This week, DC recalled one of their books. For extremely offensive word use. Apparently, they attempted to black out the words, but in the final analysis apparently you can still read them. So now they are being recalled.
I’m not going to dwell on what the words were, that has been done by others, but this event begs the question, how did it get that far? Is it not someone’s job to monitor the content so that this does not happen? Would that not be the editor? Or in this day and age is the Editor really a coordiantor, making sure the script gets to the artist, the art gets from the penciller to the inker, the pages from the colorist to the letterer?
Whatever their role, someone at DC allowed a story with objectionable language to get to print. Was it too much work to stop it in mid development? Shouldn’t there be somone who reads the script and reviews the story at each step to make sure it is ‘acceptable’? Maybe there was before, but these days, I doubt it. Why? Because over the past decade or so, the stories have taken on a darker tone, a scary twist, some titles have become horror stories.
Green Lantern: girlfriend killed and put in the refridgerator. I was not reading the book at the time and only found out when I bought a bunch of back issues.
Green Arrow: Onomotapia is introduced by several graphic scenes of him killing unknown vigilantes. To my knowledge, he was never cought.
Green Arrow: Black Lightning’s niece is introduced and hung to death within a single six issue story.
JSA 1: Mr. America’s entire extended family is killed off in bloody panels.
Tangent Superman’s Reign: two security guards killed in issue 1. One is shot, the other has his head cut off.
Birds of Prey: A teleported character explodes.
Green Lantern Corps: right now: the villain is killing off the family members of GLC members and sending their eyeballs to Corps on the planet OA. just gross.
I used to read comics to escape the real world. This is not an escape, its a nightmare.
So, where are the story cops? The people whose job it is to keep the stories within certain boundaries of good taste? I think we’ve seen this week that they do not exist. Its sad. DC could sell me several more comics each month if they were not filled with over the top gore. As it is, I pick up a title I am interested in, and in the case of Tangent Superman’s Reign, I was going to buy it. Flipping through I saw the security guard get his head cut off. That killed the whole series right there. I have to assume that this level of violence, which I find unacceptable will be repeated, so I decided then and there not to buy the entire series. 12 comics unsold because 1 scene was chosen to be portrayad in an over the top gory way. I had to drop Green Arrow’s book. After the hanging of Black Lightning’s niece I could’t take it any more. My favorite hero, but I could no longer buy his book. I had already dropped Nightwing and Batgirl as too gory. Hawkman I dropped after they showed a mans head in a pot and his body on the next page. JSA #1, I read and took back to the store. I will not pick up the series. Identity Crisis introduced rape to the comics. Did it need to be here? I think not.
This kind of stuff is not necessary. Good stories can be written which involve suspence and danger without blood on every other page and dead bodies thrown around. Editors, do your job, stop the bad ideas before the reach print. And I’ll do mine, I’ll buy the books if you keep the blood and gore to a minimum and end the human mutilation. I’m not here to read CSI. I’m here to read about the heroes saving the people BEFORE the people die.