What are they smoking over at DC?


Fresh off the heels of a controversy surrounding Batwoman’s lesbian wedding (which caused two writers to leave the Batwoman comic altogether), DC has outdone themselves once more. After “re-vamping” Harley Quinn’s new outfit to something way more revealing, the company launched an open talent search for an upcoming Quinn comic. Going to DC’s website, artists are required to submit a sample of 4 panels for the upcoming comic. The controversy is stemming from what budding artists are required to submit for panel #4:

Harley sitting naked in a bathtub with toasters, blow dryers, blenders, appliances all dangling above the bathtub and she has a cord that will release them all. We are watching the moment before the inevitable death. Her expression is one of “oh well, guess that’s it for me” and she has resigned herself to the moment that is going to happen.

Days after the co-writers of a comic leave in protest of your archaic and old fashioned policies surrounding same sex marriage, you decide that now is a good time to try and make suicide sexy? Never mind the fact that you’ve already OVERTLY sexualized an already overtly sexualized character, but now her impending suicide needs to be sexy too?

Reading the description of the contest will allow you to see that DC holds the right to publish the contest artwork anywhere they see fit. This could include their website or at their booth at an upcoming convention. That’s all what an already marginalized fan base needs, another controversy for non-comic book fans to pick on and (rightfully) discriminate against due to poor taste.

Comics are and always will be a fantastic medium to bridge important and touchy subjects to a young populace. Archie comics received a lot of praise and flak for their introduction of Kevin Keller, an openly gay character, and his subsequent marriage. Their response was admirable and any resistance given served only to give the creators more story-lines to work with. DC has never been strangers to tastefully dealing with adult content, why start losing that ability now?

This talent search will leave many people scratching their heads and will leave many more wondering what hallucinogens the PR team at DC are taking. Not only is their concept of a “sexy suicide” insulting to the masses, but it may very well be a negative business decision as artists and customers alike start to lose faith. How DC reacts to this latest controversy will say a lot about the company and the people running it, but it would not surprise me to see suicide prevention groups call for some form of disciplinary action. DC better smarten up, and fast.

Source: DC comics, tor.com

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Eric Escaravage
Eric Escaravage 85 posts

Born and raised in the great white north, Eric grew up playing PC games and reading more Archie comics than is humanely possible. Clark Kent look-a-like on an epic quest to play all the retro games he wasn't allowed to as a child!