Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Ever Wanted to See Batman's Private Parts? Well Now You Can, Thanks to DC Comics!

"Pornography - printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity."

DC Comics has always flirted with sexual content and the depiction of sex in the pages of its comics... EVEN its Teen rated comics. With Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo's new Batman: Damned, the comic publisher has gone too far. Found in the pages of a comic book published through their Black Label imprint, which will no doubt be sitting on the regular shelves of everyone's favorite bookstores, are five panels of Lee Bermejo's artistic renderings of Bruce Wayne / Batman's penis and buttocks. Sure, his penis is partly covered in shadow, but it's still seen and most definitely out there.

DC Black Label "is a brand-new publishing imprint dedicated to giving premier writers and artists the chance to expand on DC’s unrivaled characters with unique, standalone stories set outside DC continuity. The imprint will be DC’s home for classy, collectible superhero stories aimed at mature readers looking to be challenged and surprised as they’re entertained, with an eye for the unique and remarkable."

Classy? So Batman's penis is classy?

Will many comic book stores have the issue poly-bagged and put up somewhere that smaller children and young adults can't get to them? You know, in the same fashion gas stations do with their issues of Hustler and Playboy?  Possibly, if they have knowledge of the graphic content found in its pages. However, many bookstores like Barnes and Noble or Books-a-Million probably won't even look in its pages because comic books are for everyone, right? That's what the status quo thinks.

My question is, "Why?" What does showing Batman's penis add to the storyline of Batman: Damned? How does the narrative of the comic benefit from seeing The Dark Knight's private parts? If either Brian Azzarello or Lee Bermejo can offer me any sort of explanation ( and I don't want to hear the freedom of art and expression crap) as to either of my above questions, please let me know.

I've always loved the uniquely beautiful and grim artwork of Lee Bermejo. I interviewed him years ago about his Batman: Noel book, which still sits on my bookshelf as one of my favorite graphic novels. I'm just very disappointed in his choice to do what he did with Batman: Damned. He's better than trying using shock value to push a book that, from what I can see from the rest of its content, didn't need an extra dose of risque.

Batman: Damned is rated M for Mature. However, I still find it unacceptable and shameful to depict the Caped Crusader's penis in the pages of what used to be deemed something for everyone to enjoy. I'm PRETTY sure both Bob Kane and Bill Finger would find this grosss use of the character they created to be disgusting and deplorable. Batman: Damned SHOULD be rated P for Pornography.

If you're as appalled by this as I am, contact DC Comics and let them know that there are comic book fans out there that don't want their super heroes depicted like models in Playboy and Playgirl Magazines.

Just click here to let them know.