Ok, let me set the scene for you, then I’ll let you decide for yourself what is right or wrong here.
The Joker, Clown Prince of Crime, and one of (if not the) the greatest villain of all time is getting a spread of variant covers on DC comics to celebrate his 75th anniversary. They span every single comic in the line, and feature the Joker interacting with the various DC heroes and villains.
One that we shouldn’t have been surprised was getting a special cover was Batgirl, who has had a LONG history with the Joker. Artist Rafael Albuquerque was asked to draw the variant cover for Batman #41 featuring the Joker, and decided to base it off of not only the new look for Batgirl, but the iconic story The Killing Joke. The following cover was made.
Almost immediately, people began commenting on how they were interpreting the image. Some thought it was powerful, some thought it was repulsive, others fell in the middle. Twitter exploded with comments about whether the comic variant should be pulled, or whether DC should leave it there as it is their decision what to publish and what not to.
Rafael however got the final say, with the following statement:
“My intention was never to hurt or upset anyone through my art,” Albuquerque, the acclaimed artist of “American Vampire,” said in a statement. “For that reason, I have recommended to DC that the variant cover be pulled.”
And indeed it will be. Yet, the comments aren’t dying down, and both fans and creators are commenting on whether this is the right decision. Some even going so far as to alter the cover above to make it more “appropriate”. For example, one version has Barbara looking angrily at Joker instead of scared/frightened. Others are taking a more “bet you don’t mind this cover do you?” approach…
So…what do you think of all this? Is DC right to pull the cover? Or is this getting blown way out of proportion? Let us know.