If you go here:

http://comicsnthings.blogspot.com/2007/07/citizen-steel-and-power-girl-cosmetic.html

you’ll see what happened when the afformentioned Citizen Steele image from my much-beloved AFRAID OF COCK post finally hit shelves this past Wednesday. You’ll need Adboe Flash to view it.

What does this mean? DC’s really only interested in shying away from controversy when the mood suits them, I guess. Or, you know, COCK. Apparently the reason given for deflating Power Girl’s boobs (see that same link) was that they needed to fit another character on the cover, not that they were too big in and of themselves… The reason why the cock had to get shrunk down? I’m all in favour of rampant speculation. Go to town, really.

I’m not too broken-up over Citizen Steele’s dehancement, just that the thinking behind it is ripe for disection, and it’s somehow the same thinking that’s behind decisions like this:

 

showcase-batgirl-comparisson.jpg

 

On the left there, that’s the solicitation cover for SHOWCASE: BATGIRL, the first of DC’s cheap reprint volumes to feature a female lead character. On the right? That’s the cover it shipped with. Spot the difference.

Do we all know what kind of industry we have now? Are we all aware so I can stop getting death-threats from retards when I dare to suggest a comic book cover is mysogynist? No? I’m just a humourless jerk who hates everything you love? Okay then. Just as long as the dissonance is cognative, I guess that’s alright?

- Christopher


21 Comments on “Afraid of Cock III: The Reckoning”

You can track this conversation through its atom feed.

  1. Danny T says:

    Hey Chris,

    I thought it was strange that they would switch the solicited cover, especially since it is a classic cover of her first appearance.

    I saw this at the store I shop at, and thought WTF!! Why is she holding a compact and applying makeup when she should be kicking ass!?!

    I had planned on picking up this originally, but had to cut it from my pull list. After seeing the cover DC went with, even if I had the funds I would have passed on it because of the “females are nothing more than to look pretty” stereotype.

  2. Pat Lewis says:

    It’s a great cover if the comic is a comedy or a spoof about the adventures of a self-absorbed, oblivious “heroine.” The real drag is, that cover could be cute if Batman and Robin weren’t on it. You know, like Batgirl just finished kicking criminal ass, and now she’s going to fix her makeup. Kinda like this promo image I made for my upcoming book THE CLAWS COME OUT (due from IDW this November):
    http://lunchbreak-pat.livejournal.com/66631.html

  3. Thom says:

    Obviously, they had to downplay the cock to make room for…uh…er…um…the logo?

  4. Blogless Simon Jones says:

    While it’s kind of…not great, it also is pretty much de rigeur for a silver age batgirl story. She was an exceedingly girly girl back then and did honestly take her getting shot in the spine to break her out of it.

  5. Noel Murray says:

    Nearly every SHOWCASE volume takes its cover image from one of the comics covers inside. They could’ve picked a better BATGIRL image, but if memory serves, that one pretty accurately reflects the content of the book. The people you’re really mad at are mostly dead.

  6. Pedro Tejeda says:

    The second cover is marginally more sexist then the original, but its pretty much dead on to the content.

    I can understand being upset over the change of cover, but the interiors are more offensive.

    I don’t get the blogging need to be first to point out another controversy? Does any one read the books anymore.

  7. Joe Shmoe says:

    DC always presents a different cover for its Showcase series than the real showcase cover. This is ultimately not DC’s greatest decision, but it has nothing to do with hiding covers from the big scary bloggews! [at least I think it doesn't].

    [it should also be noted that DC has been great responding to this kind of thing, from changing the look of Supergirl to a normal girl to releasing non superhero stuff. They've also avoided killing women in thier comics after the 'Identity Crisis' controversies according to the commentary for 'Infinite Crisis'. So this is probably a fluke.]

  8. Blogless Simon Jones says:

    Really, it’s like releasing a golden age Wonder Woman collection with her tied up on the cover or a Lois Lane collection cover with her being an emasculating shrew. While it’s probably reflective of the stories in there, it doesn’t make it a good idea.

  9. Bad Batgirl Cover » Comics Worth Reading says:

    [...] Just for the record, I would have bought the Showcase Presents Batgirl volume, but the cover was changed to something completely stupid (new cover shown here). [...]

  10. Betty says:

    Man. “To give you an idea of the wacky gender roles found inside this cover, we had to commission a new offensive cover, because none of the originals really got the idea across!”

  11. caleb says:

    Regarding the change in covers on the Showcases from the solicitations, DC does that fairly often with the Showcases, doesn’t it? I know Haunted Tank, Shazam! and Brave and the Bold, at the least, had the same phenomenon. I think they don’t actually decide on the actual covers late in the game for those.

    So, without getting into the thought process behind it, I just wanted to note it’s not unique to this one.

  12. Tom Spurgeon says:

    Holy crap, Robin is strong.

  13. DMcK says:

    Isn’t that cover just a riff on this old chestnut? Granted, the new version looks like it was executed with very little of the knowing, ironic “wink-wink” normally afforded to contemporary re-visitations of pop-cultural kitch (“normally” in the real world, anyway; mainstream comics seem to be pathologically out of touch with that mysterious realm.) The product of institutional mysogyny, or ham-fisted artistry? Eh, probably both, come to think of it…

  14. Chris says:

    Dear people upset at me because I don’t love the things you love: I post about other things some times! Great things! You should TOTALLY go read them.

    Dear everyone else: Thank you for your insightful commentary, I appreciate you reading the blog. While I am aware that many covers, including the DC Showcase books, have different solicitation images (I’d wager I spend more time with Previews in a month than… 99% of anyone who’s read a comic), my concern was more the difference in tone, rather than that there was a difference at all. Ready, capable, surprising Batgirl leaping into action versus… well, that. It’s kinda sad, and I know that we’ve lost some sales on it at the store, from people who were really put off by the cover. I haven’t said anything myself, in store… I just wanted to see how the book would rise or fall on its own, and I’d say even the vocal customer commentary has made it clear, this would be a hard book to justify having on the shelf.

    While Batgirl was often portrayed as a ‘girly girl’, she wasn’t ALWAYS portrayed that way, and she does kick but and take names pretty often in that book; the folks moving from blog-to-blog to defend DC have got that much right. But yeah, suck decision on their parts.

    Also, to Pedro Tejeda- It’s been 4 days and people had already been annoyed with the change, I think you might be familiar with the DC Message Boards where this discussion has been going on since last Wednesday? I’m way behind the curve here.

  15. Rodney Wall says:

    I think DC dropped the ball on this one.

    With all the discussion lately about the representation of women in comics, this just makes DC look stupid.

  16. Ami Angelwings says:

    I saw that cover for the Showcase too and I was like o_O wtf >.>;;

  17. Ed Cunard says:

    Jesus Christ–you got death threats? I mean, I know you had the audacity to dislike/criticize something other people REALLY REALLY REALLY LIKE, but… shit.

    I hate overzealous nerds a little more each day.

  18. Chris says:

    Ed- Yeah, all of the comments that were just brutally mean, I approved because big deal. The genuinely threatening ones didn’t go up on the blog here.

  19. Ed Cunard says:

    Of course you approved those. Hell, I’m brutally mean to you, and you still adore me.

  20. More Batgirl Showcase Covers » Comics Worth Reading says:

    [...] Vote with your wallet. The key message of my previous post, I hope, was that I was ready to spend money, but I didn’t buy this book solely because of the cover choice. Chris Butcher has a similar experience, saying “we’ve lost some sales on it at the store, from people who were really put off by the cover”. [...]

  21. Joe S. Walker says:

    On the other hand, you can buy this book and experience the added value of giving a spiritual finger to the PC comics witch-hunters.

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