OMG OMG OMG!
THE AMAZONS ARE BACK!
“And if you know nothing of Athena, know this…her champions would die a thousand times to save but one mortal life.”
These Wonder family portraits are the work of a friend and a lovely artist, Mina Rho. Sadly, I lost touch with her a few years ago, but her work deserves credit.
I hope beyond hope that she’s well.
By Andy Khouri
In a posting to JH Williams III’s website late Wednesday night, the acclaimed artist and his Batwoman co-writer W. Haden Blackman announced that due to what they described as a preponderance of “eleventh-hour changes” to stories that had been planned a year or more in advance, they’re walking off the book. Among the grievances alleged by Williams and Blackman was publisher DC Comics’ refusal to allow principal characters Batwoman (aka Kate Kane) and her fiancé Maggie Sawyer to get married.
Asked to expand on the marriage note, Williams said the following via Twitter: “Not wanting to be inflammatory, only factual — We fought to get [Kate and Maggie] engaged, but were told emphatically no marriage can result.” He added, “But must clarify— [the decision] was never put to us as being anti-gay marriage.”
Look, as much as my little lesbian heart was squeeing at the idea of a Kane/Sawyer wedding, if you’ve actually been reading the book, you have to know that it was doomed to fail. Kate Kane, at least as written by J.H. Williams, III and W. Haden Blackman, has been far too erratic, unstable, and emotionally manipulative to be healthy for anyone to be in a relationship with, and Maggie was always going to get hurt, and hurt badly, at the end of this story.
For this to have a happy ending would be wildly out of character. I’m not saying that Williams and Blackman wouldn’t have handled it honestly, but I can see why DC (who are already wary of how marriage “ages” a character in the public’s eyes) would be hesitant to have their “groundbreaking lesbian wedding that attracts media attention” event ultimately turn out to be about a highly dysfunctional and possibly abusive relationship.
This isn’t a Vertigo book, and while it would be an interesting artistic take on the character, it could also be really misguided and potentially just reinforce all the messed up stuff the heterosexist patriarchy says about us.
If Greg Rucka were still on the book, I would feel worse about this. But if Greg Rucka were still on the book, we wouldn’t have had the stories we’ve had the last two years. And after two years, I still don’t know that I trust this creative team to have handled it well. I know they’ve faced editorial interference, but there’s still some really disturbing subtext to their work, and I just can’t figure out where I stand on it.
Or have we forgotten that Wonder Woman was introduced to the book with an awkwardly patriarchal declaration that she is “not a daughter of Sappho,” though she might have a reputation as one. Or that Kate and Maggie’s first sex scene takes place on the same night that Kate’s cousin and sidekick Bette Kane, Flamebird, was was brutally gutted by a literal meathook. I don’t know why these elements are being juxtaposed. If I’m feeling generous, I could say that I don’t understand it because editorial interference stripped away its later relevance. But I don’t know that, and with what’s on the page, I do not trust this creative team to handle it well.
I guess what I’m saying is, this might not have actually been a bad move on DC’s part.
Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. After all, they greenlit that “raccoon with a gun” movie right after saying Black Panther is, like Wonder Woman, “too complicated.”
Really the common theme here is that stories are only “too complicated” when they feature typically oppressed people surviving and thriving without their oppressors.