Dan Didio, the co-publisher of DC Comics, has done “The Stupid.” The Stupid is when you make a bad situation worse by opening your friggin’ pie hole and saying something inflammatory and brain dead. think we have all, once or another, done “The Stupid.”
This week saw the announcement of the ENTIRE creative team of Batwoman walking off the title afterfinally realizing that DC Editorial will not let them tell the stories they want. To Whit: Katy Perry is gay. She loves women and wants to marry them. DC comics says she can’t.
Wait, modern New 52 Batwoman is named Katy Perry, isn’t she? That’s a weird coincidence, seeing as how there’s that singer lady who- OH. Batwoman’s name is Kate Kane? That explains a lot! I was wondering how that got past DC legal.
NOW, DC doesn’t want you to think that they are in any way homophobic and that their decision to disallow gay marriage in their comics has anything to do with discrimination. To prove that DC isn’t an institution of meanies, Dan DiDio made sure to state for the record, this past weekend at the Baltimore Comic Con, that NO Superhero in the DC Universe, post New 52, is allowed to get married.
That’s right. “The Stupid.”
He justifies that superheroes, apparently much like Catholic priests, are too invested in the salvation of other people to have the time for happiness for themselves. Furthermore, Superheroes, again like priests, need to be constantly miserable in order to do their jobs.
Let’s ignore how well that worked out for the Catholics, shall we? Let’s also, for one second, sidestep the complete history of comic book narrative which proves this to be untrue, not to mention the questionable timing which does taint this as a homophobic, knee jerk reaction. Further, let’s disregard the irony that the original Batwoman was introduced into comics through homophobia in the first place, so that Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson had women to pal around with so people viewing the comic through a gay lens could stop doing that, please. Are all the gender and LBGT issues out of the argument now?
GOOD, says DC Editorial. Finally, let’s toss out all marketing data to suggest that potential comic book readers and creators know what we want to read better than marketing lawyers and editors.
Once the piranhas are done with the meat, the bare bones of the issue is thus: DC’s current editorial opinion is that YOU, the comic book reading public, only want to read about depressed, moping jerks who can’t get dates.
SOAK IN IT
The profound wrongness of this is obvious to anyone who isn’t Dan DiDio or the DC Editors. Old timers like myself will tell you about the ancient times for comic books, when titles were aimed at kids, and you could buy different varieties of titles. DC has decided that, not only will kids be shunned from the table, and that you will ONLY be able to buy superhero titles, but that EVERY SINGLE one of them has to be tragic and sad. Shelf after shelf of Batman.
I don’t believe it. I can’t believe it. If Alan Moore finally laid down the hatchet and told DC he wants to write a new Watchmen sequel book where Night Owl and Silk Specter are married, they would let him. If Neil Gaiman, after his much anticipated Sandman Origin run decides to do a new Sandman project featuring the wedding of Dream, they would let him.
This is simply editorial stupidity, compounded by some pretty piss poor PR damage control on the part of Mr. DiDio. Comics is a business, and the current revenue generators are the movies and the merch. I’m not saying that Dan is lying, I’m sure there is a secret edict within DC to keep marriage out of the pages. With DC relaunching their crumbled film empire in a fast paced game of catch-up with Marvel, the most likely suggestion is that this editorial decision is based more on money than narrative.
One never knows which character could be licensed for TV, Films or even animated flicks next. Until there’s plans to marry characters on screen, I’m sure there’s a moratorium on weddings in the comics.
Still, someone needs to tell Dan DiDio that comics are still bought by fans, and fans want their heroes to be happy. Maybe not all the time… but we sure don’t want every title to be a mope fest. That’s what we buy comics to escape from.