Has DC done something stupid today?
Yes. Almost always, yes.
This week, DC has seen the creators of the incredibly-well-recieved Batwoman title walk off the job due to editorial flip-flopping and the ultimate, unexpected-to-the-creators, decision that Batwoman would not ever be seen marrying her long-time partner Maggie. They appreciate that it’s someone else’s sandbox and editorial has the final call, but the decisions they’re seeing are coming at the last minute, after years of plotting and planning–plotting and planning which editorial had to be involved in, so it’s not like the creators sprang “Hey, let’s marry them off!” on the editors.
Ted, who has enjoyed the hell out of the new DCU, and indeed, considers it what got him back into reading and collecting comics, is ending all his DC subscriptions. This is not an uncommon reaction, from what I’m reading. (The creators have asked that readers stick with them through issue 26, which is the end of their run, as they’re going to try to salvage what they can and go out with a bang.)
So that was pretty bad.
And then they followed it up with open artist submissions for the Harley Quinn title, in which they ask for four panels of Harley trying to kill herself (she can’t). The last panel is supposed to be of Harley naked in a tub about to drop a zillion electrical appliances into the water with her.
Because that’s cool. Naked girls trying to kill themselves for our entertainment. I’ve seen a lot of great suggestions about how people should respond, including doing a Hawkeye Initiative thing and submitting–because it is an open submission form–the same frames except with Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Joker, etc–instead of Harley. I think that’s a terrific response. (I also like the person who said “I feel like there should be a PANEL 5 specification where you have to draw Harley walking into a refrigerator and closing the door behind her,” which I think would be a terrific addition to anybody submitting for this project.
You know the other thing I’d like to see happen? I’d like to see all the *incredible* Harley Quinn cosplayers out there respond to the DC thing by doing a 4-image photo shoot of themselves in some variant on the requested frames (although not so much with the NAKED IN THE BATHTUB, because *wordless*).
Why? Because I’d like to see DC faced with *real women* in those pictures. I’d like to see if they think it’s so great when it’s a real woman in those pictures trying to kill herself over and over and over again.
(You know the other problem with the Harley thing? It’s that all four images they’re asking for are static. They’re not sequential art; they’re four small splashes, not telling any kind of story through action. Yeah, they’ll be able to see if you can draw Harley 4 times in a row, but I’ve *done* artist searches. *Huge* numbers of people can draw great splashs or pinups and cannot do actual sequential art for beans. It’s a terrible, terrible audition page.)
To wrap it up, over on Facebook, a friend posted a link with the commentary that I would like this analogy, and I do: Marvel vs DC: the Dudebro Analogy. Well worth reading, particularly in light of all the above.
I want to punch DC in the face over and over again, but ultimately I just walk away. I’ve been a DC fan for so much longer (like, reading my dad’s Superman comics from the 50’s while growing up, longer) than Marvel, but I just find it hard to care about anything DC does lately. I couldn’t get into the New 52 (in part because of lack of money, admittedly), the movies haven’t been as much fun (The Dark Knight was great, but not something I particularly want to rewatch, Rises just left me cold, and Man of Steel was too damn grim), and they just keep doing stupid shit again and again. Wonder Woman and Batgirl will always be some of my favorite characters, but it’s more a meta love, and not for anything currently happening with them.
On the bright side, I’d not previously known about the “Has DC done something stupid today” page, and between that and Ursula’s review of Riddick, it kind of made my night.