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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 cagedleo730

@tomchu: DC has not lost Morrison or Winick. They stepped away to do more creator owned stuff. Morrison still has Multiversity and Wonder Woman Earth One. Rucka will deal with Vertigo if its something he likes (AV Anthology). The other ones are correct. Gail will walk away from books but not DC in general.

Edited by Johnni_Kun

@thefirstlantern said:

@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.

I don't think many people would like that as well.

Posted by Kraya

Hopefully Williams and Blackman will do something else together. They did an amazing job on Batwoman. Regardless of who DC will get to replace them, I'll drop this after #26. It's so sad, really. I thought I had finally found a series to read for a few years to come, but no...

If DC manages to bully Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire away sometime in the future, then I'm done with them...

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

"forced to drastically alter the original ending of our current arc, which would have defined Batwoman’s heroic future in bold new ways"

I really hope we can find out what the original ending was going to be.

Posted by Crimsonlord53

I may be in the minority here but northstars marriage felt like cashing in on current events at the time to me.

As to the topic at hand I hate people riding me so having someone decide at the 11 hour that the story need,s to change would have had me leaving the book the first time it happened.

Too bad about kate and maggie not being allowed to marry.

Posted by microwave25

This is the biggest, load of steaming crap DC has excreted out of the New 52. The companies and their editors are a joke and now the majority of their titles are becoming a joke.

Batwoman's independence from all this made it a truly wonderful comic. It stood on it's own and refused to be dragged down by stupid tie-ins and events and I'm glad JHWIII and Blackman stood up for themselves and didn't bend and taint their wonderful run.

With this I now only read 3 DC titles and I don't hold much hope on hanging onto them either. DC comics is so out of touch with their fanbase, it's staggering.

Posted by microwave25

@donfelipe: I wouldn't be surprised if Williams covers were unsuitable for DC's "vision" as well. He is one of those creators you give full artistic reign to matter what. He's earned that right and fans adore him.

Posted by DecoyElite

@mercy_ said:

prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married

Just wanted to draw attention to this

This really confuses me because I'm darn sure that Batwoman's fan base wouldn't be against a gay marriage. And really she's not mainstream enough to cause any bad publicity so the decision seems really bizarre.

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

I wonder if Trevor McCarthy will still be on board. It would be nice to see a little overlap of creators into this new era.

Posted by Red_Robin212

DC is on thin Ice with me, If they manage to drive Brian Azzarello, Scott Snyder & Jeff Lemire away, then I'm Done.

Edited by microwave25

It seems the entire comic world has been brought to attention with this. Fans and star creator such as BMB are taking to twitter to praise Williams and co on taking a stand. His twitter account apparently crashed from all traffic he was getting.

Awesome and I really hope DC are paying attention because this isnt right.

Posted by Outside_85

@microwave25: BMB is just trying to lure them over to Marvel, which seems to be his MO at the moment; creator leaves DC in anger, gets hired by Marvel.

And yeah, with JHW and HB gone, isn't Azzarello the only truly independent writer that's left of the New 52 stack?

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

DC's editors are a disgrace

Posted by Kal'smahboi

This is such a shame.

Edited by BumpyBoo

@the_tree said:

What f###ing bulls###.

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

Edited by dreamfall31

Man...seriously pissed at DC right now. Batwoman was hands down one of their top 3 ongoing series. Why the hell couldn't they let Williams do what he wanted? It's not like it was a top selling title, but it did have the praise which DC could use for more of their titles. If anything happens to Azzarello or Snyder on their titles, DC is pretty much dead to me!

Edited by SupBatz

...Worst news to come out of the New 52. My favorite series. I do admire Williams and Blackman for standing up for themselves. But it will be a great shame to see them go. I think that I'll be limiting my pull list to just Aquaman and Vibe after Batwoman ends. I am becoming extremely disillusioned with DC and the aforementioned series are the only ones aside for Batwoman that have yet to disappoint me.

On a different note, I don't think that gay marriage issues are the reason that DC didn't want Williams and Blackman to continue with Kate and Maggie's marriage. That is too hot-button an issue considering all of the recent legislation in favor of gay marriage. And one would think that DC wants to capitalize on it. I think their main reason for forbidding the marriage is to introduce Montoya again. Of course, this doesn't make it right. Waiting until the eleventh hour and then telling Williams and Blackman that they can't end their arc like they originally planned. There need to be some serious changes at DC. And I really hope that this causes some.

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Posted by Hawkguy

And tell me why Lobdell is still writing?! God dammit this is frustrating. Why do you have to be able to bend over to keep a job in the comic market?

This was a high scoring and beautiful book and the things they didn't want shock me. I hope ppl know now not to blame writers but editors for the ever lacking creativity and innovation within the big 2

Posted by Kraya

"forced to drastically alter the original ending of our current arc, which would have defined Batwoman’s heroic future in bold new ways"

I really hope we can find out what the original ending was going to be.

I just hope #26 has a decent enough ending and will give me enough closure to make my peace with Batwoman.

I'm really torn between feeling desolate and feeling furious. I dislike DC as a company, but I like their characters too much to just quit buying their books altogether. Pfffffffffff...

Posted by Squalleon

I live for the day when DC would face their lowest sales ever and the editorial will come out and say "We F@cked up"!

Edited by darknightspideyfanboy

@squalleon:at the moment i hoping this has nothing to do with her being gay but being part of the batfamily i mean seriously has anyone in that group ever had stable relationship i just found out bruce had a girlfriend but died in the dark knight book nightwing childhoodfreind/girlfriend try to kill him batgirl current boyfriend didn't end well for her ether

Posted by mattwing87

This is why I hate DC! You would think since Marvel had a gay wedding DC would as well. I wish DC would let their writers tell the stories they want to tell

Posted by JohnTek

Unbelievable, 2 guys who made a comic book that had a fantastic plot, great characterization and zero stereotypes will be forced to leave one of my favorite comics for two years running. DC is just as bad as FOX when they cancelled Family Guy.

Posted by ptigrusmagus

A lot of hyperbole being thrown around but that's the norm for anything LGBT related. Batwoman may have been a really great title but to say it was the last good one or only good New 52 book is just totally false.

DC really should have just let them do their thing however I guess we have to wait and find out what was really supposed to happen in #26. Batwoman stalemating Batman? Doesn't make sense and wouldn't happen. Batwoman getting married? Should have happened.

Either way DC's 11th hour interference is annoying to creators and their readers.

Posted by Mbecks14

DC Editorial strikes again

Posted by BIGALWILLIAMS

@the_tree: How long will it be before DC starts screwing around with Jeff Lemire?

Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@squalleon:at the moment i hoping this has nothing to do with her being gay but being part of the batfamily i mean seriously has anyone in that group ever had stable relationship i just found out bruce had a girlfriend but died in the dark knight book nightwing childhoodfreind/girlfriend try to kill him batgirl current boyfriend didn't end well for her ether

Batwoman isn't one of the Bat-Family though, so would that rule apply?

Posted by darknightspideyfanboy

@v_scarlotte_rose: she does wear the symbol of the bat beside i think there hinting that kate and bruce are related

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@v_scarlotte_rose: she does wear the symbol of the bat beside i think there hinting that kate and bruce are related

Urgh. I hadn't thought of the possibly related thing. I don't know of any actual hints in the comics, but obviously people are speculating because of the names.

I really don't want them to be closely related, or to become one of the family, but if editorial are messing around with things then I suppose it could happen.

Posted by benette_rivera

Why hire writers if the editors would limit what they can write? Why not write the comic themselves? DC is acting shi**y all over again.

Posted by Squalleon

@darknightspideyfanboy said:

@squalleon:at the moment i hoping this has nothing to do with her being gay but being part of the batfamily i mean seriously has anyone in that group ever had stable relationship i just found out bruce had a girlfriend but died in the dark knight book nightwing childhoodfreind/girlfriend try to kill him batgirl current boyfriend didn't end well for her ether

Batwoman isn't one of the Bat-Family though, so would that rule apply?

I commented about the greater situation at DC not just Batwoman.
Dc does one failure after the other and they actually alienate their fans. Personally i stopped buying DC books except one because i don't like how they treat the creators. I am glad that more and more talent says to DC to go to h&ll even though they have my favorite heroes. When a system doesn't work you destroy it to build it from the beginning.

Edited by bloggerboy

I don't think DC being against the marriage has anything to do with the characters being gay. DC is just against the notion of marriage because they think it ages the character. They have a romantic comedy notion that once the lovers are together all the drama is gone. It's why Clark Kent and Lois Lane aren't married anymore and aren't even in each others radar. It's why Marvel wanted to split up Peter Parker and Mary Jane.

Even Scott Snyder said that he'd never write Batman happily married because it would be boring. Sure, it's not in Batman's nature but Scott did use the words boring as in marriage is boring in general. He had to add that his own marriage is not boring. So it's definitely a mentality among the industry.

Earth Two Batman and Catwoman (Pre/New 52) were great together. And think what Grant Morrison did with Talia and Damian. Sure Bruce and Talia weren't married but they had a very f'ed up family dynamic going on that was really interesting.

Posted by bladewolf

What a shame. Been reading the series in trade and truly enjoying it. I just hope the new creative team is even half as good.

Posted by Xwraith

If DC keeps this up, they're going to drive away every writer they have.

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Edited by Wolverine08

Well, looks like DC doesn't really care to improve their image to writers.

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Posted by Squalleon

@xwraith: Nah, Scott Snyder,Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt would never stand up to DC.
Matt Kidnt is DC's errand boy, Snyder provides them with constant Crossovers and storylines that doesn't affect the characters, Lemire is DC's second Snyder, when Snyder can't they put him and Johns is DC's main moneymaker right now.
At least that's the vibe i get from them :-P

Edited by Dernman

@bloggerboy said:

I don't think DC being against the marriage has anything to do with the characters being gay. DC is just against the notion of marriage because they think it ages the character. They have a romantic comedy notion that once the lovers are together all the drama is gone. It's why Clark Kent and Lois Lane aren't married anymore and aren't even in each others radar. It's why Marvel wanted to split up Peter Parker and Mary Jane.

Even Scott Snyder said that he'd never write Batman happily married because it would be boring. Sure, it's not in Batman's nature but Scott did use the words boring as in marriage is boring in general. He had to add that his own marriage is not boring. So it's definitely a mentality among the industry.

Earth Two Batman and Catwoman (Pre/New 52) were great together. And think what Grant Morrison did with Talia and Damian. Sure Bruce and Talia weren't married but they had a very f'ed up family dynamic going on that was really interesting.

JH Williams tweeted that it was never put to them in an Anti-Gay way. I agree it was just Anti-Hero Marriage. Same with Superman and Lois. Same with Barry and Iris.

I forget who it was but they came right out and said as long as they are the Editor Superman and Lois will not be getting together.

I would have been against it anyway. It came out so far out of left field. I was literally thinking their train wreck of a relationship is going to end soon when bamb "Lets get married oh by the way I'm Batwoman.". Did they even have more than three dates?

Posted by Nefilim927

Unfortunately I have neglected this series a little bit but did jump on once I saw Killer Croc getting some spotlight, very disappointing,.

Posted by judasnixon

Posted by sparty-dbq

@batpala: Now THAT would definitely been interesting to read about. How does a three-way, same-sex marriage even work?

But more to the point, I'm amazed that the New 52 hasn't completely blown up in DC's face already considering it's been an editorial clusterf**k since Day 1. I'm convinced the 18 Batman books are the only things keeping their heads above water. I'm honestly surprised that editors can even dictate what their writers write like that. I mean I can see them having veto power or something like that, but to go right up to a guy and say "This is how we want you to write this?" I'd have been like "Well, why don't you f***ing write it yourself then?"

But that thing about not allowing Kate and Maggie to actually get married is what burns me the most. There's how many different cross-species hook-ups in these books, but GOD HELP US if any of them are the same gender. Why even OK them getting engaged in the first place?

Posted by darknightspideyfanboy

@squalleon: you forget snyder helping out with providing new writer because he use to teach. James Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennett are his student also my money there going to put Marguerite Bennett on batwoman

Posted by clayscarface

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I'll never understand editors. Why does stuff like this happen? Why are they changing things at the last minute (when they've planned it for ages)? My boss is the same way, but it's usually shorter timeframes overall and it's a totally different type of industry.

And the marriage thing? Wow. Remember that Marvel married off one of it's more well-known gay heroes this year. I wonder if they'd allow it for Apollo and Midnighter.

Posted by Xwraith

@squalleon: Lemire's Green Arrow is the only DC book I'm reading. And I can see myself dropping it when his run ends.

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Edited by Squalleon

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I'll never understand editors. Why does stuff like this happen? Why are they changing things at the last minute (when they've planned it for ages)? My boss is the same way, but it's usually shorter timeframes overall and it's a totally different type of industry.

And the marriage thing? Wow. Remember that Marvel married off one of it's more well-known gay heroes this year. I wonder if they'd allow it for Apollo and Midnighter.

DC didn't want the marriage because they didn't wanted Superheroes to get married, like Superman and Lois.
It had nothing to do with being a gay marriage. That's what JH Williams said.

Posted by Squalleon

@xwraith said:

@squalleon: Lemire's Green Arrow is the only DC book I'm reading. And I can see myself dropping it when his run ends.

Why are you always confusing things?
All these writers are actually GOOD writers but they always play by the editorials rules. Snyder for example did three major batman storylines and all of them had a crossover because the editorial demanded too.

Posted by longbowhunter

My biggest issue with all this is if it wasn't for JH Williams III, Batwoman wouldn't even be on anybody's radar. He's been the one constant in Kate's rise in status. If she was still a D list background character circa "52", they wouldn't care what direction she was pulled in. But Williams, Blackman and Rucka have crafted a whole corner of the DCU for this character and now that its got some attention DC wants their toy back.

Posted by Black_Claw

And DC has driven off talented creators yet again. *sighs*

Posted by Aeroman

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Edited by Aeroman

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Posted by Ultra_beleco

Gosh! Such terrible news for me...This is my favorite DC book...I hope the next team can keep the quality.

=( =( =(