‘Batwoman’ Writers Quit as DC Comics ‘Prohibits’ Lesbian Marriage


Back in February we wrote about a groundbreaking revelation in DC Comics' Batwoman — that Kate Kane, the Batwoman, asked Maggie Sawyer, her secret girlfriend, to marry her.

Now it appears that marriage is an especially ill-fated one, as in it's not going to happen, and Batwoman's co-authors J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman are taking that news public and quitting the comic, accusing DC of getting in the way.

BatwomanWrite the authors on their blog:

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.

Williams later clarified via Twitter:

"Not wanting to be inflammatory, only factual- We fought to get them engaged, but were told emphatically no marriage can result…But must clarify- was never put to us as being anti-gay marriage."

Bleeding Cool notes that Batwoman has won two GLAAD awards for its portrayal of gay characters.


  1. T.J says

    I’ve heard many many similar stories about D.C comics from first hand accounts. Sad and unfortunate.

  2. Critifur says

    What possible reasons could DC corporate have for not wanting a fictional marriage from happening?!?

  3. Spike says

    Before you jump the gun, this was just one of MANY editorial interference by DC on the book and basically the last straw. DC knew where he was going with the story for a year and at the 11th hour told him “no, we don’t that now”. They did similar things to the writer on other issues. This just happen to be the straw that broke the camels back. The writer said “enough is enough”

  4. abie says

    What a pity. This is one of the few comics I buy every month, mainly because of the exceptional artwork. He made this character matter in the comics world. I can’t see why I would buy it if this team is no longer involved.

  5. Fenrox says

    OH PLEASE, this is the same company that mandated no gay characters through the 80’s, raped big barda, raped starfire, un-gayed Midnighter and Apollo and has a dismal portrayal of women (They invented the Women in refrigerators meme).

    There is no reason to assume that they are neutral or normal, their base state is to hate gays and women.

  6. Kevin says

    This is unfortunate. But on another level, as a geek, I am so happy to see the intersection of activism and comics. Comics of course have a racist and sexist history, and on many levels still do, but I am always happy to see the effort made by at least some in the industry.

  7. james says

    Thank you J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman for standing up for what’s right: the very essence of Super-Heroism.

    I suppose D.C. Comics wants to start selling books in Russia and must have ‘No Gay Pre-Clearance’ .


    Stan Lee here I come….. Bamm! Pow!!! Zoinks???

  8. jrex says

    In the comic book world any marriage is generally considered a story killer and lacking in romantic tension. However this is certainly a clumsy PR fiasco.

    If you follow any of the comic book fansites such as Newsarama you’ll find this:
    “Not wanting to be inflammatory, only factual- We fought to get them engaged, but were told emphatically no marriage can result. But must clarify- was never put to us as being anti-gay marriage,” Williams wrote when asked about the issue.

  9. jrex says

    I’d also point out that many “straight” marriages have disappeared from comic continuity as they periodically attempt to reboot and start fresh. Examples include: Clark Kent & Lois Lane; Peter Parker & Mary Jane; Barry Allen (Flash) & Iris; Hawkman & Hawkgirl(woman) and no doubt others I haven’t mentioned.

  10. jonathan says

    I think this is much ado about nothing. They didn’t want her married, period. She’s a Jewish lesbian for crying out loud. Super heroes in general don’t get married.

  11. Caliban says

    Jeez. Fvck you Towleroad and your nanny software. I wrote out this whole long response but it was apparently rejected. Maybe I used a “bad” word or something? It wasn’t some explitive-filled rant but I might have gone further than “darn.” Maybe. I have no idea what I did “wrong.” But your comments section features the vilest of homophobes, which you do nothing about, but my comments get rejected?


  12. bobbyjoe says

    Terrible news– one of the most beautiful, consistently interesting comics out there. Time to dump DC.

  13. says

    Boycott the f*ck out of DC Comics until they change their attitude. And while you’re at it, put the screws to Archie Comics for never letting their Gay character Kevin Keller kiss his husband!

  14. TonyJazz says

    I’ve bought every issue… Maybe it is time to read something else…

    DC comics have become rather boring lately.

    …all continued stories with no character growth (except for Green Arrow).

  15. says

    Meanwhile, Marvel had Northstar marry his longtime boyfriend, and got lots of positive publicity and a nice bump in sales in the process. Obviously, DC wasn’t paying attention.

  16. Mo says

    When DC relaunched with the “New 52″ awhile back it became an unwritten rule that no one was to be married. I think this is more about “no marriages” than an anti-gay marriage thing. This comic is the only of the “Big 2″ out there with an openly gay lead after all so it’s not exactly like DC hates the gay.

    Yes, Marvel made a few bucks off the Northstar marriage but then they shuffled he and his husband off the pages of “Astonishing X-Men” for the most part and now the book is set to be cancelled. I think this is more about comic companies not having a clue what to do than it is about discrimination.

    Having said that, why do all characters have to get married when they come out? I didn’t say anything but when Northstar got married it was kind of strange. None of the other X-Men are married. None. Dozens of other characters most of whom don’t even have a love interest. Why just the gay guy? Why do Kurt and Blaine on “Glee” have to get married? Why does Archie Comics “Keven Keller”? The guys on “Modern Family”? I’d rather marriage come about organically in these stories than to capitalize on the hot-button issue of the moment.

  17. Kylian says

    @MO: there has already been a X-wedding: Scott Summers and Jean Grey. And Northstar came out about 20 years before he got married..

  18. Neil says

    As for Blaine proposing to Kurt on Glee, there have been at least 4 straight proposals and marriages on that show, so there’s no reason the gay guys can’t be the same.

  19. steve talbert says

    Blaine is a senior in HIGH SCHOOL and Kurt is in NYC.. they aren’t even old enough to drink… so what are they going to serve at the wedding reception? What a terrible idea to put in young kids heads. They should wait until they’ve had a little life experience.. If they aren’t still together at 24, then then they shouldn’t have gotten married to begin with.

  20. Peter says

    But the difference with the Batwoman marriage idea is that there haven’t been ANY gay or lesbian marriages in the NuDC or earlier. Williams and Blackman wanted to set the series apart from the other titles, and a marriage would have done so.

    Great behind the curve move, DC. Stef and Lena can get married on “The Fosters” but you can’t have a Bat-character marry.

  21. Chris says

    I can see them not wanting the two characters to get married, and I’m assuming it’s truthful that it was more about not wanting a marriage at all rather than not wanting a gay marriage in particular. The real problem comes with DC’s editorial oversight. If the didn’t want the wedding thing to happen, they should have put the kibosh on it earlier. But DC’s editorial people have been notoriously bad about that kind of thing the last few years. Several different comics creators have left DC titles of the management issues.

    @MO, I think Alan Scott is one of the main characters in the Earth 2 comic, and he is openly gay. Not a solo title, certainly, but he’s pretty prominent.

  22. says

    I want to remind everyone that of the Big 2, DC has always been the one on our side. Batwoman’s fiance has been out and (mostly) proud since 1988. Let’s wait and here their response before we judge them too much. On the other hand, we should judge them all we want for micromanaging JH Williams III off of Batwoman.

    Fenrox: I think you’re referring to Marvel and Jim Shooter’s alleged (by Bill Mantlo and Andy Mangels and probably true) “no-gay policy” in the 80s. I haven’t heard of DC having a similarly explicit policy and the evidence from the late 80s wouldn’t support it.

    Now let’s mourn the loss of comics’ best artist from its most visibly queer title.