J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman of the comic series ‘Batwoman’ are just the latest of DC talent to step aside over the company’s rampant editorial interference, joining fellow writers and artists James Robinson, Rob Liefeld, Andy Diggle and Joshua Hale Fialkov. The company has become notorious for interfering with the creative end of things.
The issue at hand? The continued interference of DC over the groundbreaking ‘Batwoman’ series. The series featured Kate Kane, a former marine who, prior to the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” quit the military rather than disclose her sexual orientation. She then, inspired by Batman, embarked on a career as a super hero, at times assisted by her father Jacob or her cousin Bette, the former Teen Titan Flamebird/Hawkfire.
The series won the GLAAD award for best comic book series in 2012. In my personal opinion, this was the best book DC was publishing.
But DC has been interfering with the plans Williams and Blackman had for the superheroine, and the last straw has been dealt when the two received word that DC was “prohibiting” a marriage between Kate and Maggie.
Read Williams and Blackman’s entire announcement below:
Dear Batwoman readers —
From the moment DC asked us to write Batwoman — a dream project for both of us — we were committed to the unofficial tagline “No Status Quo.” We felt that the series and characters should always be moving forward, to keep changing and evolving. In order to live up to our mantra and ensure that each arc took Batwoman in new directions, we carefully planned plotlines and story beats for at least the first five arcs well before we ever wrote a single issue. We’ve been executing on that plan ever since, making changes whenever we’ve come up with a better idea, but in general remaining consistent to our core vision.
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.
We’re both heartbroken over leaving, but we feel strongly that you all deserve stories that push the character and the series forward. We can’t reliably do our best work if our plans are scrapped at the last minute, so we’re stepping aside. We are committed to bringing our run to a satisfying conclusion and we think that Issue 26 will leave a lasting impression.
We are extremely thankful for the opportunity to work on Batwoman. It’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding projects of our careers. We’ll always be grateful to everyone who helped us realize 26 issues: Mike Siglain, who brought us onto the project originally; Greg Rucka for inspirationally setting the stage; our amazing artists Amy Reeder, Trevor McCarthy, Pere Perez, Rob Hunter, Walden Wong, Sandu Florea, Richard Friend, Francesco Francavilla, Guy Major, Dave Stewart, and Todd Klein; Larry Ganem, for listening in tough times; and editors Mike Marts, Harvey Richards, Rickey Purdin, and Darren Shan.
And most of all, a huge thank you to everyone who read the book. Hearing your voices, your reactions, your enthusiasm every month was such a joy, so humbling, so rewarding. You guys rock! Because so many of you embraced the series, we were able to complete four arcs, and your passion for Batwoman encouraged us to push ourselves to do our best work with each and every issue.
Thank you for loving Batwoman as much as we do.
Goodbye for now,
Haden & J H
Alas, their issues echo that of many creators who have quit DC in the last two years. Arbitrary and last minute editorial edicts are apparently becoming the norm as parent company Warner Brothers inflict their input. It’s especially odd, since ‘Batwoman’ was a book that sort of “flew below the radar.” This should be a book that’s free to be bold and daring.
This series broke boundaries. When Williams illustrated it, it changed the very nature of comics. Even when he didn’t, the other illustrators like Trevor McCarthy stepped up their game to rise to that standard. Having gloried in creator driven DC books from ‘Starman’ to ‘Hitman’, I just feel this is Williams and Blackman’s book. It should have solely been their baby and when they decided to leave, the series should have ended.
But unfortunately that’s not the case. I guess DC will try to replace them. Sales will plummet. The series will end. The character will probably never appear again.
Sorry, I’m a little devastated by this news. I really felt that this was the best mainstream super hero comic being published, thanks in no small part to the talent creating it month after month. Now thanks to bureaucracy, that will be no more. Many life-long DC fans have quit reading their books in recent years over the “New 52” relaunch and other disturbing changes… it may be my turn.
Source The Hollywood Reporter