On the month of villains, it looks like DC’s PR Dan DiDio has taken it a bit too seriously & has possibly become a villain himself. Just last week, announcements were made that Batwoman writers J.H. Williams & W. Haden Blackman, are leaving the book due to creative differences with DC. The storyline that they were working on for New 52’s Batwoman, was to have Batwoman marry her secret girlfriend Maggie Sawyer. DC asked them to alter or discard long-standing storylines including one about same-sex marriage.
Williams & Blackman said that they 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; &, most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married”, which they posted on their blog.
A lot of writers & artist from both DC & outside of DC, have shown resentment towards DC & DiDio for their decision to scrap the storyline that caused Williams & Blackman to leave the book. DC has since denied that the “editorial differences” had anything to do with sexual orientation of the character. DiDio made an attempt to explain the DC marriage ban by saying “Heroes shouldn’t have happy lives. They are committed to being that person & committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal interests.” He then continues saying, “That’s very important & something we reinforced. People in the Bat family their personal lives basically suck. Dick Grayson, rest in peace…oops shouldn’t have said that, Bruce Wayne, Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon and Kathy Kane. It’s wonderful that they try to establish personal lives, but it’s equally important that they set them aside. That is our mandate, that is our edict and that is our stand.”
Williams & Blackman are not the only writers to leave a series as of late. Just this week, writers Francis Manapul & Brain Buccellato (The Flash) & Geoff Johns (Aquaman) have also announced their departure from their series, both leaving after issue #25. Manapul, Buccellato & Johns’ leaving are all by their own choosing. In other words, DC didn’t push them out. Manapul & Buccellato has said that the reason for them leaving is due to them thinking that they have done all the can do with The Flash, without it getting stale. Johns’ reason for leaving is rumored to be because he has too much on his plate with other DC projects like Forever Evil & 2 CW television series Arrow & the upcoming Flash. Though all writer’s have already been replaced, this still can’t be a good sign for DC. Especially since Johns has earned much praise for his interpretation of the character that transformed many Aquaman doubters & fair-weather fans into downright fanboys.
Writers leaving projects isn’t all of DC’s problems. With it being Villains month, (all villains getting their own one shots) DC has had a lot of issues with the printing of their 3D special edition covers. It was announced earlier this year that DC villains month would involve the villains getting both 3D versions & 2D versions of their own issue. It was announced that the 3D versions would be limited. This got fans excited & fans started pre-ordering issues right away thinking that they would be guaranteed an issue, but that wasn’t the case. DC started printing covers just 2 months ahead of the release dates (not knowing how much time the process would take or how many fans would want a copy) & ran into all sorts of issues from the covers having errors on them & DC having to scrap them, to DC running out of the material that was used to make these special edition covers. This made the already limited editions, even more limited. Comic shops complained that they only received a handful of what they had pre-ordered. Roughly about 25% of what they had initially ordered. Fans then found out that there was no way to get certain issues because there wasn’t enough to go around. Unless you wanted to pay several times the cover price on EBAY. This angered fans. (Myself included)
So what is going on in DC? Hopefully they will start getting their stuff together soon before it turns even uglier.