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Batwoman – I do…or I don’t?

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(Image via Dark Knight News)

Today, my twitter feed blew up with tweets about the writers of Batwoman walking off the series. Many were angry, some just disappointed. Some, like me, were intrigued.

The Story

For those of you who have been under a rock (or are Marvel fans, much like myself), the Batwoman series has been history making. She is the first gay superhero to have her own title in mainstream comics. Batwoman has won GLAAD media awards and dealt with controversial issues. She’s a strong female who is a lead and not a sidekick. The list goes on.

Here’s where it gets messy. The creative team behind this groundbreaking series (J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman) have decided to walk away from the series over editorial issues. These issues include continual last minute changes to story including: Killer Croc’s origin, the ending of the current arc (the creators gave no details), and the fact that Batwoman will never be able to marry her fiance, Maggie Sawyer.

Given those details, it’s no wonder everyone has gotten themselves stuck to that last one.

The Backlash

The twitter feed I mentioned earlier was filled with angry tweets about readers dropping the Batwoman series, or even ditching DC completely. I read posts on blogs about removing the Batwoman title from their pull lists. Others are disappointed about DC allowing editorial conflicts to get in the way of two very talent creators making quality books. And as a result their beloved Batwoman’s fate is completely up in the air.

Obviously this is affecting a lot of people very deeply.

As I see it, there are two possible reasons behind this stance on the marriage issue. Either one could cause strong emotions, but one is less sinister than the other.

1. The first option is that those in charge at DC comics are giant homophobes. While this is the conclusion that most people seem to be jumping to (it may or may not be true), we should look at DC’s recent track record on the gays in comics front.

While there has been some controversy over Orson Scott Card’s involvement with a Superman book, DC has taken some huge steps over the past few years. There is currently a gay Green Lantern and Batwoman received her own title which has also dealt with many controversial issues (such as gays in the military). DC also kept things quiet when Batwoman proposed and many believe that this is a sign of an anti-gay stance.

However this brings us to option number…

2. DC may seem ignorant and homophobic, but their motives may have come from somewhere else. Could they have possibly downplayed the Batwoman engagement because they knew that they would never allow the marriage in the first place? And are they not allowing the marriage because it’s a same-sex one, or is it just because it is a marriage in general?

See, comic book characters rarely have stable relationships (look at Archie/Veronica/Betty). That’s just boring. Superheroes are even less likely to have them. I mean, could you seriously picture Batman getting married?

The fact of the matter is, in the current DC universe, many of the marriages and long standing relationships have been broken up (such as Superman/Lois Lane and The Flash/Iris West).

To back this reasoning up, both the creators and DC have commented that the walkout have nothing to do with sexual orientation specifically, just editorial conflicts in general.

Think about it this way: DC could just be anti-marriage, not just anti-gay marriage. And on the bright side, all those spouses are out of harm’s way!

Why do we care?

Regardless of why DC nixed the marriage storyline, it still hurts the fans.

Many of the fans who read the Batwoman series are in the LGBTQ community. For those fans, it may be particularly hard because they’re so close to the issue in a time where the argument over marriage equality is so emotionally charged.

They were finally given a character that they can identify with, and now they’ve been told that that character will never be happy with the woman she loves. Batwoman may not know, but the fans know that she will never have her happily ever after. It’s like the ultimate spoiler.

On top of knowing that something will go wrong for their hero someday, these fans have to deal with the fact that they can’t see their happily ever after through her. That can be a hard thing to sit with.

There’s more to it than just the gay marriage issue as well. Gay and straight fans alike are worried about the fate of their book. With the creative team leaving, the story could be handed over to a less talented team and ruined…or it could end altogether.

Regardless of the cause, there is reason to feel hurt, angry, or disappointed. The worst may be true, but I think DC Comics at least deserves the benefit of the doubt (and me playing devil’s advocate).

What do you think DC’s motive is for not allowing Batwoman’s marriage?

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