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J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman Announce Departure on BATWOMAN [Update]

The two creators have decided they can no longer tell the best stories they can.

Bad news for BATWOMAN fans. W. Haden Blackman and J.H. Williams III have been one of the few creative teams to have worked on every single New 52 issue in their series since September 2011. Month after month we've enjoyed the stories of Kate Kane and we've watched her grow in her own little corner of the Bat-Universe. It now appears their time on the series will be coming to an end.

Both Blackman and Williams have announced that issue 26 will be their last. While we've seen the two able to steer clear of the other BATMAN events, they have stated editorial conflict as the cause.

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.

You can read the full details on either of their websites:

http://www.hadenblackman.com/archives/696

http://www.jhwilliams3.com/archives/1826

They both expressed their sadness for leaving as well as their gratitude for being able to work on the character and with so many talented creators. Be sure to read their full post.

They will indeed be missed.

Update

It seems there's been a lot of accusations that the editorial differences is because of Batwoman's sexual orientation and the idea of marriage. DC has tweeted the following:

As acknowledged by the creators involved, the editorial differences with the writers of BATWOMAN had nothing to do with the character's sexual orientation.

Update 2

At Baltimore Comic-Con, Dan DiDio announced that Marc Andreyko will be taking over BATWOMAN with issue #25.

“[Andreyko is] so excited about taking on this series–so much so that we’re putting him on the book starting with issue #25,” DiDio told an audience at DC’s panel at the show. “Batwoman’s going to become an integral part of Batman’s universe, just the way we always wanted. She’ll be starting with a Year Zero story arc and from there she’ll be an important part as she always is.”

What's odd is Blackman and Williams said they were leaving after issue #26. Haden even tweeted the following when asked if the current storyline would be finished by them or the 'new writer.'

And JH Williams III tweeted this:

339 Comments
Posted by TheFirstLantern

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by PeppeyHare

GG DC GG

Posted by Mercy_

prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married

Just wanted to draw attention to this

Moderator Online
Posted by The_Tree

What f###ing bulls###.

Thanks for destroying one of the last truly great series you had, DC.

Posted by ajshadowhawk

This is the biggest screwup DC has put forward in 2013. Also, the MOST high-profile creative exit given, as you say, that JH and Haden have been on Batwoman since New 52 relaunch. Good job, DC, good job.

Posted by TheFirstLantern

@mercy_ said:

prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married

Just wanted to draw attention to this

I saw that and was like WOW. Way to go DC. I am also pretty sure the original ending of the arc would either show Batwoman beating/stalemating Batman and DC didn't like that. After 26 I might drop this it was so good. Curse you DC.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

DC editor sucks. James Robinson off earth 2. Now this. Demon knights canceled. I don't read BW or DK but I hear there real good.

Posted by Pokeysteve

I don't read Batwoman but it sounds like these guys have the passion for the character needed to write great stories. Simone with Babs and Ennis with Punisher come to mind.

Could be worse though. The people at DC could be prejudice A-holes. Uh oh. What's this here...

@mercy_ said:

prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married

Just wanted to draw attention to this

Edited by FoxxFireArt

I've long felt that the downfall of comics doesn't come from creators. It comes from editors who think they know better than actual creative people. Who knows how many thing DC official change and we never hear about it? I applaud these guys for stating their case.

This is partly why I shifted mainly toward reading manga. Creators have so much more control over the stories they make.

Posted by thetrin

I've long felt that the downfall of comics doesn't come from creators. It comes from editors who think they know better than actual creative people. Who knows how many thing DC official change and we never hear about it? I applaud these guys for stating their case.

This is partly why I shifted mainly toward reading manga. Creators have so much more control over the stories they make.

Well, they only have control insofar as what brings money in. Plenty of series have been chopped off at the knees because the publishers felt they weren't bringing readers in at the rate they felt they could. No transition, no new writing team. Just canceled and unfinished. This phenomenon is especially true for Jump.

Edited by iceslick

Wow I think it's time to go for an outrage and fight for what these comic book writers wanted!!! Ever since I have read Batwoman since the beginning it has so far been a good run and they honestly made both Maggie and most especially Killer Croc into very interesting characters. It was about God damn time, that Killer Croc wasn't written like a DUMBASS and a character I can actually care for! I honestly was dying to see Maggie and Kate getting married. They have been a great strong couple have stood together through the good and bad times. It was so great to even see Maggie hold on to Kate as she is put through that fear toxin. These characters really deserve to be uplifted to these ideas! Seriously!

Posted by bunkerbuster05

You know what this means?

Expect a MARVEL announcement soon :D.

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Posted by thenexusrebound
@mercy_ said:

prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married

Just wanted to draw attention to this

It seems really weird that they are okay with her being gay, but showing her marry crosses the line? I mean Marvel made a big thing about Northstar getting married. I never personally read more then the first two issues but I liked what I had read.

Posted by dbatdog

whoever will replace them will surely has some big shoes to fill...

Posted by Zeeguy91

@mercy_ said:

prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married

Just wanted to draw attention to this

It seems really weird that they are okay with her being gay, but showing her marry crosses the line? I mean Marvel made a big thing about Northstar getting married. I never personally read more then the first two issues but I liked what I had read.

Maybe they wanted to make a love triangle dynamic by having Renee Montoya come back...a man can dream, can't he?

Posted by Mucklefluga

Damn it man. So that's what JH was talking about on Twitter.

Posted by longbowhunter

Yeahhh...I saw this coming back when they offered up Croc's Villains Month book to Tim Seeley. Williams made no attempt to hide his frustrations on Twitter.

Posted by Outside_85

DC's pack of incompetents strikes again...

Posted by Cavemold

Wouldn't allow a gay marriage but will allow a gay charcters.makes no sense

Edited by Cavemold

RIP Batwoman

Posted by Canderia718

The only good thing so far is the series wasn't cancelled, but if the editors keep dickin around with it like this it will be. Its already bad enough they completely ruined Static. If they ruin/cancel this I'm done with em.

Posted by Poncho

Man, does DC go out of their way to try and upset their fans? Its happening far too often to be coincidental.

Edited by jangcrow

Last straw for DC man, I am done with their attitude towards creators and I am done with their books until some changes higher up are made.

Edited by The_Tree

@canderia718 said:

The only good thing so far is the series wasn't cancelled, but if the editors keep dickin around with it like this it will be. Its already bad enough they completely ruined Static. If they ruin/cancel this I'm done with em.

That could end up being a bad thing, though. They could give it to somebody terrible.

Hopefully they don't, though. I've got fingers crossed for Matt Kindt (however unlikely it may be).

Edited by Canderia718

@the_tree: Honestly , after reading this I'm more worried about any new creative team being so handicapped by the editors to the point that they cant do anything worthwhile.

Its kind of excited wondering who will takeover though.

Matt Kindt would be interesting. Too bad Jeff Lemire is prolly to busy to write it.

Edited by RedheadedAtrocitus

I know this doesn't necessarily state that they are leaving DC, but considering the recent past ::coughs:: Fialkov for instance ::cough:: it seems only a matter of time until it happens. Seriously, I think DC is dead set on making themselves a self contained fantastic four of DiDio, Lee, Johns and Snyder :/

Posted by batpala

@jangcrow said:

Last straw for DC man, I am done with their attitude towards creators and I am done with their books until some changes higher up are made.

Basically this. As a queer woman I am disgusted in the fact they they aren't allowed to show a female queer marriage. Like wow. They're engaged, are they meant to be engaged for all eternity or something?!

I have more to say, but sadly it's probably not appropriate to say on this website. Also I angrily tweeted dc.

Edited by The_Tree

@canderia718: It's a huge possibility. I see it going one of two ways: they'll either get someone great and restrict them a bit, or get an easily manipulated go-to guy.

I wouldn't be upset if they went with somebody like Matt Kindt or Ales Kot, though. Lemire would be great, but he's pretty busy with JLC and Green Arrow. We can only hope they go with someone great and not somebody like [insert terrible writer here]. I don't even want to put out the thought of a specific terrible writer in fear of it actually happening.

Posted by Extremis

This is why I read Valiant over DC. Valiant is clear from the get go with their vision and when they sign on creators they get a pretty fair amount of freedom. DC doesn't seem thought out at all so they're always trying to change things. Ther universe sucks.

This just shows how out of touch with modernity DC is. Refusing to show the marriage of two women? That's not all that surprising coming from a company that seems firmly rooted in days gone by. They seem out of touch a bit. They really dont break new ground or forge boldly ahead do they? And god forbid if they do breakthrough they bring the hammer down on theit creative teams.

Comics are supposed to keep up with the times. They're supposed to tell good stories. Not compromise character and story for some BS inside agenda. I'm happy I'm not currently buying from them. Glad JHW3 is opened up for other projects :) Come to Valiant JH, please. They'll treat you good.

Posted by CitizenJP

Wow no way! That's sad to hear. Especially since they're so passionate about the character. Hope they get another shot at making some other characters great.

Posted by batpala

Oh and this reminds me of when Secret Six was cancelled, which funnily enough showed the engagement of three queer women. [And I'm still angry at the bull@(& ending] Now I need to find some companies that treat their creative teams with respect and dignity.

Edited by animehunter

Honestly why does DC do this, this series was one of the few I would actually take time to read. and the fact that DC prohibited them from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married, let alone having them change things in the last minute, was a real blow, I believe it would have been one of the pinnacle moments of the book, why is DC so afraid to push things in regards to this topic, while marvel actually had an issue in which the marriage between two men was the story - Astonishing X-Men #51, so if Marvel is willing to go through with it why not DC

Online
Posted by manwithoutshame

This is a mistake.

Edited by darkrider

Let's Be Honest marriage doesn't work in comics any more

Posted by Squalleon

DC is gonna sink faster than the titanic!

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Posted by bunkerbuster05

Let's Be Honest marriage doesn't work in comics any more

Online
Posted by TDK_1997

And DC fail again.

Posted by TheCheeseStabber

WAke up 4;30 in the morning to say Good bye to my father, and this is the first news I see, anyone wanna cheer me up?

Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose

This is terrible news. This is the series that pretty much got me into comic books in the first place, and after reading older issues including Elegy, I thought to myself that this series would be in good hands as long as J.H. Williams was still in charge. I now worry about the future direction of the series.

It's been my favourite ongoing series since I started reading comics, and has made Batwoman very much a(possibly the) favourite character of mine(DC anyway). I just hope whoever takes over can do a good job. But knowing that editorial can change so much, and if the new writers don't have the right enthusiasm for the series, I don't know what to expect.

:(

Posted by ptigrusmagus

Concerned if this will have any effect on The Sandman.

Posted by comicbookfan93

I only read Batwoman because of these two so when they leave so will I

Sad day for comics

Posted by Chewblocka

Does DC actually care about their fans or what ?

Will they see this fan outrage and just go meh or are they gonna do somethin about it ?

Posted by mwanderson

Well, if the writing and incredibly expressive and individual artwork is not up to standard once Williams and Haden Blackman leave then this will be a book that I drop like a stone.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

And another mistreated creative team leaves the building. Guys seriously forget about your favourite characters for a moment and just think this is like the 7th or 8th writer that has been so badly treated from DC that they have actually had to leave, why would you want to support something like that?

Online
Posted by tomchu

I applaud you, DC. Another one bites the dust.

And this is why I'm a Marvel fan-boy.

Writers DC has lost:

Greg Rucka, James Robinson, Grant Morrison, Andy Diggle, Joshua Hale Fialkov, George Perez, Judd Winick, Nick Spencer, Rob Liefeld, Brian Wood.

Gail Simone almost joins that list. Lucky her.

Posted by DonFelipe

Way to make the news, DC! Forever Idiots!

Stunning cover by the way! What a pity we won't see many of these anymore. Of course one should give the new creative team a fair chance. Nonetheless Batwoman & J.H. Williams III have been such a brilliant couple for the last 3 years or so it's hard to imagine one without the other.

Posted by knighthood

This is utter crap. Batwoman got me back into comics. After the launch of the NEW 52 I've watched DC destroy title after title. Batwoman and Animal Man are the only titles I read now. My pull-list maybe DC free in the near future.

Posted by Squalleon

And another mistreated creative team leaves the building. Guys seriously forget about your favourite characters for a moment and just think this is like the 7th or 8th writer that has been so badly treated from DC that they have actually had to leave, why would you want to support something like that?

Preach.

Online
Posted by johnkmccubbin91

That's editors for you, they can't half ruin series this way.