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On Pulling That “Killing Joke” ‘Batgirl’ Cover

I don’t want to run the risk of contributing to an already crowded room with the controversy surrounding DC Comics decision to pull Rafael Albuquerque’s variant cover for June’s issue of ‘Batgirl’ #41.

As you may or may not know, “Batgirl” has gone through a youthful transition as of late. The title has a renewed sense of optimism akin to what it was like when Mark Waid took over Daredevil. “Batgirl” has never been a title where the main character has gone through a long slog through a depressing hell, but there was a time. Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, took the character and pushed her to the limit. It was an attempt to make Commissioner Gordon go insane, but saw his daughter permanently disabled at the hands of The Joker.  It often is cited as one of the best Batman stories of all time, but here today, when violence against women is no longer a narrative device in comics, it’s not cool.

BG-Cv41-Joker-variant-solicitation-88c4e-31e8d

I mean, a cover is something NOBODY can opt out of. It’s something on display on the shelves, and it’s something that you can’t control your gut reaction to. And the image is haunting. It has a vague tone of sexual violence that can’t be denied amidst a slew of other covers featuring the clown prince of crime that are comparatively happy in their own right. The reality of comics, and mainstream superhero books is that the scales have been out of balance for a very long time.

Luckily DC Comics has been making a valiant effort to restore some semblance of gender equality in their titles. Batgirl doesn’t have a boob-window, and her costume is more practical than sexy… finally. But releasing this cover shouldn’t be considered a misstep on their path to righteousness. It’s an oversight at best. Variant covers are not for everybody, they’re for the avid fans, the ones who get the reference, the ones who know how “Batgirl” overcame this bad history.

But, here’s the kicker with being a huge company, they have to be treated like they’re for everybody. You can’t have some 14 year old girl who loves “Batgirl” with all her heart see this cover and send her down the horrible path to Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke it’s not what this book is about. It’s not what comics are about either, comics are about community, and being included. Taking this cover off the shelves wasn’t just a good decision, it was the only one, because you can’t opt out of a cover, but you can opt out of whatever is inside.

Whether or not the image was made in good taste is beside the point. I for one love it, but I get why it doesn’t work. It’s scary, it’s tonally inconsistent with the book, and it’s not very empowering. The correct way to do this cover, reverse the roles. Have Batgirl overcome this black dot on her history by showcasing her ability to overcome The Joker with a smile.

In DC’s official statement on the situation, it’s indicated that “threats of violence and harassment” were made following the release of the image. Both Albuquerque and DC Entertainment’s full statements on the cancellation of the cover follow in full.

Rafael Albuquerque:

My Batgirl variant cover artwork was designed to pay homage to a comic that I really admire, and I know is a favorite of many readers. ‘The Killing Joke’ is part of Batgirl’s canon and artistically, I couldn’t avoid portraying the traumatic relationship between Barbara Gordon and the Joker.For me, it was just a creepy cover that brought up something from the character’s past that I was able to interpret artistically. But it has become clear, that for others, it touched a very important nerve. I respect these opinions and, despite whether the discussion is right or wrong, no opinion should be discredited.

My intention was never to hurt or upset anyone through my art. For that reason, I have recommended to DC that the variant cover be pulled. I’m incredibly pleased that DC Comics is listening to my concerns and will not be publishing the cover art in June as previously announced.

With all due respect,

Rafa

 DC Entertainment:

We publish comic books about the greatest heroes in the world, and the most evil villains imaginable. The Joker variant covers for June are in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Joker.Regardless if fans like Rafael Albuquerque’s homage to Alan Moore’s THE KILLING JOKE graphic novel from 25 years ago, or find it inconsistent with the current tonality of the Batgirl books – threats of violence and harassment are wrong and have no place in comics or society.

We stand by our creative talent, and per Rafael’s request, DC Comics will not publish the Batgirl variant. – DC Entertainment



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COMMENTS

134 Comments
  • I don’t get the uproar over this cover. It’s a variant and most variant covers have nothing to do with the story inside, like the Monster variants that were published by DC in October. There was no mummified version of Batman in Batman and Robin or a Black Lantern John Stewart in Green Lantern Corps but they were both featured that way on the cover. I really don’t think this one cover would have turned anyone off from comics. What 14 year old hasn’t seen worse in movies or video games or other comics at this point?
    As for the “vague tone of sexual violence”, are you referring to rape? How do you see that? That’s a stretch. Should all violence in comics be against men and boys from now on? I would agree with you if comics were always showing women being slaughtered but I don’t see that and I read a lot of comics. The controversy over this cover is just noise for the sake of noise.
    You’re entitled to your opinion of course and I’m not flaming you, I just disagree. I say if someone doesn’t like the cover then they shouldn’t buy it. Thanks to this uproar nobody can buy the cover which is a shame because I really like it as a fan of both the Joker and Batgirl.

    • But no one can un-see a cover. Nobody can opt out, you can put whatever you want inside, but if the cover hurts/may hurt someone its your duty as a publisher to pull it.

      • I don’t know man, couldn’t anybody anywhere be offended by anything? It’s a matter of perspective. Someone that is offended by clowns might want all Joker covers pulled or someone who hates guns could demand all Punisher covers be pulled. Where would it end? It’s a slippery slope and I would have preferred DC just keep the cover instead of caving in to some internet pressure.

      • baronterror

        bullshit. If this is the kind of thing you are concerned about “hurting” someone I would suggest you do not understand a thing of which you speak of. If seeing this cover is something you think is a threat, you live in a world of fairytale and I despair for the people over whom you have control of the direction of their development. Overprotection is not helping our children and the ultimate argument to this being objectionable is the entirety of the internet. Kids need to be protected from actual threats and allowed to grow and develop with real challenges, or at least knowing what a real threat or challenge is. My 5 year old nephew has internet access and an inconsequential thing like a cover of a comic book has nothing on the types of depravity any curious child finds on the internet. It’s like being afraid of cursing because it is in a music cd. Not only does the cursing not hurt anyone, suggesting a cd is relevant as important source of damaging content in the face of downloads and internet videos, ect is like worrying over vhs content, or vinyl. Comics are no different nowadays. The internet blew the doors off bullshite concerns like this and that’s even ignoring general broadcast television. I gotta stop, it’s just ignorance of this level makes me very sad, concerned, and a bit (more than a little) angry.

      • HOAX_ARTHUR_WILMOTH

        Well, here we are Zac. You wrote an article on your site encouraging censorship. Art now hurts people.
        Get a grip man, this is some of most Beta crap I have ever read here.
        Did you write this for some “feminist” girl you are pining after?
        I thought the article was shit, and then I read your response to Ogre.

  • James Jackson

    There are many things that don’t make sense in this article. Is the
    author saying that artistic ideas that people have shouldn’t be produced
    because there are maybe potentially people who will react negatively to
    it? That’s an awful way to look at artistic expression.

    “Variant covers are not for everybody, they’re for the avid fans, the
    ones who get the reference, the ones who know how “Batgirl” overcame
    this
    bad history.”. So you’re saying the cover is an appeal to the more avid
    fans who have a greater understanding of the characters. Are you saying
    this is a bad thing? Wouldn’t this lead people who are unfamiliar with
    that characters arc who also find the cover very unsettling to read more
    comics and learn more about her? Would this also be a bad thing? It
    seems that your argument is yes as you then write “You can’t have some
    14 year old girl who loves “Batgirl” with all her
    heart see this cover and send her down the horrible path to Alan
    Moore’s
    The Killing Joke it’s not what this book is about.”. This quote is
    patronizing, demeaning and sexist. How dare you presume to think you
    know what any person of any age or any sex is capable of learning or
    understanding or reading. How dare you presume to dictate what art is
    actually about.

  • Jonathan Larsson

    It is kind of frightening. It’s a good cover, but depending on the PG, this might be too much.

  • JURGMANDR

    It’s a great cover and the controversy is completely unwarranted. Good publishers stand by their artists and writers. People are overly sensitive if they somehow find this offensive compared to the cover of Joker with his FACE STAPLED ON.

  • baronterror

    If I understand this articles point, then I cannot disagree more. It’s overprotective bullshit and I am rather embarrassed to read it on Bloody-Disgusting. The cover is not only fine it’s nearly perfect. This is a sad commentary on the mindset of art.

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  • Shawn Conn

    Personally, I think it’s a great cover. It shows you just how evil the Joker is, and that’s what it needs to show. He wouldn’t cut Batgirl slack just because she’s a girl. I get that DC is trying to turn her into a bubblegum character and, if so, they need to use somebody other than the Joker (at least in his current iteration) for her to face. The Joker is a homicidal psychopath who delights in killing people. He’s not going to tickle her and then make her pull his finger. The fact that DC nixed it just because they were afraid girls couldn’t handle is way more sexist and condescending toward women than the picture itself.

    • HOAX_ARTHUR_WILMOTH

      Right on. At this point you have to out-hamster the hamsters to get them back on point.

  • Jonny_anonymous

    It’s a variant cover, it’s 100% possible to opt out.

  • They’re overreacting. It’s not like this cover is promoting violence against women. What’s shown here is a scared bat girl held hostage by joker who has painted a smile on her face. Anything more drawn from this is completely subjective and they might as well pull all covers as there’s always going to be someone offended by something.

  • Sin Ner

    The fact that this was posted on a site called “Bloody-Disgusting” is comical…

    • Tyra John

      Exactly!

  • TheWorst

    We now live in an era where it’s easier than ever for bored (stupid) people to find something to complain about and broadcast it from their digital soapbox to the widest audience possible.

  • Lars Anderson

    Hoorah for self censorship! Bravo DC!

  • Fantasma George

    For anyone who found what’s written above incoherent and terrible, allow me to explain what really happened: the cover was revealed, a couple of monkeys trolling Tumblr shat on their keyboards and took hostage a social movement declaring this random item that is completely unrelated to the issue offensive to the issue.

    Basically the same thing that happened the morning we saw this next image below, only difference DC actually took this inane tripe seriously:

  • Fantasma George

    Fuck it, let’s right click, save as, and spread that GDMFSOB until some eastern Europeans use it as a banner for a game. I wanna see that variant in a riot!

  • NeptunesNachos

    Awesome piece, kickass rationale. Very well-said, and deserves to be shared. Thank you!

    • HOAX_ARTHUR_WILMOTH

      I’m offended. You should delete your profile and issue an apology

    • Cheshire TrollCat

      Neptune doesn’t own nachos, stop propagating theses LIES!!!!! My small sect of Neptune worshipers demand you issue an apology.

  • Ocelot006 .

    Brilliant piece there Bloody-Disgusting. Basically art that may offend should not exist. To really stand by this piece, delete this whole website. Your logo may frighten.

    • superchopper

      I know, right? What a weird article to run on a horror website…

    • David Angle

      Right? That’s like censoring all the BLOOD and GUTS from a horror movie. Just because it “offends” some people who wouldn’t bother with the movie in the first place. I’m afraid what this weak writer would think had he seen Last House on the Left or even I Spit on Your Grave. If THIS photo is disturbing to a horror fan then I weep for the future of horror.

    • reverenddarkness

      I think the most disturbing phrase in that whole article was “vague tone of sexual violence”. What? That is the most sexist thing I’ve seen written on this site – ON THIS SITE! If it were Robin, would it be home-erotic, or would that have a sorta-maybe-could-be-rape-if-you-look-at-it-a-certain-way thing, too?

      This entire article is ignorant sexism/arlarmism. Blech.

  • judeau13

    Zac Thompson, do you actually read the new rebooted version of Batgirl? If so I am shocked that you think this limited edition cover would be the tipping point for its audience. You do realize that in the first issue of this run Barbara gets black out drunk, brings a random guy back to her apartment that she meets at a party and spends the first few pages of the issue in a t-shirt and panties? Not exactly what you want to give your 12-14 year old eh? My young daughter loves Batgirl, but this series is still geared for 16+ years olds. The variant cover is a fantastic tribute to one of the most beloved graphic novels of all time, it’s just sad that DC allowed all of this to go public. This art goes through many levels of screening and approval before final proofs are used for promotion, if they were so morally offended seems odd that it only happened now. I feel really bad for Albuquerque, he is a amazing artist and DC completely threw him under the bus.

    • Not to mention that they’re making it known to every Tom, Dick and Harry that by making a little noise about something being offensive (even when it’s not) is enough to make DC fold.

  • luna13darke

    I think the cover is balls-out brilliant. I’m a woman who has experienced violence at the hands of a man, yet I am not offended by this image in the least. It’s a comic book. They are fictional characters in a very pivotal story, which happens to be one of my favourite comic books. Rafael Albuquerque is a brilliant artist. Pulling this cover is just sad.

  • HOAX_ARTHUR_WILMOTH

    This is one of the few instances where I hope this to be manufactured hype. If not, and this was self-censored due to Social Justice Warriors, I am very disappointed.
    Remember, just because someone says they are offended, does not make them right.

  • RawBeard

    If you are offended by something, guess what? Nothing happens, the world doesn’t change, it carries on as normal. Stop trying to bend the world to follow your personal opinion over a subject matter that other’s don’t agree with.

  • brewers_rule

    Sidebar: these are the kinds of stories that amaze me how the BD readers are so much more enlightened than those writing the articles are and it gives me hope the masses are still rational, freedom-loving folks.
    It simply astounds me how, on one hand, we have the horror genre going “bloody digusting” (for lack of a better term) with movies like Hostel, Saw etc. that kids around the age of this comic are not only seeing posters of but watching over and over through sequels religiously, while, on the other hand, activist groups scream as they always do to ‘save the children’ or ‘save the women’ with an image like this that conveys, as one below said, not much more than a scared woman in the hands of a psycho. How exactly is that condoning any violence toward women other than the reality statistics PROVE occurs daily (thus literally illustrating a truth women SHOULD be aware of) and thus should be a good thing? If you believe these images somehow make it okay to hurt women, which is complete nonsense, then go censor I Spit On Your Grave posters first, as stupid as that is. Being offended by something doesn’t make you the judge, jury, & executioner on what others should be able to CHOOSE to see or buy.
    I understand it doesn’t include empowerment but that’s not the point of this particular part of Batgirls’ story. If you want that, wait until the storyline gets further into it and then ask if it’s missing there. Did we read Knightfall in the Bane breaking Batman’s back episode expecting him to rise, walk, & kick ass in the same issue? NO. So why make hay out of something that is clearly only one piece of Barbara’s overall empowering storyline? I have daughters myself and while they’re not teen yet, were they to ask to read this, I would discuss it with them first and likely let them see the original Killing Joke novel which I own myself, making sure they understand that the point is Barbara overcomes this to become a vital person in the Batman world as a success. If you leave one issue to readers (the majority of readers aren’t going to just pick up Batgirl with this one issue, btw) then of course it’s going to send an unfulfilled message but I would imagine most of the few that got sucked in by this storyline would stick around for the redemption part later not just the “that’s horrible” portion of it.

  • I Am Colossus

    Its not what COMICS IS about! Fucking proof read ASSHOLES you sound dumb

  • Evan Sena

    So disappointed in both DC and BD; DC for pandering to the tumblr-shit crowd, and BD for agreeing with it. What’s next a PC slasher-film? In real-life (keyword there) violence against anybody shouldn’t be tolerated, but in fiction (keyword) who cares!

  • huntermc

    It does seem a little hypocritical to say that DC did the right thing by censoring it because “you can’t opt out of a cover,” yet post the image here anyway.

  • G-lenn

    An evil man doing evil things to a woman is not ok?
    Batman beating women to a bloody pulp, no problem?

    • Cheshire TrollCat

      Or jason todd getting brutally “murdered” by a crowbar?

      • Fantasma George

        Then, have the clown that beat the little shit with a crowbar become the Iranian ambassador!

        “Oh my fucking God that is so insensitive how dare you insult the great and super awesome nation of Iran you warmongering vaginahat! Iran is super cool, it just keeps getting a bad rap in the media b/c of Rupert Murdoch and shit, open your eyes sheeple! They’re all super open-minded and the rights of women are super plentiful over there! I’d live there if I could!”

  • Jackieboy

    Oh, so there IS a difference between men and women, my dear libs? I thought we were all the same! Men are violently slaughtered all the time in all forms of media, yet no one says a word. But then when it involves a female, suddenly it’s verboten and misogynist! You people are more sexist than anyone else, that’s for sure.

  • Hey, BD, your ultra violent logo is something I can’t op out of. Maybe I should start a campaign to boycott your site because of all the triggering stuff you show.

    By the way, the skull that’s being violently cut open, does it belong to a woman, or a man?

    Jesus, donkey-riding Christ. So much BS in one place.

    • Steen

      This needs a trigger warning. You are a man.

      • The bright colors in your photo remind me of an epilepsy attack I had 3 years ago. Change it or else you’re a hateful bigot.

    • Guest

      You can opt out, just don’t come back to the site!

      • So, Zac Thompson, if I can just opt out by not visiting the site, why can’t people bothered by the cover just opt out by not buying it? What’s the difference?

        • The cover is on a shelf. It’s in front of you the minute you walk into a store. Coming onto this site you enter into an agreement to see bloody/disgusting stuff.

          • Cheshire TrollCat

            People who are offended buy this won’t be visiting there local comic shops, i can assure you.

          • But what of the millions of people who’ve never visited the site? What if they just click on something and it takes them, without any warning, to a site that has the blood-covered skull of a person being split open by a saw blade as a logo?

            By your logic, any time you visit any store you’re entering into an agreement to see whatever it is they’re selling.

            You write for a site that promotes and celebrates a genre of film that has violence, extreme violence, at its very core. And yet, you’ve only given me an absolutely arbitrary reason why the Batgirl cover is unacceptable but anything on this site is.

            You’ve given me no logic, no reason. Only “I don’t like that, take it away.”

            If you can’t see the problem there… Damn.

          • It is not I who cannot see the problem. 😀

          • jakket

            Kinda is.

          • jakket

            No it isn’t and it normally wouldn’t be. It’s a VARIANT. Those tend to be for collectors and subscription holders or events of some kind. This was an agenda based move, and I think the wrong move. I don’t fault the artist for saying hey, my art affected people in a way that I’m not comfortable with so I’d appreciate you removing it as the variant. I also don’t fault for DC going through with that move. It’s just the reasoning behind people being outraged and offended by that image is so utterly baseless.

    • Cheshire TrollCat

      Jesus, Donkey-riding Christ, should have a trigger warning. I’m am now offended.

  • Saul Goode

    One of the better comic book covers I have seen in a while. Very well-drawn and compelling. Nothing at all inappropriate that I can discern. The Joker, a well-known bad guy, has Batgirl in his clutches and she is terrified. She should be. Nothing “violent” about it, really. A million other covers that show so much more actual violence and questionable imagery and they pick THIS one to lose their minds over. Unreal.

  • Mallory

    Thank you, men of the comments section, for once again dictating how women should feel. Please, guide us to our true, real feelings. bless u.

    • Tyra John

      As a woman, I believe this is bullshit.

  • Calavera Sonriente

    Isn’t this being blown out of proportion a bit?! Both characters on the cover are equally important to the story/mythology. Also, there’s a difference between DEPICTION of violence (against women and in general) and GLORIFICATION of violence. I’m pretty sure no one who sees this cover rejoices in the violence suggested on it. Imo this is about art censorship resulting from the fear of making losses by not pleasing everyone, not about men vs. women

  • Cheshire TrollCat

    Am i reading this on BLOODY DISGUSTING? Possibly the most offensive site I visit? What the actual fuck. Why don’t you just take the whole website down? It offends people, this i know. What the hell? Fire this pussy Mr. Disgusting.

  • Ben Edwards

    Why bother pulling it when it’s all over the web anyway? It’s going to be seen one way or another…

  • Jimmy Volksrae Sanders

    I don’t even see the sexuality of the picture.
    Quit being a god damn sissy.

    • Nyarlat

      There isn’t any. Alan Moore said that in “The Killing Joke”, the Joker did not rape Batgirl. SJWs are seeing issues where there aren’t any. They honestly don’t want women to possibly portray any weakness or negativity which leads to awful female characters or in depth female characters being avoided.

  • David Angle

    Bloody Disgusting. I cannot believe you guys are the weak sensitive people who promote the censorship of the cover. You guys are overreacting over a cover that only IMPLIES violence. This is like a kitten compared to REAL horror and violence! I guess we may as well remove all the BLOOD and DISGUST from horror movies since it’s not “cool” anymore. Don’t want to offend anyone these days.

  • Fantasma Del Guapo

    Howdy.

  • Zombie-Dude

    Wow, that was a fucking stupid article. So now artist can’t show female characters in dark, disturbing situations because that’s “not cool”. Give me a break.

  • NuclearKangaroo

    so female characters can no longer be shown in moments of weakness?

    that is completely dumb, all heroes have their moments of weakness it adds tension to the plot and impact to their triumphs

    all this oversensitive bullshit does not give us better female character, it gives us boring ones!

  • David Hendrickson

    “I mean, a cover is something NOBODY can opt out of.”

    Racist people are offended by black people and can’t opt out of seeing black people, therefore blacks shouldn’t be forced into public.

    “it’s not very empowering”

    Thus censorship? Seriously, you’re a modern day book burner. Are you sure your name isn’t Jack Thompson?

  • Why not forget the social agendas, just make the best comic book you can with whatever art the story calls for, and let the chips fall where they may. As a writer myself, when I read a book, comic or otherwise, all I’m interested in the story and the artwork; when I want to address social agendas, I go read books and articles by activists and politicians. Strangely enough, everything does not have to have an agenda; the best entertainment is simply entertainment.

  • StzA

    We are the biggest bunch of pussies in the history of humankind. If anything that is a fucking awesome image, it has nothing to do with Batgirl being a woman. The Joker is a villain, that is all.

  • Nick Greeley

    Modern feminism is the worst fucking thing that has ever braced the internet. Fuck those goddamn bloated harpys.

  • Nick Greeley

    You guys should be ashamed for jumping on the SJW bandwagon. Why don’t you start censoring all of your articles from now on!? Everything on your front page is far more “offensive” than this cover.

  • KSE1977

    So just to be clear, based on the way you pointed folks on twitter to this story, you think these comments shows that people here are “animals”? I just want to be clear that disagreeing with you, which nearly every comment here seems to have done, qualifies a person as an animal? For an SJW click-bait toned story, I have been pleasantly surprised as how kindle folks for the most part have responded to your story. Your reaction to the criticism and refusal to honestly address the majority of the points brought up below seems to expose some of your character.
    To be clear, being or behaving like a Social Justice Warrior on a website where torturing women, dehumanizing them, lack of agency, etc, is an accepted trope is pretty revealing to me. You cannot have it both ways here.

  • Geert Rombouts

    if you don’t want to be offended by art, then maybe don’t do anything related to it. don’t watch movies, don’t read books or comics, don’t listen to music, don’t go into a museum be it classic or modern, in fact, don’t leave the house. there, fixed it for you.

    • Avinash Tyagi

      Why are you offended by protest?

      Maybe you should stop reading the news if you are

      • Geert Rombouts

        I’m not offended by critique or protest and I always watch the news even when it covers things I don’t agree with. what does offend me is someone’s egotrip about what art or content I can or should not consume because apparently they know what is best for my fragile mind or that of others.

        • Avinash Tyagi

          Ah, but they’re not saying you can’t consume it, DC is just not going to release it.

          See you’re free to consume it, but DC is free to not release it.

          DC is a business first and foremost, they will do what is best for their bottom line first, and if that means heeding the will of the public, they will do so.

          None of that prevents you from saving the pic to the cover if you want and enjoying it yourself, you just have to accept that DC will not be releasing the cover themselves.

          • Geert Rombouts

            DC didn’t write this article now did they, the author did, and it was him I was addressing. The idea that art should be subjective to some predetermined political idea is is the moral equivalent of bookburnings.

          • You didn’t even clearly read the article. I love the cover, but the issue never was me wanting to censor art, it was whether or not DC made the right call.

          • Geert Rombouts

            I clearly did read the article at the part where you say you like it and then go on to tell the artist how it should be drawn so it might not offend other people, not you, other people. you are being offended in proxy and telling the artist that his artistic impression, vision or whatever one might call it is inferior and should be held to some political ideal. If art has to be empowering to any group,subgroup,majority,minority you can throw just about everything mankind has made into a bin. good job.

  • Josephine Wagner

    Stupid, oversensitive SJWs. It’s a great cover. -.-

  • Chuck Finley

    We all know this is just going to lead to some NC-17 fan fiction where the Joker rapes her and murders her. Censorship sucks, the cover was GREAT – don’t like it don’t buy it. Also if that’s the attitude of the people making the Batgirl comic – that it can’t touch on such a significant point in her past – then I want nothing to do with Batgirl comics ever again. Die Batgirl die – and preferably at the hands of The Joker!

    • Josh

      ever heard of agony in pink?

  • clam

    I keep hearing that this cover doesn’t work because it’s “not empowering”. Like, does every woman need be shown in an empowering position all of the time? Are moments of weakness just not part of the human experience if you’re a woman?

    Also, it’s a variant cover. Variant covers are for actual fans, and can definitely be ‘opted out’ of.

    This really isn’t the type of article that I like to associate with BD. It’d be more suited to the Huffington Post or something.

  • Ryan Fouhy

    “…threats of violence and harassment are wrong and have no place in comics or society.”

    Ummmm what? Not sure if you realise what villains are up to…

  • Casey

    I wish I could say this article isn’t Bloody-Disgusting but it is…Bloody. Disgusting.

    I can’t wait to see the future of horror movies with everybody being offended by everything now days and those people being taken seriously. I’m looking forward to Friday The 13th: Jason Takes A Petition To Manhattan To Have The Name Of The City Changed To “Peoplehattan” Because The Name Manhattan Is Sexist.

  • Josh

    I am okay with political correctness just as long as they also start pulling out stuff that offends ME,
    you know what offends me, 50 shades of grey,
    (the movie that made 100 million on opening weekend from its female audience)

    So since 50 shades is so insulting, can we please ban the book and the movie?
    Can we please ban the movie from coming out on DVD?

    what’s that? no?
    so something about torture porn that those fans seem to enjoy a lot gets to be released?
    oh okay………. so they get to cherry pick what gets banned? alright then.

    • Josh

      ….

  • Brian Wiley

    I like how binary all these defenders of violence against woman are. I know plenty of women who purchas comics and watch all the same lurid content I do. Stop speaking for all women!
    Violence against women in fiction is not okay? How often does every empowered female bad ass, show off their badassery at the expense of men. Violence has already been normalized against men. Female assassins chop, slice, shoot or explode their way through countless men while looking stunning doing so.
    This reminds me of that scene in G.I. Jane, where they placed a step ladder down for her to go over the wall because she was a woman. Her character takes offense to this and asks to be treated like all the men. I guess this is just fiction.

    In a world, where feelings are championed over logic.

    • Evan3

      I can’t believe you believe you are engaging in a show of logic with your statement. Your statement is just as emotional as the people you are condemning.

      • Brian Wiley

        Don’t believe it. Thats up to you.

        • Evan3

          Typical troll. “Anyone who disagrees with me is an emotional dumb-ass. But when I make no actual point based in logic, no one can dare challenge me.”

          • Brian Wiley

            sounds like a personal problem

  • KelvinCross

    Twats always finding something to get their disease ridden vaginas in a knot over.

  • Chance LeBoeuf

    I really don’t see the big deal. And look how many people, women included, share that opinion.

  • Harley Mitchel Dirk

    It just seems like such a shame, it’s a terrific cover.

  • Kyle

    *Comes to comment section expecting to see tiresome rhetoric from a bunch of butthurt mouthbreathers who wouldn’t dare miss an opportunity to spout off about how feminism and PC police and agendas and SJWs are all leading to the downfall of art and freedom and America while making sure to throw in the occasional dash of overtly sexist bullshit just to remind everyone where they stand on the issue*

    *isn’t the slightest bit disappointed*

    Good show, you awful lot!

    • Geert Rombouts

      Because when people don’t agree with me they must be mouth breathing neanderthals, misogynists or worse. Sounds legit.

      • Kyle

        The only problem here is that my assumption is supported by a great deal of evidence. That evidence being practically every comment in this thread. So therefore, the people who disagree tend to fit the mold, because evidence. That is, in fact, legit.

        • Geert Rombouts

          I don’t think evidence means what you think it means, old chap.

          • Kyle

            Oh yeah? Well then maybe you should enlighten me. I’m sure that you can set me straight, smart guy.

          • Geert Rombouts

            Confirmation bias.

          • Kyle

            Okay, and? You can do better than that. Use your words.

          • Geert Rombouts

            And what? the whole point of your flawed argument is summed up in those two words. If you are expecting an essay of me pointing out where and why I must sorely disappoint you.

          • Kyle

            No, wasn’t looking for an essay, I was just giving you an opportunity to explain how confirmation bias applies. But since you want to invoke cognitive principles and logical fallacies, I’ll introduce one here for you: straw man.

            How does it apply? Let me explain. My original thesis was that the comment section of this particular article would be full of people complaining about feminism and the overreach of political correctness and how this is all part of some greater agenda to ruin ART. The evidence (that word that you seem to think I misunderstand) is a whole bunch of comments doing exactly what I thought they would. Therefore, my original theory is proven correct!

            And then here you come, all piss and vinegar and OUTRAGE, claiming that I am calling anyone who disagrees with me a Neanderthal or a misogynist. Only problem? That does not occur anywhere in the original comment to which you so deftly replied.

            As for the “sexist bullshit” comment? Please see: “disease ridden vaginas”, “fuck those goddamn bloated harpys”, “sissies”, “pussies”, etc. Again: evidence to my point. This is not the same as me calling “anyone who disagrees with me” a misogynist.

            See, what you did was fabricate an argument where there was none. That way, I have to defend saying something that I didn’t say (i.e. everyone who has a different opinion from me is a misogynist). That’s what we call a straw man.

            As for confirmation bias? Well, it’s not a bias when it’s evident. It’s simply a fact. If I look for something and I find it, it’s not necessarily because I’m biased, it may very well be because it is there and it is observable.

            TL;DR. Nice try, but shaddup.

          • Geert Rombouts

            Outrage? I’m not the one foaming at the mouth at someone who doesn’t agree with me. I’m not the one calling people names yet complain when someone else uses one, and lastly I’m not the one telling people to shut up. I’ll give you the straw man, tho I’d rather call it some good old fashioned hyperbole.

          • Kyle

            “Foaming at the mouth.”

            I told you to shut up because you should. Do I need to provide you evidence as to why in order for it to be a valid belief that you should simply walk away from your keyboard for a while? You’d be doing me a great service that way. So please consider doing that.

            Also, I don’t have to validate your argument with intelligence and candor if you don’t have one to begin with. Maybe if you had literally anything to offer, I’d consider being a bit more polite.

          • Geert Rombouts

            you’re right, your conversational skills are clearly beyond anything I’ll ever achieve, fuck me for even trying to converse in a different language right. what an idiot I am. thanks for clearing that up, you surely showed me the light. maybe you should start a commune with likeminded bright minds and all drink cyanide at the same time.

          • Kyle

            You’re welcome. I hope you learned something of value today. If I do start a commune, I’ll be sure to lose your invite in the mail. It’s a shame, though, because we’ll all be foaming at the mouth. Literally.

          • Geert Rombouts

            like being a condescending twat?

          • Kyle

            Thanks for playing, Geert.

          • Geert Rombouts

            also nice retrograding of your original comments there. almost as if you’re ashamed of your wit.

          • Kyle

            Still going. You can stop any time, you know.

        • Nyarlat

          This is why I need meninism.

  • Fantasma Del Guapo

    Yeah hey, start looking for people to beat those keyboards senseless and get this variant censored!

  • Benny Profane

    Literally the first time an article on bloody-disgusting has made me nauseous.

    This is a website devoted to horror and violent media. A casual stroll through the archives of bloody-disgusting will find articles glorifying countless movies and video games in which women (and men!) are brutally raped, tortured, mutilated, and murdered. We are totally cool with all of it. We come here because we love stuff that is well, bloody and disgusting.

    This comic book cover somehow crosses a line that all those movies and video games don’t? How in the hell do you think you get to claim some sort of moral high ground here?

    Men are more often the victims of violence in comics, and a hero or heroine who is never allowed to be hurt or in danger makes for a boring ass narrative.

    Goodbye bloody-disgusting.com, I’m going to get my horror news from websites that aren’t out to pander or shove an agenda down my throat.

    • Ben Price

      “How in the hell do you think you get to claim some sort of moral high ground here?”

      One word: feminism. Let’s just censor art because it makes people uncomfortable. God forbid we hurt someone’s feelings.

      • Evan3

        This wasn’t remotely censorship. Get your facts straight before spouting off inanely.

        • Nyarlat

          Getting a piece of art pulled because they don’t like it. How is that not censorship?

          • Evan3

            Censorhip is when some all-powerful higher-up pulls, redacts, or otherwise eliminates something they do not find in keeping with their morals and values. In the instant case, the artist, publisher, and writers all agreed this cover was a mistake and mutually agreed to pull it. Are you really calling an artist pulling his own work censorship (I guess its self-censorship, but I don’t think that’s what you mean).
            And even assuming they were just caving in to public pressure, that doesn’t make it censorship. Only if the public could have forced them to pull the cover, or went to a higher power to pull the cover, is it censorship. Even in this scenario, it is just a company and artist listening and reacting to the public in a voluntary manner.

          • How embarrasing, you really believe all of that?
            Do you even know the dictionary definition of censorship?
            Do you know what a chilling effect is?

            If your views are really like that why whine? the people with ideals you dislike have as much right as you to pressure artists with opinions just as you. What are you even talking about, really?

            You’re concentrating on the semantics of the word censorship and failing. You’re doing this because you want to undermine complains of people opposed to you. So they can’t complain as your fig leaf fetishist crowd did.

            How disgusting.

  • Alex Boden

    Let’s go down the SJW checklist shall we? After taking a look at the author we can determine a few things.

    Hipster Glasses? Check
    Hipster Hairdo? Sorta Check
    Bitches about sexual violence while there is none anywhere? Check+
    Whines about Muh-Soggy-Knees and Muh Feelz? Check+
    I think we can safely say, this man, is a total beta SJW, dingaling. but hey, what do I know. I’m a straight white male, whose only goal in life is to oppress women and minorities, muhahahaha. (Seriously though, get the hell outta’ here with this shit)

    • Evan3

      Glad to know you have such an open mind! You’ve proven yourself to be a typical comics reader. I’m sure you wish Batgirl had been decked out in a bikini on this cover too.

  • Evan3

    I commend you for this article. It’s disheartening to see so many of the commenters blindly tuning out your legit points (and the point that the cover artist, BatGirl comic creators and DC all decided mutually and without duress to scratch the variant). The right choice was made by DC.

    • Nyarlat

      Can you point out the legitimate points? I see none. The artist got burned by everyone and did what he could to save his career. The comic writer is an SJW tool who used the same artist’s natural artistic progression for another batgirl comic, where she is wiping the makeup off of her face. If one was approved, then obviously the other one was too.

      • Evan3

        How did the artist get burned? I’m sure that he still got paid. And are you calling him a liar when he says he willingly pulled it just to fit your worldview?
        Look, there may have been some comics where this would have been a good fit. This particular one wasn’t one of them. The artist, writers, and publisher all recognized this fact once pointed out to them. It wasn’t like DC saw the cover submission and said “fuck that!” Their own customers were like – wait a second, is this right? And they responded. And that’s what a good company does.

        • Nyarlat

          The writer threw the artist under the bus. Burned.
          What is this fact?
          Alan Moore said Batgirl wasn’t raped. So the fact is that the art caused people who were looking for rape to see rape? The fact was that characters shouldn’t have negative experiences, negative personality traits, or weaknesses?
          Half, if not more of their customers were like – wait a second, THAT IS RIGHT.
          Do I think that the artist was pressured to ask that the cover was removed? Absolutely. Do I think that he also felt bad? Yes.
          As for the accusations of death threats sent to people screaming rape; I want proof. I’ve seen #killallmen tweeters posting #changethecover.

          • Evan3

            I’m not sure it matters if she was actually raped, the cover (and the story) at least implicate sexual assault.

            I think the writers were thrown under the bus. They don’t get to approve or even consider variant covers. They said they would have been upfront about their disapproval had they been involved in the process from the start.

            We will never know if/how much the artist was pressured. But that alone isn’t censorship. If his job were threatened, then it would have been a different story, but I don’t see any evidence of that.

            Also, what makes the writer’s rights lesser than the artist’s rights? Why should the writer be forced to have a cover they hate and do not think represents their artwork? Writers are every bit entitled to a say as the artist.

            Still, I understand your position better and appreciate having a civil discourse with you on this.

          • J Radical

            I made an account just for this comment… And sorry if this is 3 months too late, but this annoys me.

            How does this implicate sexual assault at all? Because she has a tear running down her cheek?

            She is Batgirl… She KNOWS who the Joker is! She knows that this is a very bad, dangerous position for her to be in. Joker has killed hundreds of people and “killed” Jason Todd with a crowbar.

            People cry in regular everyday situations… She is in fear for her life… That doesn’t even come close to implying she was raped… Jesus christ, modern america… Grow up!

            As for her character, I don’t even think she is crying because she is afraid. I think she is crying because she knows she might die and what that will do to her father and her family.

            This was an excellent cover and an amazing call back. I’m sad the artist had to recall it just because some idiots had to place implications on it. Idiots who don’t even know the Batman history but want to cause an uproar because it is a female in a vulnerable position.

  • Brian Wiley

    “when violence against women is no longer a narrative device in comics, it’s not cool.”

    Real violence against women. Not cool…. or against people in general.
    But no fictional violence against women? What a bunch of boring characters this is going to spawn.

    • Evan3

      Are you seriously arguing that good characters can’t exist absent violence towards women? Seriously, think before you speak. It’s not like you still can’t have women in fight scenes or be beaten up or anything like that. This was specifically noted as referring to honest to goodness sexual assault (maybe rape?) and everyone, artist, writers, company, agreed it was inappropriate for a kids-directed comment. The author of this article is speaking specifically to this type of violence against women.

      • Brian Wiley

        If someone wants to write a story about rape. Theres nothing wrong with that. As long as it is for an age appropriate audience.

        • Evan3

          Agreed. But this is absolutely not that kind of book. It’s aimed at teenaged girls. And the cover isn’t even some sort of real commentary on rape or a plot point into the story, its just a lurid cover referencing a kind of over-the-top minor plot point in a wholly unrelated series (that was definitely meant for mature audiences).

          • George

            Minor plot point?

            This is a great, scary cover featuring a mass killer. How many times was Batman featured beaten and in chains on all those lenticular covers? Good fiction is good fiction.

      • Nyarlat

        Good characters cannot exist if the PC brigade will not allow women, “poc”, or trans people to have negative traits or experiences.

  • Dani Labrosse

    It’s a piece of art, it has absolutely nothing to do with sexism or violence towards women. The Joker is a villain, he’s terrifying, that’s what the cover is supposed to represent. It’s fucking ridiculous that in 2015 a FUCKING COMIC BOOK COVER can stir controversy to the point of getting it pulled. What a bunch of pussies. I wonder where all the fucking assholes who bitch about this kind of stuff are when women are getting treated like shit in the middle east and getting stoned for being raped or when they get circumcised in Africa. Focus on some real issues and don’t ruin art with your stupid bullshit.

  • Typical

    God, you’re a cunt

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