JH Williams III and W. Haden Blackman Quit Batwoman over Editorial Interference

In a letter posted to his website today, JH Williams III has announced that he and co-writer W. Haden Blackman have quit Batwoman due to editorial interference. He cites being blocked from telling several stories he wanted to tell as being the reason for leaving – most crucially that DC told him that he would not be allowed to show Batwoman’s wedding to her girlfriend.

Their last issue will be issue #26.

batwoman JH Williams III and W. Haden Blackman Quit Batwoman over Editorial Interference

Blackman also has the statement on his website. In the statement, they write:

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.

The claim about the gay wedding being shuttered is going to be a very controversial topic over the next few days, I would imagine. On twitter Williams has suggested DC were more worried about the word ‘wedding’ than about the word ‘gay’. The character has been openly gay since the start, and plans to wed her to her long-term partner Maggie Sawyer had been in place within the series for the last few months. 

DC have had a fair-constant wave of creators leaving their titles over the last few years, many – like Rob Liefeld – citing editorial interference in their work. Batwoman was one of their more acclaimed series, however, and it’ll be interesting to see if DC continue the series onwards now neither of her original creative team are on the project, as Greg Rucka left DC for similar reasons just prior to the New 52 launching.

I asked if this will affect Williams’ imminent run on Sandman Overture for DC, and he offered this response:

 

 

You can follow the creators on Twitter – W. Haden Blackman and JH Williams III.

Comments

  1. You bend over backwards to keep this kind of talent, right?
    Picard facepalm, ad infinitum.

  2. Also, Joshua Hale Fialkov left Green Lantern Corps because DC wanted him to kill off John Stewart, their only real high -profile black character other than Cyborg in the New 52.

  3. filippod says:

    Well done DC. Now please piss off Azzarello and Chiang. Their annoyingly original Wonder Woman has no place in the New 52 editorial line! (sarcasm)

  4. Alan Morrison says:

    Counting down to when Azzarello and Pak quit. Soon we will see what a comic book universe made entirely out of company stooges look like.

  5. cavemold says:

    GG DC. You reall know how to keep good talent around

  6. Alan Morrison says:

    Make no mistake, one day, and it may happen sooner than you think, they will piss off Snyder and he will leave. You don’t think it’s possible? That he’s the golden boy? How much more “golden” could you get then Mark Waid the writer of Kingdom Come? Or Greg Rucka, a major creator for years? Notice how Grant Morrison and Judd Winnick stepped away from DC, not with as much acrimony, but still with a sense of “this is the fall of Rome here.”

    And of course, this is EIC Bob Harras we’re talking about. When he was EIC of Marvel he got rid of Chris Claremont. The golden boy of golden boys! No one is safe. Every DC book by Snyder, Lemire, or even Johns you read could be their last.

    DiDio got rid of Waid. Harras got rid of Claremont. No. One. Is. Safe.

  7. hsssh says:

    Difference between Snyder and Waid/Rucka is that Snyder is printing money at the moment.

    Its easier to get rid of people who don’t sell that well despite their quality work.

  8. Surely this is just down to DC not wanting their characters to be settled enough to be married, more than anything else? Same reason they deleted the Superman/Lois marriage. Same reason Marvel deleted the Spidey/MJ marriage. It probably helps their movie options too if a character is single (for the traditional will they/won’t they romance angle). A marriage is often seen as a “happy ever after” ending in fiction, so keeping characters single adds to the element of the unknown. Not saying a married character can’t be interesting of course, but I can understand why DC and Warners would prefer single fictional characters.

  9. Yeah, I can see this as DC just being afraid of marriage. Don’t want to get into territory too unfamiliar to your 45-year-old-virgin readership.

  10. The company’s bias against marriage period isn’t an excuse. It’s a symptom of an environment that views relationships in very immature terms. It may be popular to pretend that marriage is “boring” or ” an end” (as opposed to what it actually is which is a new beginning) but that is neither right nor healthy. Marriage is not an end. The best writers at DC over the years who understood that (Simone, Rucka etc) had great success writing the Supermarriage bc they understood with maturity that marriage is hard. It’s complex. And it’s full of drama. But this requires better writing and a more mature understanding of love than DC has right now.

    It’s more than clear that DC is more interested romance stories that are nothing more than stunts or gimmicks designed up appeal to the fear boy demo right now than they are in telling real love Stories. They replaced the Lois/Clark marriage (a love story actually rooted in real love) with the cheap, editorial stunt of Superman/WW.
    They don’t want to tell real love stories. They want to pander to overgrown men who sexualize women and still think they are Peter Pan. Kate and Maggie should have been allowed to get married. This is a terrible loss for the company and this stigma about marriages has to go. It’s insulting.

  11. Alan Morrison says:

    Yeah, marriage in comics is so boring. That’s why Vaughan and Staples’ SAGA is such a bomb–wait a minute…

  12. This can all be summed up in a couple of sentences.

    DC is desperate. They don’t really know what they’re doing at this point. Harras was a terrible choice. And they’re moving backwards.

    Also, just a big laugh at Lew Stringer above. “Movie options?” Do you think that there’s a chance on this or any other planet that WB will make a Batwoman film? Are you serious? They can’t even figure out Wonder Woman! They couldn’t figure out Wonder Woman with Joss Whedon! You think BATWOMAN has a film shot? That’s like the comics version of the famous Joe Mora “PLAYOFFS?!?!?” press conference.

  13. Naveed says:

    Well this book’s sales will drop like a rock watch it get cancelled 12 months after their departure. Im a big DC fan, but have to admit alot of crap and strategic errors these past 6-8 months…..maybe time to streamline some my pull list. Too bad, Batwoman was one of my favorite titles.

    And I dont see the issue with the gay wedding. Marvel did it with the X-men. We are in 2013, no longer in 1983 when bein gay was not as tolerated. Get with the times DC

  14. Deep_Shock says:

    A DC sales comparison(units) between the 1st half(seven months actually) of 2012 and the first half(another seven months) of 2013. Numbers come from the total units sold in the Top300 and DC’s percentage in the Top300. Here we go!
    2012: 2.464m(Jan)+2.368m(Feb)+2.355m(Mar)+2.202m(Apr)+2.844m(May)+2.802m(Jun)+2.533m(Jul)=17.568m
    2013:
    2.424m(Jan)+2.447m(Feb)+2.297m(Mar)+2.024m(April)+2.355m(May)+2.349m(Jun)+2.674m(July)=16.57m
    That’s 1m down so far and next months will be even worse for DC! In August 2012 they did 2.795m, while this past August it is expected of them be around 2.3m. In September 2012 they did 2.808m with Zero month which there is no way they’ll top with the 3D month fiasco! Oh yes, dear friends you can rejoice! The reboot is flopping hard!!!

  15. Mikael says:

    “Yeah, I can see this as DC just being afraid of marriage. Don’t want to get into territory too unfamiliar to your 45-year-old-virgin readership.”

    Hunh. Interesting post considering the “art” you produce on your site. I’m sure none of that is exploitative at all. Yikes.

  16. Deep_Shock says:

    Due to some glitch the total number(units) in the first seven months of 2012 and 2013 was not published in my previous post. Here it is:
    DC January-July 2012 total: 17.568m
    DC January-July 2013 total: 16.57m
    In this age where comicbook slaes are going UP DC Comics is the only company going DOWN! Wonder why?

  17. Chris says:

    I would love it if sites like this knew how to talk about marriage as a universal concept rather than differentiating it as gay marriage. Everyone knows Batwoman is a lesbian. Calling her marriage a gay marriage isn’t necessary. And it’s a bit irksome to LGBT folks who work so hard for marriage equality.

  18. Erik Scott says:

    I don’t think the character being gay has anything to do with it and the decision has everything to do with her being married. I think DC (and while I can’t find the interview I believe I’ve read or heard this directly from Dan DiDio) thinks characters being married “ages” them (whether that’s a right assumption or not, it’s what they think) and so any attempts to marry any main character, straight or gay, is likely going to be denied. I am in the segment of people who think that this being a new character, it could handcuff her story-wise. And while I get to social significance of it, I see how marrying her off can also be seen as a short sighted way to deal with the character and I actually, as a huge fan of the book, agree with the editorial decision to not marry her off essentially simply because she’s gay and because gay marriage is a hot button topic of our time.

    All that being said, the editorial interference at DC is completely out of control. If this was the only thing they had come up against, I don’t think they’d be leaving the book. But it’s this, in combination with the Killer Croc thing (which I think would have been brilliant if handled by them and could of redefined the character beyond a common dumb thug), in combination with whatever other changes they’ve had to make (including whatever they had to change in the current arc) that have made things untenable. This is now the fifth or sixth person in the last year who’s walked off books for supposedly the same reasons. Editorial needs to get it’s shit together.

  19. Kevin says:

    @Alan Morrison:
    “Soon we will see what a comic book universe made entirely out of company stooges look like.”

    We already know what a company like that is like. Its called Marvel. Or Have you not been reading their relaunched titles and did you not see Iron Man 3?

  20. Erik Scott says:

    “People who work for these corporate comic companies need to realize that these aren’t their characters. DC can do what it wants. ”

    Which is fine except why bother wasting the creator’s, readers, and their own time letting a story be planned and plotted over years only to force last minute revisions. It makes no sense other than to piss people off.

    “They didn’t make the characters straight, right? So we’ll still get some hot lezbo scissor action.”

    Try for five seconds to not be a pig.

  21. Rikk Odinson says:

    This is the big problem with comics and has been for a long time.

    Everyone is more concerned about the relationships of the characters than the actual adventures and villains the heroes participate in.

    It’s sad that they are leaving because of this but I dropped the book months ago because, as beautiful as the art is, it’s been a pretty freakin’ boring comic.

  22. CagedLeo730 says:

    Don’t think you can include Winick or Morrison as part of the band leaving DC’s Titanic. There’s been a resurgence of Creator Owned comics. They just decided it was better to own/create their own characters and decide the decisions of their books. The door is always open for them to return to DC.

  23. Alan Morrison says:

    Marve is letting creators tell the stories they want to tell. Look at Young Avengers. Look at Hawkeye. And Iron Man 3 was recently named the best movie of 2013 by popular site Badass Digest: http://badassdigest.com/2013/08/26/the-11-best-movies-of-summer-2013/

  24. Everywhere you look ‘gay wedding’ ‘gay wedding’ – stop making such unimaginative choices and stick to the basics. I don’t care about who they’re sleeping with, I want to see heroes and villains… this is the new fad I guess.

  25. Lisa M says:

    Woohoo! One less DC book for me to buy; let’s see, what Image title can I start picking up now?

  26. Charles says:

    An issue in which Batwoman gets married would have been a pretty good bit of PR for DC, a missed opportunity on their part.

  27. The term ‘work for hire’ is surely alive and well.

  28. Why doesn’t DC want us to have good things?

  29. Glenn Simpson says:

    I know I’m in the minority, but I wasn’t a big fan of the art and direction on this book. I actually preferred the stuff with Hawkfire or whatever her name is now.

  30. @ Hsssh – Not sure where you’re coming from with this “Rucka and Waid don’t sell” idea. They were half the writing team on 52, a weekly series that sold upwards of 100k per issue for the majority of its run, generating sales that most creators would be super envious of. Plus Waid wrote Kingdom Come, one of DC’s perinneally printed TPBs.

  31. Wow, how can DC afford to upset JHW3, the dude is like no other. I was specifically picking up Batwoman just when he was on art, the story-lines have really suffered since the first arc after the New 52, but now it’s clear that probably wasn’t the creators fault. DC really seems to be in a slump right now. It’s down to Wonder Woman and Batman, they don’t have too many good books left.

  32. Suzene says:

    @Lisa – Kieron Gillen has “Three” coming out in a couple of months: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=47411

  33. Well, that gets me own to one DC book I still buy (Animal Man). Most of the other creators I follow had already left DC, so I guess this was bound to happen.

  34. Synsidar says:

    I am in the segment of people who think that this being a new character, it could handcuff her story-wise. And while I get to social significance of it, I see how marrying her off can also be seen as a short sighted way to deal with the character and I actually, as a huge fan of the book, agree with the editorial decision to not marry her off essentially simply because she’s gay and because gay marriage is a hot button topic of our time.

    The major factor there is the audience. If readers (and editors) think that marriage is boring, for whatever reasons, then they will always oppose a hero being married. The timing doesn’t matter. But why do they think that marriage is boring? Being married is simply an aspect of the character. Being constantly single or constantly going through girlfriends is worse, in terms of predictability and complexity, than being married is.

    Examining conflict within marriage necessarily involves philosophical and emotional conflicts. If readers want hero-villain conflicts and the hero simply worrying about his love of the moment, like Peter Parker worrying about Aunt May, then they’re choosing simplicity over complexity and physical conflicts over mental conflicts.

    An editor should let the creators find a balance which will satisfy enough readers for the series to be profitable.

    SRS

  35. Ask yourself why people supposedly think marriage is boring. Perhaps, because for years on end, media and cultural message to men has been that marriage ::is:: boring and that it chains you down and is the “end” of your ‘fun” manly life.

    The entire idea that marriage chains guys down is something that is self-taught, people. Anyone in a HAPPY marriage knows that marriage isn’t boring nor is it something that “chains” people down nor is it the end of fun or conflict or sex or drama. But the cultural message for years has been that marriage is boring. That’s not a good thing. That you lose your power in some way when you “settle down.” Even that term “settle down” is loaded with bad commentary.

    The root of this problem goes way deeper than the morons running DC Comics. It’s just dissapointing that YET AGAIN the idiots running this company fall victim to the shallow argument as opposed to being thoughtful enough to confront the cultural bias.

  36. Heidi MacDonald says:

    I saw this come up in my comment feed last night at 3 am and was like, why are people commenting on that old story and then realized it was a NEW QUITTING DC STORY.

  37. Erik Scott says:

    I never said I thought marriage was boring. People are putting words in my mouth. I do see how marrying the character off because gay marriage is a hot button topic right now can be seen as a short sighted move and I personally, as a fan of the book, don’t think it’s necessarily for the character at this time and place. There’s a definitive through line you set up for this character if you marry her, one that’s not necessarily fair to future creators for the title down the line. Should you get to a point where you do marry her, to get her unmarried means 1)a magic spell so that you were never married, 2)”fridging” the spouse as a motivating factor for the hero, 3)the characters get divorced, having to tie in a whole different set of story and plot details that aren’t necessarily fair to a future writer of the character.

    I don’t think comics characters should never be married or that interesting stories can’t be told with married characters. I think they absolutely can. It’s also not my knee jerk reaction to automatically disagree with every creative decision an editor makes or automatically fall into sync with every story decision a creator makes. In this particular case, and particularly due to the relative infancy of this character, I happen to agree with editorial in this specific decision that strapping a character that’s only 7 years old and only 3 years (combing her current book and the run on Detective) with marriage simply because gay marriage is a hot button topic of the time is not better than strapping her with the word lesbian when her character has been built up by Rucka, Williams, and Blackman as so much more.

    As stated above, I believe their reasoning for not letting the two revamp Killer Croc is as bad a reasoning for not letting them use a character as I think the reasoning for not marrying her is good reasoning. I think it’s not just the marriage thing that caused them to walk off the title but a culmination of decisions and this clearly from the wording was the straw that broke the camel’s back. And finally I believe once DC editorial has accepted a pitch and plot for a book, they should allow that creative team to fulfill that approved pitch and plot to the best of their ability with as little interference as possible. I think the real smoking gun in this article doesn’t have anything to do with the marriage per say, but more how DC keeps seeming to alienate more and more creators due to these last minute changes and editorial changes.

  38. while i think the focus on superhero’s personal relationships is very boring to me as a reader (i want awesome adventures, not soap operas), i think the way DC has been micromanaging and screwing around with the stories the creators are telling to be really lame. Let the creators tell the stories that they pitched. Why hire talent if you won’t let them do good work? The frequency of these types of things happening speaks for itself.

  39. DC might as well cancel the book. Once they decided to proceed without Rucka, JH Williams’ art was the only draw the series had.

  40. Synsidar says:

    There’s a definitive through line you set up for this character if you marry her, one that’s not necessarily fair to future creators for the title down the line. Should you get to a point where you do marry her, to get her unmarried means 1)a magic spell so that you were never married, 2)”fridging” the spouse as a motivating factor for the hero, 3)the characters get divorced, having to tie in a whole different set of story and plot details that aren’t necessarily fair to a future writer of the character.

    But why should someone ever need to “get her unmarried”?

    The only negatives I see about a character being married are that it makes the character more complex, and turns off potential readers who think that marriage is boring. If you can make an aesthetics-based case against marriage, go for it, but as you note below, marriage per se doesn’t prevent stories from being interesting. All it does is prevent writers from writing simple stories about a hero looking for love, trying to hide his secret identity from his girlfriend, etc. If doing a story that takes as little effort as possible and writing for readers that want simple stories are the goals, then marriage is terrible. But are those worthwhile goals?

    Simplicity by itself isn’t a virtue. Actually, the simplicity of superheroes turns off many people who think that superheroes are junk that appeals mostly to babymen. But developing a superhero character–and marriage is development, just as increased complexity is development–turns off editors (and readers) who want the characters to just go on forever. Arguing that marriage is bad unavoidably entails arguing that development is bad.

    SRS

  41. Dave Miller-lad says:

    Having been married for ’bout 20 years I can see why they would want to avoid a wedding.

  42. in the movies, Batman always talks about the need for a disguise to protect the ones you love. There are so many possible storylines could open up with a married Bat Character. Albeit having the spouse in peril every arc would be lame, there seems to be a ton of stuff there that would work conceptually in the bat-verse.

  43. Erik Scott says:

    “The only negatives I see about a character being married are that it makes the character more complex, and turns off potential readers who think that marriage is boring. ”

    That’s kind of a simplistic view, don’t you think? And as I said, I’m not against characters getting married, I’m not even against this character getting married eventually, I just happen to agree with editorial that at this time in the infancy of this character’s development, that marriage, for what seems like a stunt reason to have “gay marriage” portrayed in a book, is short sighted. It was almost 50 years before Clark and Lois got married.

  44. RAGGEDT says:

    Well, this development proves one thing. In comics, even TALKING about “marriage” leads…to DIVORCE!

  45. Synsidar says:

    And as I said, I’m not against characters getting married, I’m not even against this character getting married eventually, I just happen to agree with editorial that at this time in the infancy of this character’s development, that marriage, for what seems like a stunt reason to have “gay marriage” portrayed in a book, is short sighted. It was almost 50 years before Clark and Lois got married.

    The “infancy of this character’s development” is irrelevant. If someone wants to write a romance, having the characters fall in love and marry is the basis for the story. If someone views marriage as a positive, having Clark and Lois get married could have happened quickly. Back when Roy Thomas had the Vision and Wanda become interested in each other, Thomas had thought that that semi-serious interest could go on indefinitely, but Englehart had them get married, with great results, because the duo was stronger than either character was individually.

    Conceptually, starting out with a hero being married is no more difficult than starting out with him being single. The differences affect the type of story the writer wants to tell and the readers the writer wants to reach. Serial characters that aren’t developed are toys. Junk.

    SRS

  46. Johnny Memeonic says:

    DC has been running Batwoman as a prominently lesbian character since, what, 2009? Not to mention the marketing campaign when she was first introduced.

    Thus I highly doubt they axed wedding storylines for any reason other than the current trend of both companies wanting their characters unmarried.

  47. Silly but True says:

    DC is in the business of selling fantasies. DiDio clarified this that they only wish to sell fantasies to 45-year-old males.

    Put 2+2 together, and DiDio needs his resident lipstick lesbian promiscuous rather than monogamous.

    Really, it’s just another step in their pandering life that is their current Batwoman.

    Heaven forbid they dare show her in a normal progression of lesbian romance.

    But, this is a company that ghettoizes its gays to bit characters because of traditional norms, and an industry that would rather have the devil — of all people — undo a perfectly fine marriage for its major ones.

    The Two H’s series has garnered awards in the gay & lesbian community. Things that the company that made her homosexual to begin with should presumably be proud about. With these revelations, they’re showing that Batwoman’s sexuality was about nothing to enrich her character, but only to market the most sensational aspects of it.

    HW and WH show themselves to be even better professionals than I already considered them to be. They’ll continue to have me follow their projects. Batwoman without them, and DC? Not so much.

    Of my thirteen or so monthly New52 books, including Batwoman, DC has taken me down to three. Image, Dark Horse Comics, and Marvel thanks their decisions.

    Silly but True

  48. Erik Scott says:

    “Serial characters that aren’t developed are toys.”

    So the only way to truly develop the character is to marry her off?

  49. Seth Hollander says:

    Assuming JL3000 is a Legion Of Superheroes relaunching miniseries, my dropping Batwoman after issue 26 leaves me with ONE ongoing DC book: The Unwritten.
    This 44 year old male finds the post-Levitz DC completely uninteresting.
    It will also means that I order as many Marvel books as I do DC, and that I order MORE Image books than I do DC! Way to go Didio/Harras! Marvel and Image love your work!
    Before the Nu52, my monthly orders were 60-80% DC.

  50. Dissix says:

    If DC editorial wanted to step in and cut these writers’ plans short, they should have done it a year ago, because the second and third storylines of this Batwoman series were extremely bad and boring.

    But the writing has really picked up these last four issues or so. Totally ridiculous for editorial to interfere like this right now.

  51. Synsidar says:

    So the only way to truly develop the character is to marry her off?

    If your reasoning is based on the principle that the character is more important than the story, then practically any development is bad. Development only defines the character and prevents a succeeding writer from doing what he wants with her–prevents him from starting out with an outline. Marriage isn’t necessarily better than some other development, but there’s no way to argue that it’s worse in general terms. Characters are created to be developed–unless they’re being written for readers who don’t want development.

    SRS

  52. Xenos says:

    Bravo, DC . Turns out they are less progressive than Archie comics or even their own Wildstorm imprint ten damn years ago when Apollo and Midnghter got married.

    For all their talk about the New 52 being about diversity, which was highlighted in the first sentence or two of the first article about the reboot in USA today, they sure seem to be a bunch of filthy hypocrites. Batwoman was an award winning title and this is the second damn creator they drove off the book. Wait.. no.. third. Reeder seemed bumped off too. Never mind Johns and his little sandbox obliterating Renee Montoya from existance so he can turn Question into some cosmic Phantom Stranger 2.0. Batwoman was one of their best books. It was one of yhe last ones I got before I got sick of DC as a whole. I almost picked it up again when I heard about Kate and Maggie getting engaged. Yet I had reservations and distrusted the company too much. Seems my paranoia was not unfounded.

    This is disgusting. They can soak up press about a lupstick lesbian but won’t allow the character to get married? Didio and company are as much actually for diversity as Rick Perry speaking at a DoMA panel at an RNC rally.

  53. biolett says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t think serious relationships work well with heros. Why? Because such serious relationships, and especially marriage, take a lot of commitment and responsibility.

    At the core of a hero’s quest is either self-fulfillment or the relationship between a hero and their city. That’s the point of the story and everything else is going to be filler. Now of course we love it when the heroes have to make a choice between their personal lives and their morals, but that’s because its the struggle between who they are as a person vs. who they are as a symbol. Again, this falls under the broader heading of their relationship with heroism and their self-actualization.

    The problem with a serious relationship is that suddenly it’s a huge and vastly important part of the hero’s life. They’re not just committed to their city and their cause, but also to another person. The problem is that when the conflict between person and hero comes up again and again. Either they have to chose their spouse which weakens the heroic aspect or the spouse gets shoved aside again and again, and what person is going to put up with that?

    Simply put, when you have a character that’s a young and driven go-getter, marriage doesn’t work well in the storyline: either it dissolves or it dampens them for the drive you loved in their go-getting.

    Now there are good ways to do a married character who is also a hero, but it’s difficult, especially when it’s an addition to an existing character or a character who had drive at their core.

  54. Synsidar says:

    The problem with a serious relationship is that suddenly it’s a huge and vastly important part of the hero’s life. They’re not just committed to their city and their cause, but also to another person. The problem is that when the conflict between person and hero comes up again and again. Either they have to chose their spouse which weakens the heroic aspect or the spouse gets shoved aside again and again, and what person is going to put up with that?

    Real-life heroes are often married. They also have kids, get into arguments, age, change their views on subjects, and make mistakes, sometimes even stupid mistakes, when they venture outside their areas of expertise.

    The simplicity and narrow focuses that comic book superheroes have don’t justify avoiding serious relationships. Treating one well in a story is merely a matter of allocating enough space in a storyline, and having readers who value exploration and development of a relationship. If all the readers want are hero-villain conflicts that end with the hero proving that Good will triumph, and short-term concerns about other people, then that’s what they’ll get, but the number of people who’ll buy those stories is limited.

    How is Peter Parker worrying about Aunt May different from Parker worrying about his wife, his fiancee, or a brother who constantly gets himself into trouble? The major difference is that Aunt May is just an object who can be tossed into a story when it’s convenient, to provide some moments of angst, but the other people present real-life concerns that have to be dealt with well, and in some detail, or the writer will look inept.

    SRS

  55. biolett says:

    The major difference between Aunt May and Mary Jane is that Aunt May is eventually looking for Peter Parker to leave her and become his own person, Mary Jane is looking to form a partnership of equals with him.

    I also agreed that married heros or heros with families can work well, but work best in fiction when it’s an initial part of their story. The Incredibles did this well – while there is backstory, one of the major conflicts is balancing family and heroism. To a certain extent, you could do this with heros with a “5 years later” jump, but again, difficult for a smooth transition.

    You’ve missed the core of what I said. Heros can be married, but it’s very difficult to take a hero initially on a quest for self-actualization or where the focus is on the hero-city relationship and add a happy marriage to it while maintaining hero status.

  56. Synsidar says:

    You’ve missed the core of what I said. Heros can be married, but it’s very difficult to take a hero initially on a quest for self-actualization or where the focus is on the hero-city relationship and add a happy marriage to it while maintaining hero status.

    No, I didn’t miss the core. The relationship between the hero and his city–______ and NYC, notably–is based on the fantasy that if he abandons his role as a hero to serve his own needs, a disaster will ensue. In the real world, disasters happen which no one stops. If Superman existed, he couldn’t prevent more than a tiny fraction of the deaths and disasters which happen in the U.S. every day, much less the world. “With great power comes great responsibility” is a theme which has no connection to personal reality.

    SRS

  57. biolett says:

    You still haven’t addressed the core.

    We’re talking about superheroes as a whole, and while Peter Parker is a great boilerplate, you’re getting too deep into specifics. Spiderman is still a coming of age story.

    I’d also disagree with you that the theme has no bearing on our world. That is a choice that many, many people face every day. While it certainly isn’t done with superpowers, do you crush your opponent, do you rely on your spouse to watch the kids, do you make the world a better place or use the power structures to further your own goals.

  58. Synsidar says:

    We’re talking about superheroes as a whole, and while Peter Parker is a great boilerplate, you’re getting too deep into specifics. Spiderman is still a coming of age story.

    In the real world, people age and die, and personal responsibilities shift accordingly. It’s fine to write a “coming of age” story, but the story has to end when the guy matures, or fails to mature. A story that has no point to it isn’t worth writing.

    Abuse of power happens everywhere, in many, many different ways. It’s not a useful theme, unless it’s shaped to specific circumstances.

    SRS

  59. Notlevellingout says:

    Haha. There are PAGES of news articles covering this. Either bad publicity is still good publicity or…

    DC Comics just shot itself in the foot.

  60. Jon Q. Citizen says:

    Well….That leaves Snyder, Azzarello, & Manapul as the only writers on titles since issue #1 of their respective series (that I can think of). I’m a huge Flash fan, and thankfully Manapul isn’t considered “top tier” yet…..so he’s safe. Snyder is untouchable like Johns or Morrison…..so he’s safe. That leaves Azzarello as odd-man-out, if I were a betting man.

    It’s truly a shame that this seems to be happening so much at DC right now, though it doesn’t seem to have drastically altered month-to-month sales…..odd, considering how much complaining about it appears on the internet. What’s the conclusion? DC knows sales will continue steadily, so they are bringing in fresh creators with new ideas. Not a bad strategy, though I’m in no way defending it.

    As much as I’d like to see my favorite Creators continue on forever, that is not the nature of the Comic Book business. Much like my profession, people come and go….sometimes that’s good news, and sometimes it’s depressing….but we continue on. I will continue to read and enjoy my favorite characters despite Creative changes….knowing one day a great talent will emerge.

  61. grubba says:

    the book only sold 30,000 or less. so nobody was buying this great piece of art!!! why be indignant over something that less than 1 percent of 1 percent were reading anyway? tottally doesnt matter. and i really dont care to see two chicks getting married in my comic books anyway. pathetic niche hobbiests

  62. Ted sed:
    “Also, just a big laugh at Lew Stringer above. “Movie options?” Do you think that there’s a chance on this or any other planet that WB will make a Batwoman film? Are you serious? They can’t even figure out Wonder Woman!”

    Glad I brought cheer into your life but if you go back and read what I said you’ll notice I was talking about characters in general by that point. But, yeah, any comics character could potentially transfer to movies, even if not necessarily as the lead character. Batgirl and Catwoman have, as have Hawkeye and the Black Widow, so what makes you think Batwoman is so unlikely? (Not saying it would be a successful transition though.)

    Also, obviously I need to clarify that I wasn’t agreeing with DC’s decision, I was just saying I understood why they were thinking that way. Personally I’m sure a married superhero would work if handled properly.

Trackbacks

  1. […] JH Williams III and W. Haden Blackman Quit Batwoman over Editorial Interference (comicsbeat.com) […]

  2. […] Especially, in light of the recent news last week, concerning the creative team of Batwoman leaving over editorial interference (specifically nixing the gay marriage that the team had been planning for a while, as well as […]

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