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SuaveStar

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Things in geekdom are really, really tense right now. Its better to err on the side of caution right now.

And I gotta say, that cover squicked me the hell out.

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For me, it was because it was more than a bit of a reference to a previous act of sexual violence against the character of Batgirl. Factoring in the tone of the series that it's a variant for, it was roughly the equivalent of having a variant cover of Casper the Friendly Ghost that depicts Richie Rich getting violently murdered.

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For me, it was because it was more than a bit of a reference to a previous act of sexual violence against the character of Batgirl. Factoring in the tone of the series that it's a variant for, it was roughly the equivalent of having a variant cover of Casper the Friendly Ghost that depicts Richie Rich getting violently murdered.

Exactly. Batgirl is a book that's a fun, appealing, safe place for female readership coming from a company with a well-deserved reputation for being oblivious at best and outright hostile at worst in that regard for many, many decades. After, what, maybe six months of saying "we hear you and we get it," they do this.

And the Twitter death threats are just the latest in a long line of ugliness thrown at anyone with the unmitigated gall to speak up whenever they think maybe Starfire could think about putting some pants on. Fanboys fucking suck.

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Dude, I have assault in my past. It's a powerful piece. This? Absolutely NOT anything I would want on my cover as a variant, especially with the current writers.

She's tied up (or paralyzed?), a smile (presumably in her own blood) is drawn on her, she's crying. The reference to her rape/assault in Killing Joke is not exactly something I would want to showcase as part of the character's history. That's not fun, that's not anything I would want to show off at a comic shop. This as a piece of art about surviving? Fine. But as a yay joker and batgirl piece used to sell comic covers? That's gross and appeals to a segment of fandom that I am just NOOOOOOOPE about.

This would be like having Dr. Light and Sue Dinby on a cover with Sue beaten and bloodied and Dr Light being all smiles. I respect what the artist was trying to say, but lord, don't use that to sell your comics.

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It's a variant. You have the choice to not buy it. Or at least would have. There is nothing sexual or relating to sexual assault in that picture. The biggest problem is that it references something that today's fans don't know anything about so they would see it without context, but since it's a variant you practically have to look for it to get it.

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Kurt Busiek @KurtBusiek · 11h 11 hours ago
That’s why I think DC, the BATGIRL team and Rafael are making the right choice here. Let the covers fit the books, let them attract the...
Kurt Busiek @KurtBusiek · 11h 11 hours ago
…audience they’re trying to reach rather than chasing it off and attracting an audience that’d like darker, more horrific stuff that just...
Kurt Busiek @KurtBusiek · 11h 11 hours ago
…isn’t in there. Covers are about reaching out to readers. They’re not an afterthought, or irrelevant,

IMO, DC made the right call to pull the cover. It really was a step too far, and tone-deaf at this point in time especially.

This is gonna be one of those things you and I disagree on, and I'm cool with that. But the covers you put out do say things about your comic, they don't exist in a void. And if the team on the comic finds out about the cover and completely disavows it, that speaks to me as a pretty fundamental misunderstanding on the part of the cover artist.

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Plus the way DC does themed variants, there would've been the same quantity available as the regular one, for the same price.

(Which is actually pretty cool, in general)

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For a good long while, DC and Marvel have been treating variant covers like an excuse to sell tangentially-related promo art. It doesn't matter if the cover matches the book; it's basically just an excuse to make money directly off a marketing tool (and theoretically inflate comic sales at the same time).

...Which is a stupid thing that they need to stop.

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Anyone who says the cover doesn't imply sexual violence has gone through life thinking that what happened to Barbara wasn't sexually violent in nature. I'm not saying Joker did things to her off panel, but the simple act of shooting her then stripping her naked and taking pictures is so clearly a sex crime that it's really galled me that it's been kept in canon for so long. I still just about like the Killing Joke, but what happened to Barbara was insane. Still love her as Oracle more'n Batgirl, but goddamn, that kind of storytelling is one DC has got to run away from.

And quite frankly you'll never see Superman or Batman being held by their enemies like that effing crying. Is this Batgirl's title or the Joker's?

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