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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 CommentsRefresh
Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

The news is trending on Twitter. I wonder if this could make DC realise what a mistake they've made and try and put things right.

Maybe that's just wishful thinking, but backlash did get Gail Simone her Batgirl job back and Orson Scott Card off of Superman, so we can hope at least.

Posted by The Stegman

Blah, blah blah, DC sucks, blah blah blah, I love Batwoman, blah blah blah, 100 comments, all the same thing.

Posted by Kraya

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

=( =( =(

Not even Williams and Blackman can keep the quality, if the editors keep restricting them so much and and constantly change their minds at the last minute.

Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse

Okay.

Posted by HollowPrince65

To say that I’m upset would be an understatement. This book has been a joy to read and has its own distinct look and feel that the other Batfamily books just don’t have and I don’t think ever will. Batwoman is in a league of her own and has her own issues that babs,dick,Jason, Damien, and Bruce never have. I always loved how she wasn’t involved in their crossover events like Court of Owls or Death of the Family. Kate Kane seemed more human to me as well. She had emotions that helped give the reader something to latch onto and see themselves in. I never felt that with Bruce.

As for the marriage thing….I don’t think it’s a “She’s gay we can’t have them marry” kind of thing more as its a “ok they get married and then what? Domesticated Batwoman?” Kind of thing. Marriages in comics for some reason or another just never seemed to last as writers think it boring. With such a power couple, I think this union could actually a fun read. It would be similar to the Batman/Commissioner Gordon relationship only these two would be legally married. There are plenty of fun stories left with these two before and during their marriage. Only if DC would see that though.

As for the Batman/Batwoman show down that we’ve been teased with for the better part of the series, I think that Kate would actually beat him into a stalemate and for some reason I think DC thinks Batman should always win. Personally I feel that Kate. Could take on Brice head to head and do very well against him. She already said no to joining his Batman Inc. and has already shown she can go toe to toe with him.

Another rumor going around is that the reason for the stopping of the marriage is the return of Renee Montoya which, though I’d be happy to see, doesn’t seem big enough to stop the wedding. We’ll just have to sit tight and see what comes of this. I wish the Batwoman creative team the absolute best and see where life takes us.

Posted by Veitha

DC is losing a writer or an artis every month lol and the fact that they couldn't accept a gay marriage just shows how stupid they are. They have turned a straight character into a gay character(erasing an hero from existence while doing so) just for business, to counter Northstar's gay marriage, and now they aren't brave enough to follow the plot of a writer that could have shown a real gay relationship...

Posted by ChiSoxRox

If I try and type more than one sentence, I'll go Full Metal Jacket on DC's editorial team, so what I'll say is please let the brass change their minds, pull a Gail Simone, and back the bleep off.

Edited by Shallbecomeabattoo

All righty, DC. Thats another book I won't pull anymore. My wallet is going to like that.

Posted by Kraya

If I try and type more than one sentence, I'll go Full Metal Jacket on DC's editorial team, so what I'll say is please let the brass change their minds, pull a Gail Simone, and back the bleep off.

In all honesty (and I respect Gail Simone), I'm not sure Williams and Blackman would even want to come back after being treated like that. They seem like people with enough self-respect to stand by their decision.

Edited by FastestBlender

@the_stegman: You want to make an argument to the contrary? By all means.

I don't know how any could support DC Comics after their disgraceful treatment of creative talent over these past few years. I am completely disgusted at how Bob Harras and his cohorts are caring for these characters. Make an impact, don't buy DC Comics.

Posted by ticticchilitic

Total Bummer. I am now down to one book (Batman) in the new 52. I will definitely be following JHWIII's work from here though.

Posted by Squalleon

@veitha: Williams said that it wasn't because it was a gay marriage but because it was a marriage to begin with. They thought that it would limit the stories like Superman and Lois.I don't like defending DC but this is a wrong accusation.

Posted by ptigrusmagus

I wonder if DC will comment on this? Its only a matter of time before the LGBT mafia is after them trying to enforce their agenda with boycotts and petitions.

Posted by ChiSoxRox

@ptigrusmagus: "Agenda?" Seriously, dude? Considering how our society still tends to treat LGBT people like crap, I'm on the "mafia's" side on getting outraged on one of the few realistic portrayals of a gay character in pop culture being severely curtailed by editorial fiat.

Posted by SupBatz

Blah, blah blah, DC sucks, blah blah blah, I love Batwoman, blah blah blah, 100 comments, all the same thing.

People have a right to be pissed. And every single one of them have a right to comment on the situation.

Posted by RDClip

This is so disappointing. Batwoman is one of the best ongoings DC has right now and they are going to lose the creators responsible for it because they can't friggen let their writers write.

If DC editorial keeps on treating their writers like this, they are going to alienate all their good talent and just be left with uncreative yes-men who can only write stories editorial tells them to write. This is one of the many reasons the New52 sucks ass.

Edited by Veitha

@squalleon: it's obvious that he wouldn't say the real reasons, maybe DC didn't even tell him, but I think that it's pretty evident that most of what happened is about gay marriage. Anyway DC can't manage his writers and artists, it's not the first time that someone left it.

Edited by MadeinBangladesh

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! That was my favorite Batbook!! I'm gonna miss thier covers and artwork :(

Posted by Squalleon

@veitha said:

@squalleon: it's obvious that he wouldn't say the real reasons, maybe DC didn't even tell him, but I think that it's pretty evident that most of what happened is about gay marriage. Anyway DC can't manage his writers and artists, it's not the first time that someone left it.

DC had GL of earth two to propose to his mate last year,they even promote it as loud as they could, it doesn't make sense why they would back out from a great publicity stunt now.
You lack any evidence to support your argument.

Posted by Outside_85

@v_scarlotte_rose said:

The news is trending on Twitter. I wonder if this could make DC realise what a mistake they've made and try and put things right.

Maybe that's just wishful thinking, but backlash did get Gail Simone her Batgirl job back and Orson Scott Card off of Superman, so we can hope at least.

Unfortunately I don't think anything getting changed this time. Mainly because the creative team is leaving and not getting fired, but secondly because DC can't issue any kinds of guarantees that the editorial interference will lessen (because it's nearly company wide phenomenon).

Posted by ChiSoxRox

Honestly I think the larger factor here was if the plan was for her and Batman to wind up in a stalemate -- which was the outcome I wanted. I did not want to see Batwoman wind up losing to Batman because "he's Batman and thus always wins." Unfortunately, sounds like that's DC's plan.

Posted by CrashBang

It's so pathetic, DC being so frightened to take risks. I was beyond pissed when Fialkov turned down GL Corps for the same reason.

DC just won't let the writers and artists have the creative freedom they're due. It's so sad.

Posted by Revendawn

This is so disappointing to hear. Doesn't matter if you are a fan of the characters or not, ,if you read the book or not, or if you even agree with the direction they were going to take. Having creators that clearly care this much about a character is of paramount importance. It is how you get truly remarkable work that stands the test of time.

It is really discouraging to hear DC making these choices and I hope they figure it out before they lose all good will.

Posted by truantsimpson

Now I'm sure Batwoman will be thrown into all the Bat crossovers... I loved that the book was very much its own and didn't get bogged down by DC's crappy events. Hopefully who ever takes over has some passion for the character... This is just really sad, I wish DC would give their creators a little room to breathe cause from the sound of it the editors really are just power hungry.

Posted by manwithoutshame

This is unfortunate, but I still love DC.

Posted by dlamb

@fastestblender: Bob harras is a joke. The same thing happened at marvel back in the 90's when he was in charge. Lot of writers left titles over heavy handed editorial decisions.

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@v_scarlotte_rose said:

The news is trending on Twitter. I wonder if this could make DC realise what a mistake they've made and try and put things right.

Maybe that's just wishful thinking, but backlash did get Gail Simone her Batgirl job back and Orson Scott Card off of Superman, so we can hope at least.

Unfortunately I don't think anything getting changed this time. Mainly because the creative team is leaving and not getting fired, but secondly because DC can't issue any kinds of guarantees that the editorial interference will lessen (because it's nearly company wide phenomenon).

Good points. You're probably right unfortunately. :/

At least DC can't stop everyone showing them getting married:

Posted by chem86

You know what this means?

Expect a MARVEL announcement soon :D.

Hope so, marvel should pick these guys up. Batwoman was amazing!

Posted by saoakden

I read some of the first trade when I was at Barnes and Noble a couple months ago. From i remember it was interesting thing to read. It really caught my attention when Wonder Woman made an appearance. I read the 0 issue and I like it. It's a shame to see these two go. They had pretty long run on the book.

Posted by HuiZe

*yawn*

Posted by Hawkguy

@the_stegman said:

Blah, blah blah, DC sucks, blah blah blah, I love Batwoman, blah blah blah, 100 comments, all the same thing.

Well thank you for being the one creative comment among the many...

Posted by BlueValleyKid
Posted by DecoyElite

Well at least it's good to hear that DC wasn't being homophobic.

Posted by BlueValleyKid

I will miss them but don't knock it until you tried the new creative team.

Superheros and marriages don't mix well with one another. Must of the time one or both character won't be seen for a while for example Jessica Jones. Another is Aquaman, Mera was cast off for a while. Black Panther and Storm, Spiderman and Mary Jane, Superman and Lois, Barry and Iris aren't married any more just to name a few.

Posted by ptigrusmagus

Batman takes out Batwoman via his New 52 feats alone... Lol I really like <insert C lister here> but just because I like them and their creative team is good doesn't mean they get to be the equivalent of Batman. "just sayin"

Posted by akbogert

I read about this this morning, and honestly, I'm inclined to agree with those who read this not as anti-gay-marriage but simply par for the general anti-marriage course for DC in the New 52 and mainstream comics generally. The negativity towards marriage is a thing I'm pretty sure I've complained about before so I won't rehash it. It's just a shame that in this particular case it also precluded a big chance for representation for a lot of readers who are already underrepresented in comics.

While hearing about the end of this is a huge shame, it is definitely very cool to see such a firm stance taken by these creators. I feel like this industry does everything in its power to shred artistic integrity, so it's refreshing to see it kept alive.

In other news...

Reset the counter.

Posted by blkson

Honestly I think the larger factor here was if the plan was for her and Batman to wind up in a stalemate -- which was the outcome I wanted. I did not want to see Batwoman wind up losing to Batman because "he's Batman and thus always wins." Unfortunately, sounds like that's DC's plan.

This is what I was thinking as well. Batgod can't have an equal in a bat costume, certainly not Batwoman.

Posted by roxasnelson

Nooo ! this book has been so good, man I'm upset about this, Imma DC fans but this ..... I"M TRULY DISAPPOINT

Posted by TekTheNinja

i didn't read the series anyway.

Posted by Grondoth

Has DC made like any good decisions lately? The company has all but lit on fire.

Posted by Ace20XD6

Wasn't this dispute with editors the same reason George Rucka left DC as well?

Edited by Kraya

@grondoth: Uuuuh, I dunno, I think the villain's month & Forever Evil might turn out to be good for DC.

Other than that, they recently managed to lose many creators and so far it hasn't taught them any lessons. I guess the only thing that could make them see reason would be, if Geoff Johns, Jim Lee and Scott Snyder were the only people left creating things for DC.

Posted by PeppeyHare

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?

Posted by Nuec_Sol

Damn

I would have kept this creative team on Batwoman for as long as possible, the art is among the best in comics today and the story lines were inventive and original; something we see too little of from the big two now days.

Edited by fables87

So Batwoman's not getting married anymore? WTF? DC is making a huge mistake on this I think.

Posted by Exia009

This is horsecrap. Batwoman is one of my favorite books every month and she's become one of my favorite characters in comics because of this team's tremendous work. I am absolutely mortified and frustrated by this news. And we are absolutely powerless on this one, aren't we? DC has just fallen from my favorite comic publisher to my most hated. Way to go.

Posted by LyraFay

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