Let Batwoman be miserable: Gay marriage in the DC universe
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 23:10
This past month saw more indelicate fumbling from DC Comics, when the comic conglomerate halted the same-sex marriage of Batwoman to partner Maggie Sawyer to the dismay of its writer-artist duo, J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, who will now be leaving the “Batwoman” title. Having helmed it since its inception in 2010, Williams and Blackman were frustrated with this decision, among others, handed down by the DC Comics management team. Fans are similarly confused as to why DC Comics, a brand already waist deep in fan complaints, would reject this gleaming opportunity for a publicity stunt. Their defense is laughable at best with a flimsy point in the opposite direction, and only draws more controversy to the issue. At this point, why does DC Comics insist on the singlehood of Batwoman when fans, writers and artists demand her homosexual love be capped with wedding bells?
Additionally, why does DC Comics insist on being so difficult when this is the time to let the gays have all the marriages! Exploit that Ding! Dong! The wicked DOMA is dead! Take a cue from “Modern Family” and milk new legality of gay marriage. Is there anything better than a comic book cover that would depict badass Batwoman carrying her lovely bride down the aisle? To not allow the couple, who became blissfully engaged at the end of “Batwoman No. 17,” to marry is to say no to gay marriage. I mean, isn’t the definition of being anti-gay marriage simply not allowing it happen?
You must be thinking that the defense DC Comics gave not condoning the marriage would be as ironclad as their one for the gaping hole that is a Wonder Woman feature film where “we have to get her right” is synonymous with “we haven’t actually worked on this project in years.” However, their response was, “Heroes shouldn’t have happy personal lives,” and went on to detail that other members of the Bat family have terrible personal lives as they should “set them aside” in favor of their heroic justice and moody far off looks. To be fair, no member of the Bat family has ever been married as Dick Grayson’s marriage was interrupted by a demonic teammate and that was as close as they ever got. However, DC Comics seems to miss out on the ripe storylines just waiting to be born. Call up George R. R. Martin or Joss Whedon. They’ll show you how “great” weddings and how terrible marriages can be.
The fact remains that the rejection of this marriage is probably going to cause more issues than actually prevent anything. Considering how under fire DC Comics was for the recruitment of Orson Scott Card as a writer for an “Adventures of Superman” run, you would think they would leap at the chance to get some LGBT support. Honestly, I didn’t even really hear about Batwoman’s engagement to Maggie Sawyer because the idea of two human beings wanting to marry each other isn’t breaking news. What did drum up some anger was the denial of that marriage and Williams and Blackman’s decision to leave. As they describe it, “DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series…Batwoman ultimately belongs to DC…(but these changes) prevent us from telling the best stories we can.” While this is also known as having a boss who hates you, it’s easy to question why DC Comics is so insistent on this lack of a marriage. Wouldn’t it be great to get the Bat family together for a wedding? I can just see Batman’s too revealing toast and the Boy Wonder left drunk under a table already.
So why, DC Comics? Why prevent the marriage of two people who might get to be happy for a couple of issues? Then introduce the arcs where Batwoman fears for her wife’s safety or feels trapped in a normal life. Even if the defense did work, and people were wholly convinced of its truth, did you really think not letting a homosexual couple get married was going to get you an award? The move definitely comes off as anti-gay. The grand sanctity of the “being a Bat means being alone” trope should be questioned for this reason. As a result of this policy, DC Comics has continued to lag behind Marvel (which held its first fictional wedding in 2012), alienate readers and reject the true nature and desires of its beloved characters.