Culturedccomicsbatgirljoker

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 12:13 AM

This comic book cover is ripping DC Comics apart (Batgirl)

http://www.vox.com/2015/3/19/8252361/batgirl-dc-canceled-cover



On Rafael Albuquerque's variant cover for Batgirl No. 41, Batgirl's eyes are the size of two fishbowls, and there's a tear ready to drip down toward the messy red smile smeared on her cheeks. The Joker has his arm around her, finger digging into her cheek. In his other hand he holds a shimmering gun with one finger on the trigger. He flashes his sinister pearly whites. Albuquerque has created an image that conjures up the visceral terror of the iconic comic book The Killing Joke. His cover will never be seen in stores.

On Tuesday, after four days that included complaints, followed by the now seemingly inevitable death threats made against those who complained, DC Comics announced that the variant cover of Batgirl No. 41 had been canceled at Albuquerque's request. But the ghoulish cover is not the only thing at play here. It's just the latest flare-up to reflect the incongruous, factional nature of the comic book community and the forces that threaten to rip it apart.

Thanks to The Killing Joke, Batgirl is always seen as the Joker's ultimate victim

When asked about his motivation for the cover, Albuquerque said he was directly referencing Alan Moore's seminal 1988 comic The Killing Joke, considered one of the best stories about the Joker ever told. "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," he said in a statement. "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."

Moore's book is significant to comic book readers for many reasons. For one, it may, depending on how you read it, depict Batman killing Joker. Batman, of course, has made a pledge to not kill anyone, and the comic is wrapped around that ideology. So what would drive him to that point? Moore's book aims to answer that question, and said answer has to do with Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) and the Joker. In The Killing Joke, Joker captures Barbara, the daughter of police commissioner Jim Gordon, and shoots her, which severs her spine, paralyzing her. After committing that act, the Joker and his goons strip her naked, take pictures of her, and later on, forced her father to look at the photos:

(somewhat explicit art + remainder of article at link)

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Response to Juan Rico (Original post)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 12:25 AM

1. What's happened to the funny books I read; Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck, Mary Jane and Sniffles?...

😁

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Response to Gamle-ged (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 12:36 AM

4. They're now collected in expensive hardbacks.



(Yes, I have the complete set)

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Response to Juan Rico (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 01:06 AM

6. I have a few of the slipcased editions, a couple of the EC as well..

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Response to Juan Rico (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 06:47 AM

10. Seeing that makes me smile..

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Response to Juan Rico (Original post)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 12:28 AM

2. Only a matter of time before the Joker targeted DC comics.

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Response to Juan Rico (Original post)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 12:35 AM

3. My daughter -- a huge DC fan -- and I just talked about this yesterday.

Apparently a lot of Internet users aren't aware that 1st Amendment doesn't apply to commercial-based editorial decisions.

For a long time , the DC Batman franchise, including Batgirl, took a decidedly dark turn thanks in part to the influence of Frank Miller's 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns' published in 1986. The apex of this was Alan Moore's 'The Killing Joke', published in 1988, which contained the aforementioned sexual assault of Batgirl by The Joker.

After the New-52 reboot, DC took the Batgirl franchise in a different direction, more towards the pre-teen and teen girl market. The alternative cover in shown above was just that, an alternative cover which had almost nothing to do with the actual story in the magazine and definitely not a direction change for the series.

DC made a commercial / editorial decision not to run the 'dark' Batgirl cover shown above because it wasn't consistent with the new direction that New 52 Batgirl has been taking since 2012.

The reaction from a particular segment of the comic community -- definitely not representative of the New 52 Batgirl readership -- started screaming censorship and 1st Amendment at the top of their online lungs including making online threats to regular readers of the series who didn't feel the alternative cover was representative of the series.

My daughter pointed out some pretty nasty comments, mostly of a sexual nature, directed at her for being supportive of the DC decision.

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Response to fncceo (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 12:54 AM

5. I started collecting comics when I was a kid...almost half a century ago. I was a regular reader up

through the early 2000's, so I never encountered much in the way of obsessive comics fans online with the exception of some threads on the Usenet.

I don't seem to have missed much.

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Response to Juan Rico (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 01:14 AM

7. Not sure what kind of comics you were into but comics today are great ...

They have been a bonding influence for my daughter and I since she was 10 and our annual pilgrimage to San Diego is something we plan for all year.

Back in the mid-70's, a French magazine 'Metal Hurlant', started publishing in America as 'Heavy Metal'. HM introduced American readers to the great European artists, Giraud (Moebius), Tardi, Jodorowsky, Forest, Druillet, ... with art and storylines that made DC and Marvel look like 'Dick and Jane'.

In the early '80s, Japanese Manga started to influence American animators and not long after American comic artists like Miller and Moore, introduced manga style gritty story lines, violence and artwork that would later transform the fantasy movie industry into what it is today. Nearly every major sci-fi, fantasy, action movie produced in the past few decades has had a comic influence of some kind.

The Internet influenced a rise in independent comic publication and now more than half the titles in any comic shop are not published by either DC or Marvel. Even DC and Marval have upp'd their game in response

I don't say that comics are for everyone, but I definitely think that today, nearly everyone could find a comic that they would enjoy.

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Response to fncceo (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 01:54 AM

8. Here's my collection of graphic novels:















I pretty much burned out on modern comics during the 90's. The Dark Age of Comics did me in.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks

That's not to say that I'm not thoroughly enjoying superhero television and films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe in particular.

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Response to Juan Rico (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 02:27 AM

9. Pretty good Silver Age collection

But, I can see why you burned out.

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Response to Juan Rico (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 06:52 AM

11. Mind if I visit for a few months.

I take up little room and bring my own weed & munchies....

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Response to Daves Not Here Man (Reply #11)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 09:54 AM

13. Heh. It would take a while to go through my collection....!

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Response to Juan Rico (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 09:37 AM

12. Why are they in the basement?

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Response to 762Justice (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 09:58 AM

14. The books shown comprise only about 1/6th of my entire library. There just isn't

room upstairs.

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Response to Juan Rico (Reply #8)

Fri Sep 29, 2017, 07:12 AM

16. Wow! I envy you for having the complete hardcover series of

Will Eisner's The Spirit! They're going for around £60 per volume now. There's a new digital series of The Spirit that is done very well available on Amazon.

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Response to Juan Rico (Original post)

Fri Mar 20, 2015, 11:04 AM

15. I've never liked the view of Batgirl be the ultimate victim of Joker.

She never saw it that way.

She simply experienced more character development and growth than the main title character of her series has in it's entire run. She became Oracle and incredibly valuable team member and later important to Batman, Inc.

She was just another person pulled into the Joker/Batman dynamic. She could no more help becoming Batgirl and Oracle than Dr. Harleen Quinn could help being pulled in and becoming Harley Quinn, a woman who is in many ways far more dangerous than Joker, because she will do anything to earn the love of a man who doesn't even notice she's alive.

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