After writers J. H. Williams and Haden Blackman absconded from the Batwoman title, they left a huge controversy in their wake surrounding Batwoman getting married. When J. H. Williams claimed that DC had made them cut out Kate and Maggie’s marriage, the internet immediately responded with accusations of homophobia. In search of a desperate solution, DC hired writer Marc Andreyko, best known for his work on Manhunter and for being one of the few comic writers who is able to write strong female characters. Andreyko will be working with artist Jeremy Haun, who had already been working on the title. In a recent interview with Newsarama, Andreyko explained his views on the controversy in more detail, as well as the direction in which he wanted the title to go.
“I think part of the brouhaha [over cutting out the marriage] was that the internet is always looking for the dirty story, and the lack of wanting the character to get married had nothing to do with their sexuality. It has to do with, you know, the New 52 is very young, very new, and having characters get married brings an inherent sort of age to the proceedings. It was absolutely not an anti-gay thing.”
Andreyko has been working on and off for DC in various less-known titles for the past few years, and explained the support he’s gotten from them over the years, as well as their support of LGBT characters and creators alike.
“Any claims of homophobia against DC are completely ridiculous. I’ve been an out gay creator my entire career, and I’ve had nothing but support — and, if anything, pushing from DC to do more. So no, they’ve been one of the most consistently great places for not only LGBT characters, but for creators as well. They’re ahead of the curve with the country, as far as that goes. And you know, of course, as a gay man, I would never take a job — any job — where I thought there was homophobia or anti-gay subtext at all. . . I would be the first person to complain if that was the case.”
As for Batwoman’s future, Andreyko wants to keep the title somewhat similar to what fans were used to from former writers William and Blackman, while also integrating her more into the regular DCU. While many fans believe his work with Batwoman will be similar to his run on Manhunter, Andreyko said that, while they are both strong female characters, they are entirely different and will not be written in the same way. He adds:
“Well, on first glance, they’re both named Kate and they’re both pretty powerful, strong-willed women. But other than that, that’s where they depart. No one ever says that Bruce Wayne and Bruce Banner are the same because they’re both superheroes named Bruce. I think that there’s an inherent, inadvertent sort of learned sexism when it comes to female characters.”
Which is very true. The comics universe has, for a long time, represented women very poorly (as with most other media). Andreyko, as was discussed in the interview, is a writer who is known for writing strong female characters very well. He explained why he loves exploring these characters and is fascinated by them.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the female characters that, if they were men, there wouldn’t be any issues with their character flaws. . . I think it’s interesting that, because these characters are women that these traits are suddenly considered daring. I certainly have no interest in writing the woman who stays home and bakes pies — the Betty Crockers from the ’50s. I think these characters have a real fascination for me with women that are outside what are the established social norms, and things that have been engrained in us through media.”
Fans have been happy and supportive towards Andreyko as the new writer, and Andreyko himself is enthusiastic about it and is taking it very seriously. He hopes that “fans will be able to look at it with an open mind,” and that “they’ll like [his] take on Kate Kane and her supporting cast.”