For those who don't remember, Batwoman was the center of controversy last year. Her creative team quit when told by DC they couldn't marry the heroine to her cop girlfriend Maggie Sawyer. This revealed not a homophobic agenda, according to DC, but followed a line-wide edict that their superheroes were forbidden from experiencing personal happiness. Batwoman was the first gay character to head a book at this company, so I would have thought SOMEBODY at DC would have realized they were making a stupid statement about the morality of gay marriage.
Things only got worse for Kate and Maggie after Marc Andreyko took over the book. He introduced vampire enchantment into the series, raising some eyebrows about the nature of Kate Kane's consent in any sexual relationships she has, and the author scripted an end to Kate and Maggie's relationship. As the book nears its finish, it's clear DC ultimately got what it wanted: Kate's personal life is in complete disarray.
There are rumors that after the Convergence event has been published, Batwoman creator Greg Rucka will be brought on board to relaunch a new series for Kate. If you haven't read Rucka's Batwoman storyline in 52 or Batwoman: Elegy, do yourself a favor and snag those up. Rucka is well-known for writing strong women, but he allows Kate a vulnerability seldom seen in his other creations. He also allows her to be hot-tempered, loyal, and brave in declaring and controlling her own identity. If Rucka has returned to DC not only to write a Question one-shot in Convergence, but also to write Batwoman again, I would be a happy camper.
And yet. Doesn't rebooting a series only three years after a company-wide reboot display a certain amount of disorganization? Batwoman is being cancelled due to low sales, but would that have happened if the writers and artists had either been allowed to continue their narrative, or had been given a bit more guidance, so as not to alienate fans? DC seems to work overtime to please the audience it already has, rather than realize how their creative choices can hurt their newer -- particularly female and more diverse -- demographic.
Take what happened when Batgirl #37 was released earlier this month. A villain copycatting our heroine was revealed to be biologically a man whose dresses as a woman and looks insane on-panel, which is a huge problem. Dagger Type's self-definition is unclear, though the character conforms to terrible transphobic stereotypes, something the creative team has apologized for. Better writers than I have tackled this subject, particularly at Women Write About Comics. The point is, this outdated portrayal should have been caught and changed by SOMEONE.
I can't help but think the reason such tone-deaf narratives are heading to the printers due to a lack of diversity on staff at DC. If there are not people from the LGTB community in the room to point how hurtful these stories are, then the results will be a mess. Expand, DC. It's the only way constant rebooting and awful stereotypes can be avoided.
Batwoman: J.H. Williams, artist.