Late last week it was announced that fill-in Batwoman artist Amy Reeder would be leaving the book earlier than expected — originally Reeder was to draw issues #6-11, but now she’ll be leaving after issue #8. Not surprisingly this has spawned a fair amount of controversy. Post New 52 DC has been criticized for its lack of female creators, so the departure of the unique and talented Reeder (on a book starring a female character no-less) has not gone over well.
Unlike the very public airing of grievances we saw following the failure of Static Shock, the Batwoman situation is being kept under wraps. Reeder has only given a very vague explanation on her blog, simply stating that it was a “bad situation that kept getting worse and more intense until it became impossible.”
For his part, Batwoman writer and primary artist J.H. Williams has pretty much just tried to pretend Reeder doesn’t exist. Williams’ statements following the art change have focused entirely on hyping up new artist Trevor McCarthy — Reeder’s name hasn’t even been mentioned.
So, what happened? I think there’re basically three possibilities. Hit the jump for a bit of speculation…
1 — Amy Reeder was just too slow and fired for lateness
Batwoman may have ended up a New 52 title, but production on the series, including the planned Reeder fill-in issues, started way back in 2010. Reeder had well over a year to work on her six issues, but according to her, by she only managed to finish three issues in that time. In other words, even the famously glacial J.H. Williams was working faster than her.
2 — J. H. Williams is a control freak and didn’t like Reeder’s work
J.H. Williams’ own art is incredibly exacting and meticulous, and Batwoman is his baby — it seems very likely to me that he’d be exceedingly demanding of whoever filled in for him on art. Reeder is talented, but she’s also young and fairly inexperienced — I could see her making a lot of little mistakes that Williams would refuse to accept.
3 — DC is a He-man Woman Hater’s Club and Reeder was fired for having boobs
I’ve never really bought into this theory, but there’s certainly a few people throwing it out there.
Personally I think the problems started with #2, which exacerbated #1, which led to her leaving the book, but nobody’s allowed to say anything because DC doesn’t want another Static Shock-esque public battle on their hands, especially when the two combatants would be a cranky, less-than-cuddly British guy and a likeable up-and-coming woman creator.