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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 SuperSlayin

*screams and shakes fists at the sky*

Posted by papad1992

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

Posted by Exia009

@lyrafay said:

This is why I'm reading pre-52 DC.

Unfortunately, there's just not enough Batwoman pre-Flashpoint. :'(

Edited by THEOCITYLEGEND

Man, that sucks. Always sucks to see good talent leave due to editorial.

Posted by dreamfall31

Well DC is going to lose probably all of Batwoman's sales with this exit and cancel the series anyways. I know I'll stop after #26. Then I'll only have 3 DC titles on my pull list. I hope nothing happens to Azzarello on WW, Snyder on Batman, or Tomasi on B&R or DC will get no business from me. Kind of seems like DC is going downhill and fast.

Posted by Badmojo7A

First, a admittance. I have not read Batwoman so I just want to get that out of the way. With that said, I just want to express my opinion.

1, This is obviously NOT about her being gay, or gay marriage. The book itself (from what I gathered) has had gay couples, gay situation, and DC has been actually a little overboard in advertising their support of gay characters (Looking at you green lantern from earth 2). This is just about not having superheroes married period...and I honestly agree with this policy. Superman and Lois lane? Spiderman and marry jane? etc. I honestly hated those marriages, and you soon run out of things to talk about them. Eventually the married person just because a generic Lois lane, someone to save over and over again, or have the character go through some badly contrived reason they have marriage problems. It gets old. Couples are fine, they can stay together as long as there is something appealing, but break apart and have the person paired with someone else if they need a new face. I love that superman and lois lane are coworkers/friends but nothing more. Hope they stay that way. Superman is much better without him turning into previous creepy emo superman whenever he thinks about lois.

2, The talk about batman beating or going to a stalemate with batman should NOT happen. It will feel wrong. Other bat wearing characters are NOT batman, they are wannabe batman and not the real deal. There is no way in hell I will believe this person could beat or end in a stalemate batman one on one. This is a guy who has been OBSESSED since his tragic childhood to defeating crime no matter what. He has attended the best schools, went across the world to learn from masters, have done training that would kill lesser men and women, he has pushed himself both physically and mentally at the maximum endurance of what is possible. This is a guy who runs what if scenarios of if this person decides to go bad or fight batman what would he do. I am sure he has a file on batwoman and knows a lot about her. I am also sure he has run scenario after scenario of possible situations, and backup plan scenario of his backup plan scenario. Why? Because he is the batman and that is what he does.

3, A lot of responses are neejerk reactions, we need more info before making a full opinion. A lot of false info is floating around about this decision being made because the character was gay and this is just inflaming people.

4, it does suck the change came in the last minute. The creators have my sympathy and understanding on how dickish that was by DC.

Edited by batmannflash

Dang it

Edited by ChiSoxRox

@badmojo7a said:

This is a guy who has been OBSESSED since his tragic childhood to defeating crime no matter what. He has attended the best schools, went across the world to learn from masters, have done training that would kill lesser men and women, he has pushed himself both physically and mentally at the maximum endurance of what is possible. This is a guy who runs what if scenarios of if this person decides to go bad or fight batman what would he do.

Change the pronouns and this is Batwoman too. Check out her Batwoman #0 - Interlude issue and you'll get a sense of just how hard as nails she is. Frankly, I find the "she has no business beating Batman" talk more than a little insulting to the character, since the series develops her as Batman's physical and mental colleague. If she didn't pose a viable threat, why is DC throwing a fit over their dear Batman -- and the creators standing by her?

Posted by dngn4774

Really DC?

Posted by darknightspideyfanboy

@chisoxrox: it not like the fight is a one on one ether she pretty much using bane plan during knightfall she also have deo as her back-up also 30 hour prep time i believe so i dont know why the batfan are getting all butthurt about it but then again it would be stupid for batman to fall for the same plane bane put him thru during knightfall you would think he would come of up with precaution for that

Posted by TheFirstLantern

@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.

Aside from the Batman fanboys, I don't see the problem.

Posted by ILLO_29

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.

Agreed, it seems there's been a "spin" put on this story. I don't think DC is against gay marriage, I think they are against superhero marriage because it ages the characters and makes them a little less relatable to a lot of the audience (everyone can relate to not being married but not everyone and relate to be married).

Now that being said, they've shot themselves in the foot with this one. I can see not having Batman or Superman getting married but Batwoman is a niche enough book were marriage could probably be pulled off and done well.

Posted by BallPointHero

@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

More like the DCU has turned into Geoff John's personal sand box. He's the Chief Creative Officer. He gets to make all the big decisions/changes in the DCU.

Posted by RazzaTazz

I wasn`t reading this series, but this is pretty disappointing.

Posted by Strigidae_23

:-(

Online
Edited by IamTheLaw85

WHYYYYYYYY?

Man, thats another book i have to take off my pulllist.

Posted by Kraya
Posted by lorex

I can understand a publisher not wanting to commit one of their characters to a marriage as it creates some permanent baggage for the character in question but I have to wonder with the debate about gay marriage in the media why would DC not want to capitalize in this and have an openly gay character avail themselves of the changes in the law. It seems to me that DC is missing an opportunity here. Also everyone seems to forget that just because a person get married it does not have to mean that that is forever as more than half of marriages end in divorce. There are plenty of ways to end a comic book marriage asside from finding their spouse stuffed in a fridge or something equally stupid like that. I do wonder if their is a deeper reason for DC's editorial edict. With J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman announcing that they will be leaving and issue 26 will be their last I am sure DC will release some sort of press release to explain their side of things so I guess we will just have to wait and see. Whoever takes over this title has big shoes to fill and I hope they will do a good job and not diverge too much from what has been established already in this title.

Edited by LB70145

@badmojo7a said:

First, a admittance. I have not read Batwoman so I just want to get that out of the way. With that said, I just want to express my opinion.

1, This is obviously NOT about her being gay, or gay marriage. The book itself (from what I gathered) has had gay couples, gay situation, and DC has been actually a little overboard in advertising their support of gay characters (Looking at you green lantern from earth 2). This is just about not having superheroes married period...and I honestly agree with this policy. Superman and Lois lane? Spiderman and marry jane? etc. I honestly hated those marriages, and you soon run out of things to talk about them. Eventually the married person just because a generic Lois lane, someone to save over and over again, or have the character go through some badly contrived reason they have marriage problems. It gets old. Couples are fine, they can stay together as long as there is something appealing, but break apart and have the person paired with someone else if they need a new face. I love that superman and lois lane are coworkers/friends but nothing more. Hope they stay that way. Superman is much better without him turning into previous creepy emo superman whenever he thinks about lois.

2, The talk about batman beating or going to a stalemate with batman should NOT happen. It will feel wrong. Other bat wearing characters are NOT batman, they are wannabe batman and not the real deal. There is no way in hell I will believe this person could beat or end in a stalemate batman one on one. This is a guy who has been OBSESSED since his tragic childhood to defeating crime no matter what. He has attended the best schools, went across the world to learn from masters, have done training that would kill lesser men and women, he has pushed himself both physically and mentally at the maximum endurance of what is possible. This is a guy who runs what if scenarios of if this person decides to go bad or fight batman what would he do. I am sure he has a file on batwoman and knows a lot about her. I am also sure he has run scenario after scenario of possible situations, and backup plan scenario of his backup plan scenario. Why? Because he is the batman and that is what he does.

3, A lot of responses are neejerk reactions, we need more info before making a full opinion. A lot of false info is floating around about this decision being made because the character was gay and this is just inflaming people.

4, it does suck the change came in the last minute. The creators have my sympathy and understanding on how dickish that was by DC.

I definitely recommend Batwoman, it is a really great book in terms of writing and art.

1) While you are right that the they showed their relationship and support homosexuality (granted mainly through tokenism and not by making real characters), but editorial allowed the characters to get engaged. A lot of the frustration is that Editorial would be okay with engagement and not marriage. What did they expect to happen? Perpetual engagement? I personally think that editorial wanted either Batwoman or Maggie to die, but that is just me. And while there is a lot of examples of marriage outside of Spidey and Supes, the point of a marriage is showing the evolution of a characters and how a character changes/grows up. Spidey and Supes are not the only people that have shown growth from their marriages. I mean look at Sue and Reed Richards. Granted their marriage isn't perfect, but damn does their marriage show how complex their characters are. There many other examples, but I feel that they personify marriage done right.

2) While it is true each member of the Bat family outside of Bruce is not at all like Bruce, that is what makes their characters so cool. Each one of those people were inspired or influenced by Bruce one way or another. Dick grew up to become one of DC's greatest heroes. Tim is an example of the normal well adjusted person wanting to take up the crusade. Barbara has suffered from Bruce's work, but still wants to continue to fight crime. FYI I am drawing mainly from pre-52 knowledge, I know these characters are all kinds of changed now. Being part of the Bat family does not mean equality to Bruce's prowess. The Bat Family is merely Bruce's sphere of influence. Not to mention each member of the Bat family brings something different from the table. Diversity that makes for great stories and awesome character-to-character dynamics.

3) While you are right that a lot of reaction is knee-jerk, I would again look to my first point. Editorial allowed engagement, but marriage? That is what continues to baffle me. It is just weird.

Posted by Shika1Dude

@bunkerbuster05: Doubt we would get one, it will probably be a Image announcement

Posted by Timotheus316

I don't recall many married Super Heroes guys. Heck, even Superman's marriage was redacted. And just because Batwoman is a lesbian, everyone is up in arms over it. Chill out. Jeez. Blackman and Williams 3 had other ideas and DC had yet another idea. It happens and they are leaving the book. Simple as that.

Posted by DecoyElite

I don't recall many married Super Heroes guys. Heck, even Superman's marriage was redacted. And just because Batwoman is a lesbian, everyone is up in arms over it. Chill out. Jeez. Blackman and Williams 3 had other ideas and DC had yet another idea. It happens and they are leaving the book. Simple as that.

Yeah it was confirmed that the marriage thing was just DC hating marriage in general rather than a gay marriage problem of any kind.

Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose

I don't recall many married Super Heroes guys. Heck, even Superman's marriage was redacted. And just because Batwoman is a lesbian, everyone is up in arms over it. Chill out. Jeez. Blackman and Williams 3 had other ideas and DC had yet another idea. It happens and they are leaving the book. Simple as that.

I think everyone is up in arms because they teased a marriage. If there hadn't already been an engagement, this maybe wouldn't be as big a deal. Though people would still be annoyed about important plot details being changed at the last minute.

Edited by save.me.now

Well first off, Batwoman stalemating or defeating batman isn't that big of a deal. For one Batman has had plenty of stalemate/defeats in the new 52 alone. Also I would really suggest that the non believers read Batwoman #0. I was skeptical too, but after that issue I realized that Kate really is the female batman. She just grew up without the trauma of having her parents killed in an alley and is less of an emotional wreck than Bruce is.

Secondly....... OMGWTFBBQ DC SUCKS!!!!!! This is why I'll always like marvel more. DC has arguably better writers, a once in a lifetime artist like JH WIlliams III ....and they still fucked up somehow. Batwoman was by far one of their best comics. These guys friggin World's Finest arc with Batwoman and Wonder Woman and if was f&(#in amazing. I was only considering never buying a DC comic again after their last wave of cancellations, but this is it. I'm done with DC.

Posted by Kraya

On a related topic, I just read that Batwoman Vol. 4 will collect issues 18-25. Now, the amount of issues in this is good, but I'm disappointed about the fact that issue #26 will not be included. Would have been nice to have the whole Williams/Blackman run in trades.

Posted by Billy Batson

@kraya said:

On a related topic, I just read that Batwoman Vol. 4 will collect issues 18-25. Now, the amount of issues in this is good, but I'm disappointed about the fact that issue #26 will not be included. Would have been nice to have the whole Williams/Blackman run in trades.

Solicits get updated. They'll throw in issue #26 in the fourth trade.

BB

Edited by Kraya
Posted by nappystr8

As much as Marvel manages to do things to annoy me, at least they can go for two weeks without having a scandal. At what point are they going to realize all the bridges they are burning, and all of the embarrassment they are receiving. I'm impressed that JH Williams and W Haden Blackman had the guts to be open with their reasons for leaving. They did it professionally and respectfully, but they actually let us know what was going on. Especially when it comes to the LGBT issues, I'm glad they were not silent.

Unfortunately I don't think this series had a big enough audience for DC to feel a huge hit to their business based on this news, but it's one more nail in the coffin of whoever these jokers are over there running things into the ground.

Posted by DocFishstick

Come on DC. I have been a fan for years. I am 31 and have been getting your comic books since I was like 4 but your editors seem to be F**king Things Up. Why would you not work with great creative team. Your making it hard for me to stay.

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

I've just seen this in an article here.

Is Dan Didio trying to say that the series hasn't been exciting and entertaining? I know it's not the biggest seller, but if it wasn't exciting and entertaining, then nobody would be buying it, right?

Also that shared universe comment bothers me. It makes me think that the new writers are going to be interrupting Batwomans story to push her into crossovers.

Edited by ChiSoxRox

@v_scarlotte_rose: I'm wondering if DC is going to try and inject Batwoman into the heart of the Bat Family along with Nightwing and company to try and boost the sales and get her closer to Nightwing/Batgirl territory (~40k instead of the ~25k she's doing now). The "exciting, entertaining" part (like, you know, chemistry between her and Maggie that DC just stomped on) I'd say is just empty corporate big-wig spin. I get the sense DC got tired of JHW and WHB's creative independence and we're about to get Kate turned into Robinette.

Also, if getting married makes Batwoman "too boring," what does that mean for Maggie's place moving forward? The eternal fiancee, or is DC going to split them up for the heck of it? *shakes head* Do you recall exactly what DC's said about Renee Montoya? I wonder if she's being held back exactly to be the wedge...

Posted by SupBatz

@v_scarlotte_rose: Thanks for posting. I've been wondering where Didio stood on this issue.

Sounds like we'll be seeing Batwoman as less of an independent character in the future...yay...

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@chisoxrox: It seems possible. Moving her closer to Batman probably could push up sales, even if it doesn't make sense to the story. I don't want it to happen, but I won't be surprised if it does. :/

Yeah, maybe Renee will turn up to screw things up between them. I like Renee, but Kate and Maggie have a good thing going, so I wouldn't want to see them split. Unfortunately killing off Maggie could be a possibility.

Posted by dreamfall31

Didio is now saying that there will be a new writer starting with #25, conflicting with JH Williams saying that they were leaving after #26. So is DC now not even letting them have their final sendoff to the character?

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

Didio is now saying that there will be a new writer starting with #25, conflicting with JH Williams saying that they were leaving after #26. So is DC now not even letting them have their final sendoff to the character?

Wow, that would be going way too far. Where did you read that?

Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose
Edited by ChiSoxRox

@v_scarlotte_rose said:

And he says that she's clearly one of the Bat-Family, and therefore shouldn't have a happy personal life, calls her Kathy rather than Kate, and says the series will be better than ever.

Luke Skywalker's NOOOOOOOOOOOOO would not be sufficient. Is this some sort of experiment to see how thoroughly DC can destroy a series?

At this point, I would not be surprised if DC kills off Kate, and brings back Kathy Kane from Batman, Inc. to take up the mantle again.

Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@chisoxrox: It really does seem like it. It just sounds like they're going to throw away most of what Greg Rucka, J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman have built up over the years, and make her just another one of Batmans cult. I'm really torn between wanting the series to continue as I love the character, and wanting it to fail to show DC what a mistake this is. Though if they're going to change things, maybe it won't be like it's even the same character anymore. This is really disheartening.

I'm sure they'd think up some excuse for why that would be better.

Edited by ChiSoxRox

Yeah, there's always a way to spin it....

Calling her Kathy seems like an ominous Freudian slip to me, when combined with the return of Kathy Kane over in Batman, Inc. With Rucka, Williams, and Blackman all out of the way, I wonder if there's anyone left pushing to retain Kate's character at DC. I hope I'm off base, but I'm getting the sense DC is getting ready to just sweep her time in universe under the rug and bring the old Batwoman back, yellow spandex and all.

They've already met in-universe in Batman, Incorporated #4 - The Kane Affair and Batman, Incorporated #13 - The Dark Knight and the Devil's Daughter establishes that the retro Batwoman is the actual Kathy Kane.

Posted by Zadoulo

I'm very disappointed...

Posted by Kraya

Wow. Fuck that. Let's hope Williams and Blackman will make a statement and give us some more details on how that arc will be finished.

I liked the fact that Batwoman had her own little corner of the Bat-universe. I couldn't care less about the many crossover events and I was glad that Batwoman didn't have a part in them. But... well. DC...

Posted by Kraya

By the way, a little update, Blackman said on Twitter: "we assumed we would finish this arc (script for 25 is done) but now i am not so sure..."

Apparently DC has made that decision for them by getting the new writer for #25... aaand they haven't told Williams and Blackman yet (or so it seems).

Posted by UlquiorraSchiffer

DC is just not the place to be these days...

Posted by teclo

Destroying Creativity.

Edited by Squalleon

This is getting better and better...
now Batwoman is gonna reduced to another title that exists only to tie in to Snyder's Batman.
Good Job DC good job.

Posted by Kraya

J.H. Williams: "Sad we will not be able to finish our arc. 25 was written, WAS starting 26 with the revisions today. 24 (if published) is major cliffhanger"

Sooo, even #24 is in jeopardy now? I didn't know I could lose more faith in DC than I already have, but apparently DC is trying hard.

Posted by Mercy_

Tangentially related (no marriage mandate in DC), but it apparently just came out of BCC that Mera and Aquaman were never married in New 52.

Moderator
Posted by Dark_Guyver

Hmmm... I might start picking this up when the new creative team comes on board.

Posted by TheFirstLantern

@v_scarlotte_rose: well the update confirms the whole crossover crap. Zero year tie in just ugh. I'm so upset

Posted by Trevel8182

Maybe the editors should start writing the books.