Spoiler Alert: Married with kids? Not superheroes

John Seiler/Sun Star Columnist
Sept. 17, 2013

For the last four years, artist and writer J.H. Williams III has produced one of the most groundbreaking comics in the industry, “Batwoman.” Starring Kate Kane as the new version of Batwoman, Kane is kicked out of the military under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” She sees Batman fighting crime one dark night and wants to help others like him.

With the help of her father, Kane gains the skill and tech that she needs to become a protector like Batman. Over the course of Williams run with the help of writer Greg Rucka and artists Amy Reeder and W. Haden Blackman, help create one of the most creative and best told stories in the industry winning multiple Eisner Awards and two GLAAD Awards for “Outstanding Comic Book.”

The future of the book this week changed when Williams announced that Blackman and he were leaving the book citing multiple story changes that affected the overall narrative.

“In recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing story lines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series,” said Williams on his website. Williams also said that these changes were brought up last minute and after a year of planning on their part.”

Since then, current DC co-publisher Dan DiDio has responded to concerned fans saying that a new creative team could bring “renewed energy” to the title. “Eisner (Award) or not, we need the books to be exciting, entertaining, and part of a shared universe.”

Critics of the changes argue that DC doesn’t want to promote a lesbian wedding, which I don’t think is true. In general DC just doesn’t want any of their characters being married. Since DC relaunch, characters like Superman, The Flash and Aquaman have either had their marriages out of their titles.

But, it’s not just a DC comics situation. Marvel Comics had in the Amazing Spider-Man. There seems to be this idea that when a hero has a wife and children that these characters are at a literal dead end.

This kind of reasoning seems pretty shallow and a reflection of people nearing a mid-life crisis. The DC comic Animal Man has it’s main character married with two children. He’s a husband, father, actor, animal rights activist and a hero. He’s not just his superhero alter.

The problem seems to be that DC higher ups are taking creative control. Even before the relaunch, Brian Wood was planned to write Supergirl. A month before the relaunch he was dropped in favor of a different writer Since then, there have been over 30 different creative changes. Within the last year, Andy Diggle left Action Comics before the first issue despite bring heavily advertise, and Joshua Hale Fialkov doing the same with Red Lanterns and Green Lantern Corps with Fialkov saying that DC told him to chance his story after having it approved. These changes included him killing John Stewart, a member of the Green Lantern Corp.

“The way DC treats a lot of their freelancers is absolutely abhorrent… When it happened to me on Supergirl, I didn’t say much, because I didn’t want to dwell on the negative. But when you see it happen to so many good people, and the damage it does to their careers, their incomes, etc… It’s just not okay,” said Nick Spencer, the former writer of DC’s Supergirl comic.

It’s the publisher’s and editor’s jobs to edit content and make the best that they can be, but it seems that there’s a big disconnect between DC and its creators. Here’s a stat: since the re-launch two years ago Superman has had six different writers. For a character as complex as Superman, how writers supposed to have any kind of direction and how are fans supposed to be vested in anything that has to deal with the Man of Steel?

I don’t hate DC, I really love a lot of there characters. I love the current runs of Wonder Woman, Animal Man, Batwoman, Green Arrow and Superman/Batman. It’s just that I hate to see these characters being re-tooled to be something that I’m told I should relate to. Most of the new DC reads as if it’s the worst of the 90’s. Gross male bravado saying that men shouldn’t be tied down and always be free and single.

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