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There Was Nothing Offensive: Batgirl Variant Cover
By now you’ve probably seen the picture above, and you’ve probably seen (or engaged in,) the heated debate over the nature of the cover. You’ve probably also heard that DC Comics and the images creator, Rafael Albuquerque (Blue Beetle) have pulled the cover.
Like most art, this is highly subjective. Some people think that the cover goes too far. Some felt that the tone of the current Batgirl series was too far removed to make sense with the cover, (though it should be noted that variant covers are more for the sake of collectors and more money for the company, than the actual story.) Some saw it as a celebration of violence against women.
Oh COME ON guys. The Batgirl cover was a misfire for the people who read that book. Wrong tone. Pulling it was a very reasonable decision.
— Joe Hill (@joe_hill) March 17, 2015
Wow, @DCComics has really achieved new "heights" of misogynistic torture-porn with that Joker variant cover for Batgirl.
— Jess Plummer (@Jess_Plummer) March 13, 2015
Others, were more supportive of the cover (or were simply shocked that people were outraged, for a number of reasons,) discussing how it was a great tribute to The Killing Joke, and when it became apparent that the cover was under fire, many leaped to it’s defense, citing the need for artistic expression/freedom.
— Thorn B. #3189 (@Thornblossom) March 14, 2015
.@rafaalbuquerque I hated the Killing Joke, but I am not in favour of your variant being dropped. I want you to know this.
— Joe Krawec (@LadyBatman1939) March 17, 2015
Heck, even I put my two cents in on the issue, along with the rest of the “internetional” community, with many claiming that with the current climate of the culture, a story like The Killing Joke couldn’t even get written today. With some wishing it never happened (or at least, got erased from continuity following the Flashpoint reboot.)
For all the talk about how bad the cover was though, and what it represented, I have to disagree. When I looked at the cover, I didn’t see it as anything wrong. I didn’t like it, just because I don’t like the art style, but it was a fine cover if you can get past the art style itself and you enjoy Batgirl and/or The Killing Joke. I think DC handled the entire controversy in a less than productive manner, as well as the artist.
The only actual problem I thought the article had, was that it made the hero look extremely weak in her own book. Not a good look for a hero. Nothing “sexual” and to be fair, it’s never outrightly stated there was any sexual act performed by Joker. Only heavily implied, or offensive. Just wasn’t a good look for Babs.
That’s all I have to say on the topic though. Take it for what you will, and feel free to share your own thoughts. Cheers!