I don't need to write about the creative team of J.H. Williams III and Haden Blackman quitting Batwoman as of issue 26, but I'm going to anyway. Largely because this announcement validates every criticism out there about DC being scared of complex character changes and diversity, but also because it also brings to the forefront their continuing problem with monogamy. Sure, Aquaman and Mera are an item, but let's be real -- they're still not married in this rebooted universe. And the less said about the Superman/Wonder Woman tryst, the better.
I've written about this a bunch of times already, but marriage can't possibly be so hard to script that every single superhero out there has to be single by editorial mandate. Surely, loving -- even not-so-loving -- relationships can grow alongside (and even in contrast to) the high-concept monster that is the superhero/action-adventure narrative. For proof this is true, check out Saga, which is about an A.W.O.L. soldier with wings, her P.O.W. husband with horns, their smart-mouth narrating child, and a quest to create a stable family while being chased across the universe by robot people and a totally awesome bounty hunter and his Lying Cat. Seriously, read that book. It proves my point for me, more elegantly than I ever could.
Bit of a side-trip here: I recently had a conversation with someone who pointed out how terrible a lot of comics are; I agree with him -- though it's just as true that there are tons of terrible movies, novels, and plays around, too. I can't hate on an entire medium just for its dreck. Especially not a medium that has so much potential to do so many wacky and unexpected things. I try to use this space to point out the good stuff about comics (crazy ideas, heroic conceits up the wazoo, surprising artistic choices/layouts), while criticizing the bad (gender parity, violence/rape fetishes, lack of imagination). There's a wide space between what's great and what isn't, which makes it especially frustrating when the folks running comics make safe, boring, and destructive plot decisions, seemingly out of nowhere. And often I feel like one voice in a thousand, complaining about something but never doing anything about it. For my sanity, that stops today.
Because as of today, I am done with DC Comics for the foreseeable future. I choose to vote with my dollars, and while I love characters like Superman and The Flash and Wonder Woman and even Batman (though I'm more of a fan of the Bat-crew, i.e., Nightwing, Batgirl, even Alfred the butler), I cannot condone a company that has no respect for its artists or the broader society it inhabits (i.e., gay marriage is a thing now, guys!). So, I won't be buying any DC Comics or seeing any of their movies, at least not for now. This might change over time, but in lieu of taking over the job of a person who likely knows more than me about DC Comics production, I can at least give myself less stress in the now. I deserve better, Williams and Blackman deserved better, and Kate Kane deserved better. So long, DC.
ADDENDUM: It was announced today that Marc Andreyko will be taking over Batwoman as of issue 25, kicking things off with a Zero Year story that will weave her into the totally insane fabric that is the current DC universe. I like Andreyko's work; he did great things with the Birds of Prey once upon a time and his female Manhunter run is pretty durn great. He is also gay, which the cynical side of me thinks had something to do with DC hiring him for this gay character, as some sort of PR damage control. Anyway, for some great reading about inclusion, check out the Mary Sue's post about Dan Didio's comments/writer announcement at the Baltimore Comic Con. As for me, I'm still in mourning, but also a little hopeful. Andreyko is a great writer, particularly of women.