Batwoman may be a superhero, but her powers apparently don't extend to being able to marry someone of the same sex. The heroine, a Jewish lesbian, was denied a same-sex marriage by the execs of DC Comics, leading to a resignation of two Batwoman authors.
"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," wrote Batwoman co-authors J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman on their website late Wednesday night, explaining that DC Comics had squashed many of their editorial choices and "most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate [Batwoman] and Maggie actually getting married."
In addition, Williams tweeted:
@andykhouri Not wanting to be inflammatory, only factual- We fought to get them engaged, but were told emphatically no marriage can result.— J.H. Williams III (@JHWilliamsIII) September 5, 2013
Williams and Blackman will exit in December after three years on the beat, having made Batwoman (a.k.a. Kate Kane) one of the most-talked about and highly visible gay characters in the comic world, "a member of the U.S. Military Academy who was forced to leave after allegations arose that she was gay," as The Hollywood Reporter explained. Accordingly, her sexuality became a story all of its own.
And a good one, too; the comic series's depiction of lesbian life earned an award from GLAAD in 2012. It was announced in February that Batwoman would be proposing (and hopefully married) to her girlfriend Maggie Sawyer.
Where authors decide to take Batwoman from here is up in the air. But this decision from D.C. to deny a Kane-Sawyer wedding, after a year of planning from its authors, is not a good sign for fans looking for more mainstream LGBT storylines from the company, let alone a LGBT hero in a future summer blockbuster. And it's another black eye for DC, which hired homophobic author Orson Scott Card to write a Superman comic (he later stepped down).
Comics book pages long been a place where authors are allowed to push the envelope, giving us characters like the Latino Spider-man and a gay Green Lantern. And there have already been gay marriages in comics, though not in the DC universe: Marvel's Northstar had a gay wedding in 2012. And Archie's gay character, Kevin Keller, had a gay wedding too—leading that issue of the comic to sell out.
By nixing the Batwoman marriage, DC takes a disappointing step backwards.
Wrote the Batwoman authors on their blog, "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." They can at least take solace in the fact that many comic fans are also frustrated and angry this morning.