Why DC Comics is angering its fans

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 8.57.13 AMBy Max Franklin | Staff writer

DC Comics has been angering a lot of their fans as of late, and is starting
to turn all but their newest or hardcore fans away. What exactly has DC done? Well, to start off, DC completely rebooted their entire universe back in 2011 in the comic event called Flashpoint. In their reboot, DC re-imagined all of their characters, from costumes to personality, along with their backstories.

Certain changes are unnoticeable – such as Batman still being brooding and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) still being the same headstrong guy he is.

But other changes are blaringly obvious; every character has been made a few years younger than previously, and certain beloved characters have been deleted all together. The two most obvious characters DC has shed are Wally West – aka one of the Flashs – and Lian Harper, the well beloved daughter of Roy Harper.

Along with these, DC has also changed certain parts of all of their characters’ backstories – without telling us what exactly has been changed. You have no idea how infuriating it is to read about a character whose story you’ve spent years learning about and then reading their new stuff and have them refer- ence something you don’t know anything about. It gets under your skin really quickly and ruins the comic-reading experience.

So, as if those weren’t enough, DC has for some reason felt the need to kill Robin (Damian Wayne). Again. For the second time. The first time, DC killed Jason Todd – the second Robin – back in 1988 after polling fans, and many were not pleased with this. So why did they think that killing off an even more popular Robin would go any better? Many fans were peeved off at this, and think Damian’s death was a cheap tactic for drama in the DC universe. But not only are fans angry at what DC is putting in its comics, but also what they aren’t putting in their comics. Specifically, the marriage of Batwoman (Kate Kane) and her longtime fiancé, Maggie Sawyer. Yes, Batwoman is a lesbian, and DC has absolutely refused to show the marriage on comic panel. Now, I can understand DC not wanting to show the marriage, as gay marriage is a very controversial issue, but considering that they have been engaged, not marrying them makes them seems wishy-washy and weak.

Another result of this is that the editors for that comic – J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman – have quit after this. Which is another problem DC is having; ALL OF THEIR WRITERS AND ARTISTS LEAVING. I mean, seriously, practically all of DC’s best writers and artists are leaving DC because of their shenanigans.

The final straw for many DC fans such as myself is the most recent infraction – on Sept. 5, 2013, DC set up a contest for fans to draw the Joker’s on/off girlfriend Harley Quinn in four different poses. The purpose was to get the winner to become the new artist for the Harley Quinn comic. That’s not a bad thing; in all honesty, it’s actually a cool thing, as DC would finally let new blood to their staff.

The thing that makes it very bad is the poses DC has commissioned their fans to draw her in have her trying to commit suicide in four ways, with each way becoming more disturbing and inappropriate. The first pose features her standing atop a building during a lightning storm, and the last featuring her naked. Many fans, including me, are angry that DC would not only release such a contest, but also release it just days before the National Suicide Prevention Week began.

Now, to DC’s credit, they did apologize a week later for how they worded their contest and gave more contexts on what would happen in the comic, though they didn’t actually apologize for the contest itself. They said that Harley would only be imagining the different suicide attempts in a fourth wall-breaking way.

The fourth wall, for those unaware of its definition, is an imaginary “container” that keeps the comic book characters from knowing that they are in a comic book. So, those who break the fourth wall are aware that they are in a comic book and can “talk” directly to the reader.

This is still confusing though as Harley Quinn has never broken the fourth wall before. Traditionally in comics, only characters that are in the highest degree of insanity can break the Fourth wall. These characters include Deadpool and the Joker, but Harley Quinn isn’t insane enough to break the fourth wall.

Don’t get me wrong; she’s still insane. But Harley has never been, and never will be, insane enough to break the fourth wall. She’s never broken it before, and the possible excuse that her thoughts of suicide are driving her into further insanity is simply lazy at best and stupid at worst.

DC has done all of this and more to their fans, and many are leaving the comic company behind to go get their superhero fix from Marvel comics. And who can blame them; with the way Marvel treats their fans and characters (i.e., respect), it’s a miracle more people haven’t left DC.