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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 Celineness

@ftanng said:

I'm probably going to be the only one to say this, but I'm glad they did not show them getting married. It's NOT that I am against homosexuals, it's the fact that many still believe that marriage is the definition between a man and a woman. We need to respect that and force it upon others.

I LOLed, you LOLed, we all LOLed. Now let's move on.

HexThis: I think editing at DC became a business of mandates when Marvel and DC's movie franchises kicked into high gear. A LOT of the changes to Superman, Wonder Woman, other characters in the Justice League and those that got forced upon Spider-Man, the Avengers, etc all came out of squabbles over rights and talks over making the characters consistent with and suitable for movie incarnations.

Still, not sure how this would apply to Kate.

Posted by davidgrantlloyd

Damn! That's a major bummer!

btw I would've loved to see Kate and Maggie get married.

Edited by Extremis

Wow so DC now decides to cut their ending short!? Wow we don't hear much good from their editorial do we?

Seems like a slight to the creators because of their remarks.

Posted by McBig

I've never read Batwoman, but going through some of the links people have posted showing jh Williams tweets he seems like a little kid who didn't get his way. I agree the last minute changes are crappy but because of all the negative attention this has brought to DC even if it was unintentional they put themselves in the position of not getting to finish their story.

Posted by Canderia718

I dont like how this was handled by DC or the creative team. I think that one day they'll look back and regret how they handled themselves.

That being said. I'm excited about Marc taking over the title , and look forward to what a more integrated (but hopefully not shoved down everyone's throat) Batwoman will be like. Id like to see her in a team book or in another title from time to time.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

They've just made things even worse. Why not at least let them finish the arc, I hate when arcs get mucked about.

Posted by thehummingbird

@mercy_ said:

prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married

Just wanted to draw attention to this

enough said

Posted by saoakden

What's going on over there?

Posted by ChiSoxRox

@mercy_ said:

prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married

Just wanted to draw attention to this

enough said

This, more than anything else, is what frustrates me the most. (But then DiDio said that Aquaman and Mera aren't married, yet they act like it, so who knows what DC is planning with Mags.)

Edited by kantrip

Well with the update on the final 2 issues being compromised I may just drop out of the arc early. I just read the last Dial H issue this past weekend and while I enjoyed it, it felt like it was way too rushed of an ending. Something that all of the Old DC books suffered from, before the relaunch.

I'm not one to react strongly to such changes, as DC has done this before, but with the way things are going, once JH and Haden are off Batwoman, I'm tempted to drop all of the remaining New 52 books that I have on my list. Batgirl, The Movement, Animal Man, and Earth 2. I'll have to see how Batwoman 24 goes. If DC lets them close this out with some amount of grace, then I'll stick around. If they let the new writer close it so that it can step inline with their editorial decisions? I'm out. On all 5 books.

Edited by animehunter

From CBR

Will Williams and Blackman Get to Finish Their Final "Batwoman" Arc?

At Baltimore Comic-Con this weekend, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio revealed that writer Marc Andreyko is taking over "Batwoman" following the sudden departure of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, who resigned from the series citing "eleventh-hour" editorial changes. While the news of a new writer taking over the title was hardly unexpected, DiDio also stated that Andreyko's first issue is "Batwoman" #25 -- a full two issues before Williams and Blackman's run was scheduled to end.

"We're both heartbroken over leaving," Williams and Blackman said in their joint statement last week, "but we feel strongly that you all deserve stories that push the character and the series forward. We can't reliably do our best work if our plans are scrapped at the last minute, so we're stepping aside. We are committed to bringing our run to a satisfying conclusion and we think that Issue 26 will leave a lasting impression."

CBR reached out to DC Comics representatives for clarification on the discrepancy between Williams and Blackman's statement and DiDio's comments at Baltimore Comic-Con. The publisher's response was, "No comment."

However, it seems as though the publisher had not informed Williams and Blackman that they would be wrapping up their final arc a full two issues prior to their planned departure. Over the weekend, Williams took to Twitter to express the unexpected nature of DiDio's comments.

"Sadly, I guess with a new writer starting on Batwoman 25 means that the issue 25 we wrote already isn't coming out," Williams said via Twitter, continuing to say he and Blackman would likely not be able to give even a rough idea of how they intended to end the series. "Having two chapters cut from an arc does story damage."

The publisher's December solicitations are due for release later today and, should they include "Batwoman" #26, may provide a clearer picture as to the discrepancy between DiDio's comments and Williams and Blackman's intended departure.

The original solicitation text for "Batwoman" #25 is as follows:

BATWOMAN #25

Written by J.H. WILLIAMS III and W. HADEN BLACKMAN

Art by TREVOR McCARTHY and JEREMY HAUN

Cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III

1:25 B&W Variant cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III

On sale NOVEMBER 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US RATED T+

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

The no-holds-barred battle between Batwoman and Batman threatens to kill them both!

Online
Posted by Ftanng

@knighthood: So you're telling me that everyone should just get into the same boat because two comic industries did the same thing? Neither comic that showed the marriages did any better than their normal sales, and Archie Comics is in dead last when it comes to sales. Not to mention that when Astonishing X-men came out, I saw both cancellations of the series and not a single person bought one issue from that month.

As for the character, YOU ARE RIGHT. Batman does not need another partner in crime, and she should be on her own. Why they are putting her in that situation, I don't know. Maybe people don't know her well, maybe they had other plans for this character, who knows right now?

Posted by Ftanng

@celineness: Thank you for that edit check. I appreciate it.

Posted by dreamfall31

Since their supposed last issue isn't out till next month, maybe DC will let them get an extra big issue to put the ending of their story in?

Posted by Avantar

I am pretty sure they are leaving over the lesbian marriage. Regardless of the recent denial, I believe they and DC agreed to put on a united front to deny this in order to prevent a boycott or negative press about being LGBT unfriendly.

Posted by Celineness

One other thing to consider about cutting the story arc short - what does this mean for a final trade paperback covering (let's say) issues 20 to 26? Is DC now so bloody minded that they will willingly destroy their ability to sell a Batwoman TPB covering the final arc of the old team's story, just as petty revenge for the pair of them leaving in protest?

Dropping the issues is one thing, throwing out the work totally so that the story never even gets an ending is something else. It's not standing by principles or showing a united front, it's just plain stupid and costs you money.

And these are the people putting the words in Superman and Wonder Woman's mouths at the moment. What would Clarke say to Dan Didio?

Posted by dreamfall31

Solicits still have them through #26, so aparrently nobody at DC knows what the fuck is going on...

BATWOMAN #26

Written by J.H. WILLIAMS III and W. HADEN BLACKMAN

Art by TREVOR McCARTHY and JEREMY HAUN

Cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III

1:25 B&W Variant cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III

On sale DECEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

Family secrets continue to threaten the recently reunited Kane family as Batwoman delves deeper into the mysteries of both friends and enemies. Guest-starring Batman and Bones!

Posted by SupBatz

Solicits still have them through #26, so aparrently nobody at DC knows what the fuck is going on...

BATWOMAN #26

Written by J.H. WILLIAMS III and W. HADEN BLACKMAN

Art by TREVOR McCARTHY and JEREMY HAUN

Cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III

1:25 B&W Variant cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III

On sale DECEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

Family secrets continue to threaten the recently reunited Kane family as Batwoman delves deeper into the mysteries of both friends and enemies. Guest-starring Batman and Bones!

I hope that this isn't just a mistake. Perhaps 25 will feature the new writer as a zero year tie-in (a fourth Interlude issue in Batwoman?) and then 26 and 27 will be the conclusion to Williams' and Blackman's arc? If this is the case (hopefully so), Andreyko will write issue 25 and then 28 onwards, maybe?

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@supbatz said:

@dreamfall31 said:

Solicits still have them through #26, so aparrently nobody at DC knows what the fuck is going on...

BATWOMAN #26

Written by J.H. WILLIAMS III and W. HADEN BLACKMAN

Art by TREVOR McCARTHY and JEREMY HAUN

Cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III

1:25 B&W Variant cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III

On sale DECEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

Family secrets continue to threaten the recently reunited Kane family as Batwoman delves deeper into the mysteries of both friends and enemies. Guest-starring Batman and Bones!

I hope that this isn't just a mistake. Perhaps 25 will feature the new writer as a zero year tie-in (a fourth Interlude issue in Batwoman?) and then 26 and 27 will be the conclusion to Williams' and Blackman's arc? If this is the case (hopefully so), Andreyko will write issue 25 and then 28 onwards, maybe?

I really hope the Zero Year is indeed just an interlude. Considering they had to change their ending, I can't think why DC would stop it going out, except spite. It would be madness to remove the last 2 issues of an arc.

And I want this cover:

Edited by SupBatz

@v_scarlotte_rose: ...That right there is a contender for my favorite cover to come out of this series.

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@supbatz: It's certainly a touching one. It would be a shame to miss out on it.

I just had a thought. The reason the new writer is coming onboard on #25 is probably just so that the Zero Year issue is happening at the same time as all the others, and it might just go back to normal with #26, like all the other titles will be.

Edited by knighthood

@supbatz said:

@dreamfall31 said:

Solicits still have them through #26, so aparrently nobody at DC knows what the fuck is going on...

BATWOMAN #26

Written by J.H. WILLIAMS III and W. HADEN BLACKMAN

Art by TREVOR McCARTHY and JEREMY HAUN

Cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III

1:25 B&W Variant cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III

On sale DECEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

Family secrets continue to threaten the recently reunited Kane family as Batwoman delves deeper into the mysteries of both friends and enemies. Guest-starring Batman and Bones!

I hope that this isn't just a mistake. Perhaps 25 will feature the new writer as a zero year tie-in (a fourth Interlude issue in Batwoman?) and then 26 and 27 will be the conclusion to Williams' and Blackman's arc? If this is the case (hopefully so), Andreyko will write issue 25 and then 28 onwards, maybe?

I really hope the Zero Year is indeed just an interlude. Considering they had to change their ending, I can't think why DC would stop it going out, except spite. It would be madness to remove the last 2 issues of an arc.

And I want this cover:

Ditto on the cover but I doubt it's gonna happen. Do really think they'll just skip the Batman battle in 25 and move on to 26 like nothing happened?

Posted by SupBatz

@v_scarlotte_rose: Hopefully. But I'll believe it when I hear the official announcement.

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@knighthood: No, I mean the original #25 might become #26 instead. Like we'll get #24 in October, the Zero Year #25 in November, the original #25 in December as #26, and the final issue planned to be #26, becomes #27 and comes out in January. Then the new writers run will begin with #28 in February.

Edited by Kraya

I just want DC to update the information on their website, so that we know what's up. At the moment they still have issue 25 listed as a Williams/Blackman issue. As soon as that is updated, I might believe what they put up about issue 26, but right now I don't believe anything that's on their website about upcoming Batwoman issues.

Posted by knighthood

@knighthood: No, I mean the original #25 might become #26 instead. Like we'll get #24 in October, the Zero Year #25 in November, the original #25 in December as #26, and the final issue planned to be #26, becomes #27 and comes out in January. Then the new writers run will begin with #28 in February.

If they print William's arc I'll lessen my stance on DC, but I still think that's wishful thinking. I'm not sure about the new artist either.

Posted by Celineness

We need to send Batman to wail on Didio like he did Bane at the end of the Dark Knight Rises.

"WHERE'S THE REAL ISSUE 26?!! YOU'D NEVER DROP ART YOU'VE ALREADY PAID FOR! WHERE IS IT?! WHERE IS IT?!!"

:)

Edited by Saint_Wildcard

@avantar said:

I am pretty sure they are leaving over the lesbian marriage. Regardless of the recent denial, I believe they and DC agreed to put on a united front to deny this in order to prevent a boycott or negative press about being LGBT unfriendly.

Didio was the one that made her gay, they made Alan Scott gay, there is a gay married couple in the Vibe series. The only people complaining should be people who actually read the book and like the writer, hate DC comic or hate dan didio. This whole homophobic theory is nothing but a pile of horse manure

They also didnt let her play with anyone else (IE, the Batfamily). They've been doing their own thing (as far as I know) for two years. The books werent hot sellers and being separated from the DCU didnt help. Maybe if they were selling like crazy they could do whatever the wanted, this sounds like a writer who didnt get what they want and quit, at the end of the day these characters aren't his. So either you prove them wrong by doing it your way or you play ball.

Edited by Skyhawk1

DC is making it harder and harder. So far World's Finest, Batman, Batgirl, Batwoman, Justice League, Birds of Prey and GL Corps are the only DC titles I can afford on my budget. There are a lot of interesting titles from other companies out there.

Posted by dp220789

Firstly let me begin this by saying I am a big fan of Batwoman, and everything that has happened with her since Greg Rucka’s run with the character. I think she is one of the best characters in DC’s stable, and it is great to finally have a bit more diversity within comics.

However I think this has been blown way out of proportion and people are forgetting some fundamentals here. This character will be a major DC character long after Blackman and Williams III have gotten bored and gone to play with different toys. DC knows full well how much readers hate to read new creative teams back track on the corners the character was previously painted into.

Now I actually think DC has let them get away with a lot on Batwoman:

1. They misrepresent Batman, a lot. He is defeated easily, or sidelined to quickly by Batwoman, he doesn’t appear the mastermind he is. Now this will come up a lot. Batman and Gotham city are pretty much the only character that makes DC any money. For them to allow a Bat title as much freedom as they have been given. The book never got involved or even referenced major Gotham events or DC events.

2. They were given access to pretty much do what they wanted with one of DC’s core trinity of character in Wonder Woman to great effect.

3. They were allowed to have crazy monstrous stories that had major lasting impact on Gotham as a fictional city, these weren’t minor things. This was massive.

4. They did have a lot of freedom to tweak Killer Croc.

I think that people need to remember that Gotham and bat characters are DC’s cash cows, they are what allow titles like Animal Man to be offbeat and crazy. They are what let a title like Dial H or I, Vampire to last as long as they did. So DC has said no don’t change killer croc to that extent, that makes him unusable for the rest of the line. Fair enough, he is a major Batman villain. The other edict, don’t get married. They have a core demographic, that demographic is not, generally, married. The New 52 was a massive risk, a giant gamble. They hit reset on everything, 2 years in, and the writers want to have a character settle down after what 6 months of in universe time. Max. The characters barely trust one another; Maggie definitely doesn’t fully understand Kate. It makes no story sense for them to get married. And whilst many of you may disagree that married characters are less relatable. It doesn’t matter, DC doesn’t want long form stories to be so drastically changed so early into the runs. Batwoman has infinite story telling potential, and I am certain one day they will get her hitched, maybe to Maggie maybe to a different woman, but for right now she isn’t even 25 issues old, and by marrying her off they are chopping away years and years of great storytelling potential. Don’t forget that a wedding issue would spike sales massively in the short term. DC is turning down an obvious top 10 selling issue to keep the story more long form. Whilst I do think they are very bad at handling the creative disagreements, and perhaps they should notify sooner, and perhaps have big meetings where certain things are listed as no-go areas. And they definitely need a better PR team, let’s not forget, once again, that these characters are DC’s forever, they are the creators until they get bored of the character.

Posted by RoboShark

.......Depressing.

Posted by LordoftheNorth

i will be honest i dont really like batwoman she come of as a bitch most of the time but i will say i enjoyed what the writers did with Killer Croc thou i would have liked that to of happened you know in a BATMAN title him being a batman villian and all, now onto the issue of her marriage i think it would have been better if the editors never let the writers bring it up n the first place instead of this stupiedity but we all know how marriages turn out in comics the lover ether dies or becomes a villian so hopfully none of that happens

Posted by LordoftheNorth

now on to people thinking that DC is doing a Zero tie in to have Batwoman more involved with the bat family and i believe this is only partly true becuase everyone and there grandma is getting a freaking Zero tie in so thats a little shallow but where its true is that as much as she claims its her bat and as much as her fans like to go on about her being her own character the reality is when when you call yourself BATwoman and you live in gotham no matter what you say or do you automaticly have that connection and people thinking that she can some how exist without any connection to Batman or any of the batfamily are insane

next people who think that this has to do with the fight that was going to happen between Batman and batwoman first this is silly becuase there is noway they where actually going to have a real fight it would have most likely have them have a drawn out fight giving time for the crows and flame bird to get into DOA deating them and saving the day but lets say that they did have a fight batwoman is just to outclassed to stand a chance poeple think this is just being a fan boy that can never have his batgod lose but when you put there stats next to each other Batman wins in every field she has the element of surprise at the moment but when you look at her stats she isnt even as good as Tim but than you can add on the fact the DC editorual would never let her win thou not for those reasons but becuase of image

Posted by SupBatz

@lordofthenorth: That is the beauty of Batwoman. She was inspired by Batman, like all of Bruce's protege's, but she operates separate from him. All she needed was to be inspired by him and then she was able to branch off on her own, create her own hero persona, create her own Bat-Family of sorts with her own Rogue's Gallery and her own section of Gotham. She wears the Bat as a reminder of what inspired her. That doesn't mean she's a member of Bruce's Bat-Family or that she necessarily need be tied to him.

And I don't really understand the fuss about Killer Croc appearing in her story. Heroes borrow other heroes' villains all the time. Isn't what matters that the story is good? Not that Croc was featured in a story that didn't have Batman?

Posted by dreagan

unbe-fucking-lievable.

Posted by twitchy_tail

I just hope they don't do a 180 on this. It's literally my favorite series...