My DC Comics Pull List Purge

The only comment that DC Comics has made so far about the epic fuck-up that they have made with Batwoman and refusing to allow her to be married [Batwoman writers leave DC Comics over ban on same-sex marriage] is this:

“As acknowledged by the creators involved, the editorial differences with the writers of BATWOMAN had nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the character.”

This has been their statement to many media outlets, and is, apparently, in reference to this tweet by J.H. Williams:

Annnnnd here’s why that is complete and utter bullshit on the part of DC

Like it or not, comics are not immune to the political realities of the real world we live in. Comics don’t exist in a vacuum; they speak to us as readers because they have some significance to our everyday realities. Otherwise, why bother to introduce a gay character into a comic book at all? The point of course, is that we want to identify with the heroes of comics – that we want to related to them and imagine being them. For gay people, seeing a character like Kate Kane existing, carrying out her job and also balancing the realities of romantic relationships is appealing because it touches on our real lives. She has to go through some of the same difficulties and triumphs that we do in order to keep our attention.

And like it or not, same-sex marriage is a huge, emotionally-complex thing that we as LGBT people are dealing with. It has relevance to gay characters in comic books as much as it does to us in the real world. There’s just no way to side-step that issue with any gay character right now. And because of that, there is simply no way that you can separate the subject of Batwoman’s romantic relationship from her sexual orientation.

Because the character’s sexual orientation and romantic life are on the table as subject matter for the comic book, allowing or disallowing her to marry is inextricably bound to the current global climate on the subject of same-sex marriages. And banning her from getting married has a very different connotation than it does for heterosexual characters. There’s no way that doesn’t resonate with real people being banned from getting married and amplify the issue to all readers, no matter whether DC wants it to do so or not.

As Williams said, specifically for this character – “but it still should not be a story to be avoided, but embraced fully.” If you are going to have gay characters in comic books, marriage HAS to be addressed. There’s no way this subject CAN’T come up.

Two days have passed since this news hit the press. Comic Book Resources is running a poll – Will You Be Interested In “Batwoman” Once J.H. Williams & W. Haden Blackman Exit the Series? The current results stand at 83.6% – No. 16.4% – Yes.

Batwoman Rain

Given that there are 6,697 news articles on this issue currently out there on the web, almost all with some completely damning version of a headline like “Batwoman Writers Quit as DC Comics Prohibits Lesbian Marriage” I would have expected a much more complete and thoughtful response on the part of the company at damage control. But… apparently not. I’m not inclined to give the company any more time to craft a satisfactory response, given that they have been wrangling over the issue with Batwoman’s authors for quite some time on the issue, and they didn’t seem to be prepared with any sort of complete or statement about their position.

I can’t imagine they didn’t realize what a massive mistake this would appear to be, and yet… no real acknowledgement of their LGBT readers at all other than a terse statement.

My pull list from my local comics shop yesterday was this:

  • Ame Comi Girls
  • Batgirl (I’m so sorry to do this, Gail Simone)
  • Batwoman
  • Birds of Prey
  • Captain Marvel
  • Fearless Defenders
  • Katana
  • The Movement (Again, really sorry, Gail)
  • Red Sonja
  • Supergirl
  • World’s Finest (Power Girl & Huntress)
  • X-Men Now
  • Young Avengers Now

And my pull list as of this afternoon, when I dropped in to change things around:

  • Batwoman (until issue 26, the last Williams/Blackman book)
  • Captain Marvel
  • Fearless Defenders
  • FF (the fantastic four spin-off by Matt Fraction)
  • Hawkeye
  • Red Sonja (I had to keep at least one Gail Simone thing)
  • X-Men Now
  • Young Avengers Now

There are some other independent books that I’ll probably add in, too. I’ve been meaning to investigate other publishers, and now I’l have time for that.

It kills me that my childhood favorites – Wonder Woman and Batgirl – are no longer in my comic book reading, and that the thing that pulled me back into comic books after I stopped reading in college was the DC New 52 reboot. They got me back into comics, and then turned around and kicked me out again. So – good job, DC at attracting women to your readership, only to alienate them again and push them on to better work.

Posted in Books, GLBT Issues Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: