Wednesday, March 25, 2015

#ChangeTheCover: My thoughts

This controversy has rippled through comic book fans through the Internet. I personally don't think this is the Gamergate of comic books because it is just a variant cover. Let's get into it.
The reason why this cover is so important is because it calls back to an important story in the Batman history, The Killing Joke. In that twisted story, the Joker gets loose and shoots Barbra Gordon in the spine and kidnaps Commissioner Gordon. He tortures Gordon and Gordon can longer walk. People attack that story for attacking women, esp Barbra. However, the Barbra thing is a tool to show that Batman still won't kill the Joker even though he's gone too far.
Bad things should happen to our heroes/characters as long as it is appropriate for the context of the story and makes logical sense. Showing our heroes rise from their issues, such as Batgirl (in the original continuity) becoming a super hacker despite her disability made her an amazing character to look up to. She became Oracle, a hacker that helped out ALL of the DC heroes including Superman. She became a powerful character after her horrible ordeal.
When the DC universe rebooted, for a fourth time, she ended up becoming Batgirl again. However, everything that happened in the Killing Joke was still part of the New 52 (IE DC reboot) history. In this new universe, Barbra healed from her ordeal and was able to walk again. She went back to being Batgirl. (It gets a little messy with reboots and history and stuff.
While I like the old Barbra Gordon arc because it gave a good role model for people with disabilities, I can see why the new rebooted (sort of) Batgirl is a good role model for women and girls. But, we can't take away the fact that the Killing Joke did happen to this version of Barbra too. And, it shows that horrible things CAN happen to people and people can heal mentally and physically. (Note: She was still Oracle in the new universe too.)
She is a victim survivor that turns herself around and becomes a hero again. She is a strong female character because of what she's been through.
As the cover shows, she has to get over her fear of what the Joker did to her in the Killing Joke. If she defeats the Joker, it makes her a stronger character. This is where I have a problem with the SWJs getting all up in arms over the cover. There is history behind this cover and there is even more history behind the Joker just fucking with people.
Side Note: The Joker once poised Lois Lane and claimed the cure was in his blood. He told Superman he'd have to kill him to get the cure. Batman actually had to talk Superman down and let Lane die instead just so Superman wouldn't throw away his principles. Come to find out, the Joker was lying and the poison harmless disappeared from Lois' system. That's what the Joker does.
Since it is just a variant cover, it really doesn't matter. I'd be up in arms if DC had changed the storyline due to pressure. So, this is really just more or less hot air to me. I just believe every super hero man or woman needs a nemesis that is one of the worst of the worst. The Joker is that character. And, I just want the people that protested the variant cover to know there is a long history behind that cover.
Characters are supposed to rise and fall and then rise again despite their gender, race or religion. That's what makes them compelling.

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