In a blog post late Tuesday, artist JH Williams III and writer W. Haden Blackman announced their split from DC — alleging that it prohibited their female, openly gay superhero from getting married.
"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," Williams and Blackman wrote.
They cited a number of "eleventh-hour" changes that included, "most crushingly," instructions to never show Batwoman tying the knot with fiancé Maggie Sawyer.
The comic follows army brat Kate Kane who is expelled from West Point after rumors surface saying she is a lesbian. She briefly meets Batman and embarks on a mission to protect Gotham City from a growing contingent of supernatural criminals.
Issue 17, Batwoman proposed to girlfriend and policewoman Maggie Sawyer. It marked the first lesbian marriage proposal in mainstream comics history, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
She isn't the first gay character.
According to Comics Alliance, Batwoman's origin was inspired by the U.S.'s "controversial real-life policies concerning homosexuals serving in the armed forces."a brief encounter with Batman inspired Kate to embark on a crime-fighting mission to clean up the streets using gear stolen from the military - See more at: http://www.dccomics.com/characters/batwoman-in-comics#sthash.W3Cm4Vpn.dpuf a brief encounter with Batman inspired Kate to embark on a crime-fighting mission to clean up the streets using gear stolen from the military - See more at: http://www.dccomics.com/characters/batwoman-in-comics#sthash.W3Cm4Vpn.dpuf a brief encounter with Batman inspired Kate to embark on a crime-fighting mission to clean up the streets using gear stolen from the military - See more at: http://www.dccomics.com/characters/batwoman-in-comics#sthash.W3Cm4Vpn.dpuf
The character ultimately belongs to DC Comics, so when Williams and Blackman felt cornered, they walked.
"We felt that the series and characters should always be moving forward, to keep changing and evolving," the co-writers said in their blog. "We’re both heartbroken over leaving, but we feel strongly that you all deserve stories that push the character and the series forward."
Williams responded to an outpouring of support from fans on Twitter, and addressed the marriage refusal on DC's part.
@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
He clarified that DC is not "anti-gay marriage," but anti-wedding.
@andykhouri But must clarify- was never put to us as being anti-gay marriage.— J.H. Williams III (@JHWilliamsIII) September 5, 2013
Gail Simone, a fellow DC writer, made her best guess as to why DC would keep Batwoman and Maggie apart, tweeting:September 5, 2013
The pair seemed to be referencing DC's recent editorial moves to sever relationships between super-couples, including Superman and Lois Lane, the Flash and Iris West, and Green Arrow and Black Canary, according to Comics Alliance.
Other "Batwoman" changes DC allegedly ordered: ditch plans for Killer Croc's origins, alter the original ending of the current story arc, and abandon long-standing plot lines that "compromised the character and the series."
Williams and Blackman's last issue, #26, hits shelves in December.
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