AMBER LOVE 13-MAR-2015 As I’ve said many times, PTSD is real. It does not only apply to veterans of wars. It’s no longer called “shellshock” and now refers to any trauma. I’ve covered it extensively here and here and here and here (TW on those links). So when I started seeing tweets about the BATGIRL “Joker” variant, I didn’t want to jump into the fray. If I hear Batgirl and Joker in the same sentence, I have a feeling it’s about rape. Yet, DC rebooted everything and Barbara Gordon was taken out of the wheelchair and she’s not Oracle; she’s Batgirl. So they kind of pretend THE KILLING JOKE never happened. Only it did. It’s not some forgotten story. It’s iconic.

I’m not going to show the picture here. It’s out there in a million other places. I think DC Women Kicking Ass is the go-to blog on this. Sue does show the cover there – fair warning. While it doesn’t show a naked Batgirl, it shows Joker in the same purple fedora holding a gun like in TKJ. I don’t care nearly as much because this is a variant. I still think trigger warnings would have been the responsible thing to do. Trigger warnings are not censorship. When my local shop gets in certain sexually explicit comics, they go behind a counter or in white boxes the customers aren’t allowed in without permission. Why is rape constantly considered acceptable for the shelves when consensual sex imagery is not?

Will the team responsible for the cover own up like the creative team who put out that transphobic/trans-trope issue who came together and issued an apology?

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4 Comments on DC Comics continues to alienate the female readers with rape-implied Batgirl cover (TW)

  1. You claim the DC has tried to “forget” about Killing Joke. I don’t see how that’s possible since they claim it’s one of their best selling graphic novels.

  2. In my opinion, it looks like DC isn’t taking rape seriously. As was said earlier, DC wouldn’t do that with a male character.

    • The comments I got on Facebook ranged from people seeing that cover exactly as I saw it (much more support on Twitter) to people debating the events in The Killing Joke to someone saying “get over it.” That’s why rape culture is invisible to certain people. They see anything that has happened as “get over it.” The fact about trauma is that you don’t even need to have experienced it personally; there are several categories of stressors that someone needs to meet in order to be diagnosed with PTSD and one of them defines trauma as constant reliving of an event which can be through media. It’s like those old “brainwashing” experiments where people are subjected to hours of violence on film in order to desensitize them – it makes violence normal to some but traumatizes some people just from having seen/heard such violence.

      The Batgirl cover was a mistake. Bottom line. I don’t expect Rafael Albuquerque to apologize because artists rarely do; they feel it compromises their integrity. I don’t think DC will apologize. I think they’ll try to move on because it’s a variant. But the cover doesn’t even reflect anything inside what’s been happening in Batgirl anyway and that may be why the creative team of the book said the cover was inappropriate.

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