Sawyer vs Sawyer

That’s Maggie Sawyer.

I get spoilers from odd places, and this one I got from The Gutters. The tl;dr is that Police Captain Maggie Sawyer is being sued by her ex-husband for custody of their child.

Now, Maggie’s cool. We met her in April 1987, right when the Comics Code Authority decided it was okay to be gay, and she was pretty much a badass. I mean, there’s a bit where she rides a horse out of a biodome, in a formal LBD, with her gun strapped to her thigh… it’s a long story.

What’s not a long story was that in 1987, Maggie (married to a guy named James Buchanan Sawyer) comes to the understanding that she’s not that into the penis, and gets a divorce. In the process, she loses custody of her daughter. It’s 1987, this makes, lamentable, sense. Here are two sections from the comic where Maggie comes out to Superman (who’s looking for her daughter who was kidnapped, we needed some exposition).

In the 80s and 90s, this was about as much gay as we could get. I remember the issue going on to compare Maggie to a woman at MPD (Metropolis PD) who had been on drugs, and that’s why she lost custody. And we get this sort of thought from Supes:

Superman's Self Reflection
Superman’s Self Reflection

He means well.

But one of the rules of comics is that every 10 years, we reboot, and we just had one with a Flashboot so now Maggie’s living in Gotham (she has been since the last reboot) and is engaged to Kate Kane, aka Batwoman. While I’m still pretty burned out that DC said no one gets a happy ending anymore, and they’re not getting married (also the story devolved into lulz!Gayz! stereotypes), it’s time to update the story a little for 2014. Hey, it’s been twenty-seven years since Mags first waved her lez flag…

Sorry, I needed to get a drink to sort that out.

Right, so I’d actually stopped reading, as I told Heather Hogan (and ended up quoted in her article Batwoman #28″ review: Lesbian processing is always harder than crime fighting) but this article made me pick up the March issue and promptly groan.

In #27, Maggie’s daughter Jamie is over (surprise! who forgot to tell her crime fighting, costume wearing, honey about that one, Mags? Well done) so Kate accidentally freaks the kid out coming home post fight. Maggie suggest therapy in #28, and #29 has Kate being a belligerent idiot.

Here’s what I told Hogan after #27:

I stopped reading (and I have EVERYTHING Batwoman’s been in).

The writing was … boring. There was nothing gripping or interesting anymore. it was just another superhero.

I’m a 30+ year comic book reader, too, so I’m pretty forgiving about New Art I don’t like. But I want good story.

#28 and #29, which I’d initially skipped, reinforced that. I’m reading a gay drama with superheroes. Generic superheroes at best. But. again, it’s been 21 years, they’re updating a little, so of course we finally get the court case: cop vs cop. I know they’re going to use the lesbian flag, I know they’re going to call people sexual deviants. But … I’m sad.

Batwoman #24 was the last good issue of Batwoman. Since then, the new writers promised to keep everything super and gay, and they did, but not in the right way. So I have few hopes for this being a decent story. Still. I’m sure I’ll end up reading it just to see what level of enema James will be, and how much of one DC will have used to push their crap over all of us.

What can I say, I love a train wreck.

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