There is an alarming epidemic going on in this nation and it is terrifying to think what precedent it is sending to not only creative people……but those with hidden agendas. Because there was a small outcry over the Joker cover in question, Artist Rafael Albuquerque made the request to have his cover pulled!
“My intention was never to hurt or upset anyone through my art. For that reason, I have recommended to DC that the variant cover be pulled.” – Albuquerque stated
The controversy all started when when Comic Book Resources website showed the exclusive previews of Joker variant cover month covers. Of all the great artist and spectacular artwork, there was one cover that instantly brought great memories of a classic Batman vs. Joker storyline that actually had long lasting effects in the Batman family. To those not familiar with the comic book story I am referring to, it was the mindnumbing story from legendary storyteller Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland called Batman: The Killing Joke. In this huge fan favorite one-shot (pardon the pun) tale The Joker does one of his most heinous acts and shoots Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) in the chest. It does not end there……in order to drive James Gordon mad, the Joker ties up James, gags him and forces the father to watch his naked daughter tied up laying on the ground fighting for her life.
I think here would be a great place to make this point. Ever since the graphic content of Alan Moore’s story was released there has been a small amount of people who try and take the content of this ‘story’ to make an extreme argument for violence or degrading of woman in comic books.
My argument against that would be this. For people who actually read the story, the person who is being degraded the most here is Jim Gordon himself!! He is the one being mentally bombarded to a point of psychotic madness. He is the one tied up looking like a bad version of the ‘Gimp’ from the movie Pulp Fiction. Yes Barbara was shot and tied up also and exposed to show the drastic situation the Joker is in control of. As a writer I see that this was all a setup for the next part of the tale when James Gordon is finally freed and Jim has the opportunity to get revenge on the Joker for all the horrors the vile villain has just inflicted on everyone. The same things happen in movies, books and TV shows for a reason. To share a story and reach people’s emotions. There is a very fine line all creators walk and that line is the one of either being creative or being disrespectful to other humans feelings. Not all great storytelling is going to be liked or accepted by everyone but if there is only a few “offended” groups say something on the Internet a medium that allows the average person to be critical behind a keyboard, does that give the right to demand creative people to change what they are doing?
If feminist are so angry about what Barbara Gordon had endured in the story then they should be happy of how Barbara has taken that event that shattered her spine and left her wheelchair bound to become the tech genius crime fighter known as Oracle.
What the artist of the industry think of the pulling of the cover:
Just as the fans are furious of the homage Joker cover by Albuquerque being pulled, so are a huge amount of artist in the industry. They feel as I do too that the integrity of storytelling and artwork is being taken too far in the political correctness agendas of small groups of even very few offended people. This ‘homage’ cover is not meant for everybody, nor was the Killing Joke story. Writers, artist and creators of all walks of life should have their creative freedom to make great entertainment and not be afraid to offend. Unless the creator is only making content for shock value, it will be noticed…..but true storytelling is an art form that is appreciated.
What do you think of the Joker cover being pulled? We would love to know!