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How Maggie Sawyer Made Her Way From Metropolis to Gotham City

This is "Looks Like I'm Moving," a feature that spotlights instances of comic book supporting cast members that migrate from one title to another one.

Reader Bryan I. requested that I feature Maggie Sawyer, but amusingly enough, I was already planning to feature her, but hey, I'll still give him credit!

Maggie Sawyer was a historic addition to the Superman titles during John Byrne's reboot of the Super books. The Superman titles had never exactly been a hot bed of diversity, so adding a prominent lesbian character to the series in the late 1980s was a huge deal. Thirty years later, it is hard to describe just how weird it was for gay characters to be given any prominence in mainstream comic book series. Things were so weird that Byrne never really could come right out and SAY that Maggie was gay and, in fact, she had an ex-husband and a daughter, but Byrne was about as explicit as he could about how Maggie's new "friend," reporter Toby, was clearly her girlfriend.

However, it is important to note that Maggie Sawyer was far more than just a historic addition to the Superman supporting cast, she was also a really interesting one, as her hard-nosed personality contrasted beautifully against Superman's more earnest nature...

Maggie got so prominent in the Superman titles that she even got her own miniseries in late 1994...

What's interesting about this series is that the cover for #3 by Dusty Abell was drawn waaaaay before the series actually came out. The miniseries might have been planned to come out before Superman's death, because Abell's drawing first appeared around that point in time, but did not appear for two years, by which point Superman's hair had to be lengthened...

Anyhow, the problem with Maggie was that while the creative teams that took over from Byrne tended to treat Byrne's characters very reverently (which carried over when the last creators who actually worked with Byrne, Roger Stern and Jerry Ordway, had both left the titles) and made sure to keep Maggie involved, when the Superman titles were revamped in late 1999 with brand-new creative teams on every book except for Superman: The Man of Steel (as Mark Schultz had joined that series fairly recently at the time), there was much less attention paid to the Byrne era characters. The major exception was Schultz's Man of Steel, which kept Maggie as a regular cast member (with John Henry Irons coming to Metropolis to work with the Special Crimes Unit)...

However, it wasn't like Schultz was having Maggie as a featured character or anything, but she at least was still a regular presence. That ended when she was brought over to Gotham City by a new writer on the Batman titles.

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