For comic book fans, the latest iteration of DC Comics' Batwoman has been a breath of fresh air. Co-writers J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman stories pushed mysticism, mystery, and mayhem to the forefront of the book, while Williams' vibrant, innovative artistry brought it all to life.
This wasn't a typical superhero book, a fact made more clear by the fact that Batwoman, real name Kate Kane, is an out and proud lesbian who's dating a cop, Maggie Sawyer. After coming to blows over a few cases and eventually putting their heads together to defeat supernatural super-villains, the women recently got engaged and, the writers thought, would get married. But then DC, the comic company owned by Warner Bros, announced that under no circumstances would they let Kane and Sawyer tie the knot. So, the writers quit.
"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," the men wrote on their blog. "…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 men continued:
"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."
And Williams wrote later on Twitter that even getting Kane and Sawyer engaged was a struggle, "We fought to get them engaged, but were told emphatically no marriage can result." He added, "But must clarify- was never put to us as being anti-gay marriage."
It's unclear who will take the reins on this title, whcih has won two GLAAD Awards, or how this will impact Batwoman's trajectory. In the meantime, Williams is hard at work providing the art for legendary scribe Neil Gaiman's long-anticipated Sandman prequel, Sandman: Overture.