that they worked hard to create.
    They were able to walk away tastefully while still calling out the DC editors for their bullshit.
    DC needs new editors, that's the larger problem of the New 52.
    These are the same editors who think killing off Nightwing is a good idea? Who butchered the Birds of Prey series? Who won't let Stephanie Brown or Cassandra Cain back into their comics?
    Finally, Batwoman is a very prominent gay character in all of comics and yet you don't want to show her wedding? Is that because they want to keep her as close to the market as possible in case they want to give her a new love interest last minute?
    I prefer Renee Montoya for Kate, but still, Maggie and Batwoman are promoting a loving, monogamous relationship for LGBT readers to look up to. How could you not want Batwoman to get married and be a wife and superhero? That's great character development right there!
    Good luck to the editors for trying to find someone who could follow the magic that was JH Williams III and Haden Blackman.
    Shout out to Trevor McCarthy for amazing art on the series too!

    1. I feel like I have to point out no one has said they're killing Nightwing, other than me, and I'm trolling. And honesty, it goes above just the regular editors. Something like this definitely comes from higher up the chain, and as I pointed out above, there's just an anti marriage thing at DC right now.

    2. Ok, so then maybe they won't kill him off.
      I see what you're saying. There is something going wrong at some point in the DC comics hierarchy, Maybe it's the senior editors, or maybe it's a bunch of publicity hot-shots trying to play things safe with all the different stories.
      Whoever it is, they are ruining the image of many cherished comic book characters.
      The interesting thing is that they don't want marriages, yet they're putting all kinds of heroes into these made-for-each-other relationships :P

  4. The only way this news could possibly be worse is if the replacement writer is Ann Nocenti.

    At this point, the only way I'll continue reading this comic is if they get Tim Seeley to write it (he's good with female characters, so I would trust him enough to take over).

    1. First of all, don't fucking joke about that. Second of all, I'd love to see Seeley write this (but not before Catwoman) but here's the thing... He's writing the Killer Croc villains month issue. Apparently Williams and Blackaman were sort of in on that, then not, and they mention Killer Croc above. Williams had mentioned something about that on Twitter to which Seeley responded he didn't know and I guess sort of felt bad? Williams brushed it off I would doubt he'd follow after this, but who knows? A paying job is a paying job, so I can't speak for any certainty.

      For context:

  5. Do you think it's just a strange coincidence that neither Dan Didio, Jim Lee, or Geoff Johns have tweeted anything in the last 12 hours?

  6. I didn't. I see he's been tweeting. But the higher-ups aren't. So the day after a big event starts, they can't talk about it or anything until they run damage control.

    1. I don't know how I read Lemire's name in there... whoops

  7. S'all good. Maybe reading Geoff and Lee really fast. In any event, it's a real shame. That title was really rockin' it.