I’m serious. Please watch this DC Fox news affiliate’s “news” “report” on how “comics aren’t for kids anymore BUT IN A BAD WAY” and just try not to explode with indignant, wholly justified rage. I live in DC, so I’d been seeing the promo for this segment for the last week and knew it would be awful, but I had no idea how awful it would be. In fact, it’s so stupid and wrong and wretched that it can be hard to keep track of all the things you should be upset about, so I’ve made this handy checklist.
? This report was filed this week, in mid-January 2012. The DC relaunch happened in September 2011. ? Of course, the phenomenon of mainstream comics getting more adult in content has been around more or less since 1986 a la Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. So really, this news segment is about 25 years late. ? Which also means that the DCnU, while certainly has its issues in the sex and violence realms, is not banking on sex and violence significantly more than the regular DC was doing (ahem, Identity Crisis). ? All the comics the reporter mentions are clearly marked as “Teen” and “Teen Plus” by DC Comics themselves, and are not and were not ever intended for children to read. The reporter even mentions this. So there’s no issue here. No problem whatsoever. ? So, after pointing out that these comics have content that is not suitable for kids — and that the comics themselves are prominently labeled as not being for kids — what does the reporter do? SHE DRIVES TO A MIDDLE SCHOOL AND GIVES THESE COMICS TO CHILDREN. INCLUDING THE CATWOMAN ISSUE WHERE CATWOMAN FUCKS BATMAN. ? She even points out the sex scene to the kids. She literally says out loud, to the child, “IT looks like their having sex, doesn’t it?” ? TO A CHILD IN MIDDLE SCHOOL. ? That’s fucking insane. ? So really, the problem here is that news reporters are driving to middle schools and forcing children to read inappropriate comics. SOMEBODY CALL THE POLICE.
But that’s not all! ? When mentioning DC’s relaunch, only one out of the three covers they show are from the relaunch. ? Bruce Wayne isn’t drunk on that page. He’s faking, like Bruce Wayne always does. Which means the reporters looked at the page, but didn’t actually read the words on it. INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM! ? Some asshole calls these comics “fictionalized Playboys,” which is so stupid I want to take a shit on his head. Yes, sir, these comics are just like “fictionalized Playboys” except that these comics don’t show real people or actual nudity and thus are nothing like Playboy. Oh, I guess they do have one thing in common — neither of them are for kids. ? The report tries to make an issue of the DCnU Starfire, who certainly is sluttier than her previous comics incarnation, but the report fucks this up by pretending the Teen Titans cartoon Starfire is the original, which is ridiculous. ? Also they show Starfire in some battle armor that that is nothing like her normal outfit. I’m certain they did this just to exaggerate their point, which mean these “reporters” are deceitful assholes. ? The best part? The Teen Titans cartoon footage they use is clearly some fan video uploaded to YouTube, which they ripped off instead of, I don’t know, getting official footage from Cartoon Network. Awesome. ? “It’s a misrepresentation of reality. It sends the wrong message.” What do you mean, grumpy old white guy? Are you saying comics ABOUT PEOPLE WITH SUPERPOWERS ARE REALISTIC DEPICTIONS OF REALITY? HOLY DICK SNACKS! THAT’S UNPOSSIBLE! ? While the segment doesn’t actually say those awful words “Bang! Pow! Comics aren’t for kids anymore!” they do use ’60s Batman
TV show footage to show, I guess, what comics are supposed to be like,
despite the fact THAT THE ’60S BATMAN SHOW IS ALMOST 50 YEARS OLD AND THE REPORTERS
THEMSELVES WERE PROBABLY NOT EVEN BORN THEN AND EVEN TIM BURTON’S
NON-CAMPY BATMAN FILM IS 23 YEARS OLD AND HALF THE FUCKING MOVIE
INDUSTRY HAS BEEN NON-CAMPY SUPERHERO MOVIES FOR THE LAST 15 YEARS SO
NO COMPARISON HAS EVER BEEN LESS RELEVANT EVER AND I HATE THEM. ? Also, I pretty much count using ’60s Batman footage as saying “Bang! Pow! Comics aren’t for kids anymore!” so fuck them. ? “Why are we advertising for little kids in a comic that’s for mature teens? What’s wrong with this picture?” Actually, that is weird, but that’s not DC’s fault. No child ever picked up a Teen Plus comic because he saw a fucking Milk ad in there. That’s absurd. The problem is that these advertisers are fucking idiots, but DC’s not going to correct them. Why would they? ? I love the shot of the comic store’s “Kids” section, which again negates the entire “report,” one last time. ? I wish DC had given these guys a comment, and that comment was “You people are imbeciles.” Ugh.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.