Maggie Sawyer from Adventures of Superman #498
|First appearance||Superman vol. 2, #4 April 1987|
|Created by||John Byrne|
|Full name||Margaret Sawyer|
|Place of origin||Earth|
|Team affiliations||Gotham City Police Department
Metropolis Special Crimes Unit
Fictional character biography
Maggie was introduced in Superman (2nd series) in April 1987, as Captain Sawyer of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit, a special branch of the Metropolis police force that handles superpowered menaces when Superman is unavailable. Maggie mostly replaced Inspector Henderson from the previous comics as Superman's main police contact.
She was added to the Superman canon following the 12-issue maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths and the 6-issue miniseries that rebooted the comics, The Man of Steel. She tries to prove the police force is more efficient than a vigilante in fighting crime, and so becomes a constant thorn in Superman's side during the early days of his career, even trying to apprehend him occasionally. Eventually, after being injured and saved by Superman during a terrorist plot, her attitude towards him warms up.
Later stories revealed that she originally came from Star City, and was married to another police officer until she realized she was a lesbian. The two had one daughter named Jamie. Since her divorce, Maggie has been in a relationship with Toby Raines, a reporter for the Metropolis Star.
Maggie has a close working relationship with Dan Turpin, the second-in-command of the SCU. Henderson, however, resents the fact that she gives orders to officers who outrank her and, when he becomes Commissioner following the Death of Superman storyline, resolves the situation by promoting her to Inspector. In the aftermath, Sawyer becomes involved in a covert 'war' between Superman's allies and Project Cadmus. The group, led by the evil Paul Westfield, has stolen Superman's body for their own ends.
Inspector Sawyer is the main character in the 1998 comics limited series Metropolis SCU.
In mid-2000s comics, Maggie has been transferred to Gotham City's police force as the head of the Major Crimes Unit, and is a significant character in the comic Gotham Central. The move has placed some strain on her relationship, since Toby did not follow her to Gotham.
Following the events of Infinite Crisis, Harvey Bullock discovers corruption in the GCPD apparently all the way up to Commissioner Michael Akins. In the end, James Gordon returns to his former position as commissioner. Maggie Sawyer, however, does not appear to be involved and is still a Captain.
Maggie appeared in the series 52.
In Week Three, she arrives to a scene to find the body of Alex Luthor. She calls in Steel to ID the body, when Lex Luthor comes in with the press and announces that Alex was the one responsible for all of Luthor's wrongdoings.
In conversation, former detective Renee Montoya makes a reference to Toby Raines.
Maggie appeared in Detective Comics #856 at a charity ball attended by Katherine "Kate" Kane. While the two are dancing, Maggie mentions that she and Toby are no longer together and asks Kate for her phone number.
Sawyer appears as a supporting character in the new Batwoman series launched in 2011. In that series she has begun dating Kate Kane, whose secret activities as Batwoman complicate their relationship. Kane reveals her identity as Batwoman by proposing to her in costume in Batwoman #17.
In other media
- In the 1990s cartoon Superman: The Animated Series, Captain Maggie Sawyer (voiced by Joanna Cassidy) is seen in various episodes, mostly partnered with Dan Turpin. Toby Raines (voiced by Laraine Newman) was seen by Maggie's bedside in several hospital scenes in the episode "Apokolips...Now! part 1" (and was later seen consoling Maggie at Turpin's funeral service in "Apokolips...Now! part 2"). Bruce Timm has stated in the commentary for "Tools of the Trade" those scenes were the creators' way of acknowledging her sexual orientation.
- Maggie Sawyer can be seen in background in the Justice League episode "Hereafter" attending Superman's funeral.
- The 2000s television series Smallville episodes "Insurgence", "Exile", "Exposed", and "Descent" feature actress Jill Teed playing the role of Lieutenant and later Detective Sawyer.