Hey nerds, it’s been a while and unfortunately I come bearing REALLY awful news. At 10:11pm PST the brilliance that is JH Williams III tweeted with a heavy heart that he was leaving Batwoman. This is the single most devastating news that I could’ve heard on new comic book day.
For me personally, Batwoman was the only perfect book that DC Comics had left after their new 52 change. Sure some books are great, but most are a mess and Batwoman was one that stood out every month for me. Not only that but Batwoman: ELEGY was the first story I read as a new comic reader just 2 short years ago. When I met JHW at Comic Con this past year, I didn’t have much to say to him but Thank You. Thank you for getting me into comics because I have truly found something that I love. Thank you for the stories, and for the art. Thank you for taking a strong lesbian character and putting her at the forefront of superheroes, and thank you for making the fact that she’s a lesbian not a big deal. Batwoman is so much more than just a female Batman. She is a strong, beautiful, intelligent and FIERCE character. She’s as beautiful as any of the girls and as tough as any of the guys.
The reason for his departure is (SHOCKING…not) DC Comics and their 11th hour editing which has become the norm right now. As a new reader I was just going with the flow with their changes; the new 52, the different writers going back and forth, Damian getting killed, zero month..whatever, but this one is so sad for me. This news has actually made me so upset that I don’t even think I will continue with the title after JHW leaves.
Shame on you DC Comics, shame on you for not letting your writers and artist have the creative freedom that they need to tell their stories. Shame on you for not letting Kate and Maggie get married. Shame on you for once again being the cause of a great storyteller quitting HIS story. Even though you may own the rights to Batwoman, you did not give her life, you did not give her a soul. That honour belongs to JHW & Haden.
Here is the full statement:
Dear Batwoman readers,
From the moment DC asked us to write Batwoman — a dream project for both of us — we were committed to the unofficial tagline “No Status Quo.” We felt that the series and characters should always be moving forward, to keep changing and evolving. In order to live up to our mantra and ensure that each arc took Batwoman in new directions, we carefully planned plotlines and story beats for at least the first five arcs well before we ever wrote a single issue. We’ve been executing on that plan ever since, making changes whenever we’ve come up with a better idea, but in general remaining consistent to our core vision.
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.
We’re both heartbroken over leaving, but we feel strongly that you all deserve stories that push the character and the series forward. We can’t reliably do our best work if our plans are scrapped at the last minute, so we’re stepping aside. We are committed to bringing our run to a satisfying conclusion and we think that Issue 26 will leave a lasting impression.
We are extremely thankful for the opportunity to work on Batwoman. It’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding projects of our careers. We’ll always be grateful to everyone who helped us realize 26 issues: Mike Siglain, who brought us onto the project originally; Greg Rucka for inspirationally setting the stage; our amazing artists Amy Reeder, Trevor McCarthy, Pere Perez, Rob Hunter, Walden Wong, Sandu Florea, Richard Friend, Francesco Francavilla, Guy Major, Dave Stewart, and Todd Klein; Larry Ganem, for listening in tough times; and editors Mike Marts, Harvey Richards, Rickey Purdin, and Darren Shan.
And most of all, a huge thank you to everyone who read the book. Hearing your voices, your reactions, your enthusiasm every month was such a joy, so humbling, so rewarding. You guys rock! Because so many of you embraced the series, we were able to complete four arcs, and your passion for Batwoman encouraged us to push ourselves to do our best work with each and every issue.
Thank you for loving Batwoman as much as we do.
Goodbye for now,
Haden & J H