Wednesday, February 20, 2019 • R.I.P. Edition • At least we're not!

State of the Stupid Address: Fallout From DC's Stupid Week

Written by Jude Terror on Thursday, September 12 2013 and posted in Features

State of the Stupid Address: Fallout From DC's Stupid Week

Now that the dust has settled on DC's week of epic stupidity, where do things stand?

Last week, The Outhouse's Has DC Done Something Stupid Today counter experienced a record week of activity, with counter resets coming multiple times a day as DC drove J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman off of Batwoman and then released an ill-considered, context-less page from what would have been a fine in-context Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor Harley Quinn script as part of a contest. You can read our Saturday recap right here for all the details.

Go ahead, read it so you're up to speed. Ok, now we'll fill you in on what went down after that. At the bottom of this article, you'll find a list of all the stories in the order they broke, so you can relive the thrilling experience of DC's stupidest week on record.

Almost immediately after we published the recap, DC Co-Pubilsher Jim Lee took to Twitter to lecture fans about the contest, carefully explaining that the problem was that readers weren't considering the script in context. The Outhouse helpfully explained that the issue wasn't comic book readers not understanding the context of a comic book. It was DC's paid PR people, whose job it is to make sure DC is projecting a positive image that makes people want to buy their comics, choosing to take that page of all pages out of context and release it into the wild where anyone who even gave it the slightest forethought could have predicted it might turn into a publicity disaster in the mainstream media and the greater internet, where most readers are not familiar with the work of Palmiotti and Connor, Harley Quinn's cartoonish nature, or even necessarily comic books in general. All they saw was "DC wants people to draw a female character committing suicide while naked," and no matter how much would like to blame it on them, that's not the fault of the readers. It's the fault of DC's publicity department.

But DC didn't see it that way, because this week they've had Jimmy Palmiotti making the rounds, taking the heat, and apologizing for the controversy caused by the script. The fact is, people like Palmiotti, and he didn't do anything wrong, so if DC can direct the heat at him, they know it will blow over. It's cold. It's calculated. It's the first good PR move they've made in a week.

As fans turn on each other, screaming about whether or not it's okay for suicide to be depicted in comics in a joking fashion, DC gets away with having everyone believe that was always the issue, when the real problem is their stunning lack of ability to recognize when they are putting themselves in an unflattering situation, and their resolve to double down on stupidity when they get called out on it instead of ever doing anything to change it. Palmiotti doesn't deserve to be the scapegoat, but we already know DC doesn't care about hurting creators, so, as far as DC is concerned, crisis averted.

Backing up a bit, on Monday we got confirmation on the story we ran Saturday about new writer Mark Andreyko taking over on Batwoman, beginning with issue #25. Williams and Blackman had planned on staying until #26, but they found out (over the internet like the rest of us) that their run would be cut short by two issues, causing it to end on a cliffhanger.

Meanwhile, in response to both these controversies, the hashtag #FireDidio started trending on Twitter, causing a lot of blogs to feel bad for Dan Didio and say nice things about him. The hashtag is still alive, and many of its users are insisting that they don't actually intend or expect to get Didio fired, but just want their voices to be heard. While it's easy to look down on fans who seem to take comic books way too seriously, what people should take away from this is the fact that DC's attitude toward its fans, belittling them, dismissing their concerns, condescending to them, and often blatantly teasing them over issues like the availability of characters like Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and Wally West, has created an entire culture of dejected fans so desperate that they devote a considerable amount of energy into expressing their hatred and disappointment with DC publicly on a regular basis.

DC makes picture books about superpowered people in their underwear beating each other up. When the primary reaction to their every move is rage, while there might be some blame for the fans sometimes, it's a sure bet that DC is doing something severely wrong from a public image perspective. You can't blame all of that on "haters" and call it case closed.

In any case, things have calmed down and DC seems to be regrouping. Through it all, people have been tweeting us, asking when we're going to reset the counter again, and pointing us to all of the latest developments in these stories, but there's no double jeopardy with the HDCDSST counter. I wouldn't expect any major drama out of them for the next week or two, as is the pattern after a meltdown like this, but we're sure they'll do something mildly stupid a few times before then. They can't help themselves, after all.

So don't despair, dear readers. Keep watching Has DC Done Something Stupid Today and follow The Outhouse on Twitter and Facebook. We'll keep you up to date, and when a justified counter reset comes, it'll be that much sweeter for waiting.

It has been 5 days.


UPDATE: DC begrudgingly apologized for the Harley Quinn contest.


Reading Order for Week of Stupid:

  1. DC Producing Photoshopped 3D Cover for Villains Month Omnibus

  2. DC Shocker: DC Fails to Credit Creators on Villains Month Covers

  3. Midnight Shocker: W. Haden Blackman and J. H. Williams III Walk Off Batwoman

  4. Dan Didio Ignores All Calls While Preparing for Fantasy Football Draft

  5. DC Runs Low on Talent to Drive Away, Holds Open Search for More

  6. DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Outraged

  7. Dan Didio Responds to Williams/Blackman Controversy

  8. DC Shocker: Marc Andreyko Takes Over Batwoman, Williams and Blackman's Run Not to Finish? Updated: It Won't.

  9. What? No! Aquaman is not Married to Mera! Why Would You Think That?

  10. The Week in DC Stupidity: When You Can't Decide Which Article Should Go On the Counter

  11. Jim Lee Speaks on Harleygate, Teaches Fans About Context

  12. DC Shocker: Dan Didio Doesn't Know Difference Between Batwomen

  13. 5.2 Reasons Not to Fire Dan Didio

  14. And then this article, and you're all caught up.

The Outhouse is not responsible for any butthurt incurred by reading this website. All original content copyright the author of said content. Banner by Ali Jaffery - he's available for commission!