In 2001, Marvel announced a new comic book series, Witches, to be written by Bronwyn Carlton, drawn by Mike Deodato and edited by Lysa Hawkins, starring Jennifer Kale from Man-Thing , Topaz from Werewolf by Night and Satana – the Devil’s Daughter.
And then nothing for a while. In 2004, Lysa Hawkins left Marvel for DC Comics and there were many accusations that flew back and forth about the missing project.
One was that Lysa was intentionally sitting on scripts to starve artists, so that when she moved to DC, she would be able to give the new work straight away without having to wait. Deodato countered this however, saying “Lysa Hawkins is the BEST editor I’ve ever worked with! She’s an excellent professional! She did NOT delayed Witches intentionally!!!” though his agent Dave Campiti explained “Deodato did go roughly a month with very little Witches to work on, despite his and my checking in with Lysa every day. That’s why he had all that down-time to do all those X-Men pin-ups you’ve seen him do all over the net. The scripts were being revamped to shuffle some artwork around, moving scenes from issue #1 into #2 and so on, and Deodato was doing a couple of new pages and panels piecemeal during about a 4 or 5 week stretch. After Lysa’s departure, Axel (Alonso) and Mark took over editing, and the work resumed within days.” A more believable rumour involved Bill Jemas micro-managing the project, making repeated contradictory changes.
But with Lysa’s departure, the comic seemed to go on the back burner. When it was finally published in 2004, something had really changed.
The first issue of Witches was now from an all male team, written by Brian Walsh, with both Lysa and Bronwyn’s contributions relegated to a “thanks” credit on the inside.
I understood Walsh was hired for rewrites, dialogue changes and juggling the pages around one more time. But Mike Deodato was in no doubt, he drew the book to Bronwyn’s script, and he would emphasise that before the book’s publication saying that his favourite work to date was “The first four issues I did for Thor written by Warren Ellis and Witches written by Bronwyn Carlton.”
The comic itself? About superwomen trying to usurp the power and control of men. I know.
They’d just never get away with it today would they? There would be a myriad of articles, a twitter hashtag campaign, questions at panels at shows from women dressed up as Satana, something would have to be done.