Monday, March 16, 2015

DC Comics Cancels Batgirl #41 Joker Variant Cover by Rafael Albuquerque

DC Comics has announced that Rafael Albuquerque's Joker variant cover for Batgirl #41 has been canceled.  The cover, an homage to The Killing Joke", was criticized for being "too dark" for this new, youthful Batgirl.  Fans responded with a twitter campaign #changethecover and even resorted to threats of violence.

Rafael responded by saying, 

My Batgirl variant cover artwork was designed to pay homage to a comic that I really admire, and I know is a favorite of many readers. 'The Killing Joke' is part of Batgirl’s canon and artistically, I couldn't avoid portraying the traumatic relationship between Barbara Gordon and the Joker.
For me, it was just a creepy cover that brought up something from the character’s past that I was able to interpret artistically. But it has become clear, that for others, it touched a very important nerve. I respect these opinions and, despite whether the discussion is right or wrong, no opinion should be discredited.
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. I'm incredibly pleased that DC Comics is listening to my concerns and will not be publishing the cover art in June as previously announced.
With all due respect,

For their part, DC released this statement,

We publish comic books about the greatest heroes in the world, and the most evil villains imaginable. The Joker variant covers for June are in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Joker.
Regardless if fans like Rafael Albuquerque’s homage to Alan Moore’s THE KILLING JOKE graphic novel from 25 years ago, or find it inconsistent with the current tonality of the Batgirl books - threats of violence and harassment are wrong and have no place in comics or society.
We stand by our creative talent, and per Rafael’s request, DC Comics will not publish the Batgirl variant. – DC Entertainment

Personally, I think this is much ado about nothing.  June was announced to be Joker variant month and I don't know anyone who doesn't like The Killing Joke.  It's been parodied and referenced so many times and just because it doesn't mesh with the new Batgirl shouldn't mean it can't happen.  Of course, I don't condone violence against women (or anyone for that matter), but this is just an homage to an iconic story.  I guess this is further proof that this new Batgirl rules the roost at DC.  I just don't get it.  On a side note, I love that fans who didn't like the depicted violence, threatened DC with threats of violence.  Stay classy, Batgirl fans.


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  2. Sorry for those who read the earlier comment posted, I was angry . I think if they want to have batgirl be distanced from the joker, overall they will have to erase killing joke all together. Because it's clear that fans of the new run don't want anything resembling dark to the mythos ( thus it would be best to move burnside out of Gotham or keep batgirl in burnside along , because as long as she is in Gotham , she will always be forced to confront her ghosts).

  3. I'm actually sorry I missed the original comment because I really like the variant cover and am really pissed that a variant cover that is supposed to celebrate the Joker's 75th anniversary has been pulled because of fans that want to glorify Batgirl's current obsession with selfies and internet celebrity instead of praising the important and world changing stories that came before that made this character such a great hero with the power to overcome diversity. Hell, if people want to get all up in arms over something have it be about how all of a sudden people want to overlook how important Barbara Gordon was as a handicapped hero as a result of that story. My takeaway is bad things can happen to men not women and selfies are good but handicapped is bad............. Yeah, that might be exaggerating but this is nonsense.

    1. In the original comment , I mentioned that people wouldn't have reacted this way to the cover if it was still gail someone's batgirl and then ranted lots of angry things since they have blown this out of proportion. With the writer stating that he will never let the joker near him, that means that we may never see james jr again and other writers in the bat universe may be forced to have Barbara in fights and situations were she will be guaranteed to win. The funny thing is they don't know that an old birds of prey story from pre52 had joker come after her and she proved that she was no longer the victim and didn't hold any power over her. It feels like they want her to become this strong character but without the effort put into it.

    2. Hell, at this point I'm not sure if they want her to be a strong character at all. I think they just want to say that she's a strong character and hope that dopey people believe them

    3. Chisanga, I couldn't have put it better myself. I really thought "How Dare You!" when I read Brenden Fletcher's comments about the Joker. I get that they are the creative team NOW, but what gives them the right to decide what people should and shouldn't like. Most fans have loved this character for a long time and they are just being told to shut up and like what they are being given now.

    4. This controversy is the epitome of everything wrong with this society today. Anything that offends women gets squashed, but have comics like the Black Widow, Bat Girl etc and show them murdering and victimizing men on the cover and they don't even bat an eye. Just like they got the Spider-Woman cover changed because her backside was too tight, but then someone pointed out a Spider-Man cover that had a similar style to hit.
      I don't read Bat Girl or any other female lead comic because have no desire to read man-hating comics..since they have enough of that on the News and Mainstream TV and Hollywood.

    5. You should give the new Catwoman a try. It's good that Selina is a strong female character that is equal (or better) then the men around her, but without any bashing

  4. ill try to explain as well as i can personal furious about this i dropped the new run as soon as cameron stewart took over and really cant stand how they went from stories like her role in death of the family fighting joker to taking selfies and fighting boy bands and i loved this cover first time id by anything batgirl related in a long time but suddenly sence it isnt up to par with the new hip batgirl it gts offed its just a shame especially with threatning the artist he even stated he meant no harm well sorry if offended anyone with this