Does DC Comics Hate All Healthy Relationships?
Thursday morning, the creative team behind critically acclaimed series Batwoman announced their departure from the title following a long and difficult struggle with the editors. From their blog posts:
“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.
After this recent news and some conversations with other comic book fans, I noticed that many non-readers of the Batwoman title were not even aware that Batwoman had proposed to Maggie back in February. That’s because, aside from a few mentions from enthusiastic bloggers and a couple of news sites, there was little to no PR about it from DC. There were no advertisements, no announcements of an impending marriage in the DC Universe. Naturally I was a little suspicious about why they wouldn’t try to publicize it, and my suspicions seem to be confirmed now that the cat’s out of the bag.
@andykhouri Not wanting to be inflammatory, only factual- We fought to get them engaged, but were told emphatically no marriage can result.
— J.H. Williams III (@JHWilliamsIII) September 5, 2013
Now of course this begs a big, big question: is DC against gay marriage? When reached for comment by Huffington Post, DC said, “As acknowledged by the creators involved, the editorial differences with the writers of BATWOMAN had nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the character.”
While DC does have a few LGBT characters, with lesbian Batwoman even starring in her own series, they’ve certainly endured a fair amount of criticism when it comes to LGBT issues. Earlier this year, famously anti-gay writer Orson Scott Card was attached to DC with plans for an Adventures Of Superman story, and after a lot of negative attention this story was presumably abandoned when the artist left the project. Despite introducing new LGBT characters in this New 52 Universe like trans woman Alysia Yeoh with positive reactions, some fans have also criticized the reboot’s diminished presence of other pre-existing gay characters such as Batwoman’s ex-girlfriend Renee Montoya (aka The Question)
Last year, DC announced that they would be changing a formerly straight “major male icon” into a gay character, to much speculation and widespread curiosity as to who it could be. Many fans hoped that it might be one of the Robins, a big-timer like The Flash, or even Batman himself; and to their disappointment it was announced to be not only a lesser-known Green Lantern (Alan Scott), but a parallel universe version of the character. Incidentally, in his origin story, right after proposing to his boyfriend Sam on a bullet train, and before Sam could even accept, the train suddenly crashes and explodes, killing Sam and everyone else except Alan Scott.
I suppose we can now expect a similar fate for Batwoman’s girlfriend Maggie, perhaps.
Of course, this sort of fate isn’t exclusive to gay/lesbian characters unfortunate enough to fall in love with superheroes. The alive-and-well Women In Refrigerators trope was coined by writer Gail Simone after Green Lantern (Kyle Raynor)’s girlfriend had been brutally slaughtered and stuffed into his refrigerator in 1994.
And speaking of weddings, remember all the Countdown stories leading up to the Green Arrow/Black Canary
Wedding Special? The issue where *spoiler alert* Green Arrow attacks Black Canary on their honeymoon and she is forced to kill him, only to find out he wasn’t even the real Green Arrow?
Now that I think about it, among all the titular characters of the DC New 52 Universe, only Aquaman and Animal Man are married. Superman and Lois Lane aren’t even a thing.
Right now DC is claiming to attempt to appeal to a more female demographic by introducing more romance in the stories between Superman and Wonder Woman… via making it more like Twilight.
*and there was much groaning and rolling of eyes*.
Hrm. Does DC Comics hate not only gay/lesbian marriage, but marriage/healthy relationships in general? While their competitor Marvel is no stranger to dysfunctional marriages, they still exist pretty substantially. And let’s not forget when Northstar’s gay wedding actually made headlines and was an obvious statement in favor of gay marriage.
Right now it’s very difficult to figure out what DC’s intentions are with the beloved character of Batwoman or her relationship with Maggie. The writers are clearly heartbroken over this, and the outcry so far has been considerable enough that I hope DC will realize their mistake if they haven’t already.
Not only is it a missed opportunity to be more progressive in their stories, but many readers’ feelings were very emotionally invested in the story and the relationship between Kate and Maggie. I foresee a lot of cancelled subscriptions in the near future.
The X-Men’s struggle for acceptance as mutants is also famously a metaphor for the struggles of the LGBTQ community as well as other discriminated groups.April 21, 2015
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