Another week, another gaffe by DC Comics. This week's moment in PR stupidity comes from The DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels And Chronology 2013, the highly touted catalog showcasing essential comic book collections for bookstores, libraries and readers. DC's using the catalog to help push their books on the expanding trade market. According to DC executive John Cunningham, the catalog is also supposed to act as a starting point for retailers and librarians into the world of DC.
Since this is something that DC is heavily promoting, this means that they need to use it to show how little they care about their female characters (and by extension the female fanbase). While characters such as Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern all merit four or more pages worth of entries in the catalog, the last two pages are dedicated to all the women in the DC Universe. That's right: DC wants retailers to know that all of its female characters are so important to it, they collectively merit two pages towards the back of the book.
Adding injury to insult, the page features Batwoman and Batgirl fighting each other. Compare this to the rest of the pages, which feature heroes fighting villains or in heroic poses.
Now, if this was one isolated accident, I'm sure people would be more inclined to dismiss this as a silly oversight. But, one would think that after a few months of nearly weekly screw-ups and bad press, someone in the company would think that maybe, just maybe they should give their very public initiative a little more scrutiny to ensure that it won't, I dunno, piss off a very vocal fanbase that has effectively painted their company as a den of sexism and mysogny?
The saddest thing about this is that characters like the Flash and Green Arrow seem to be held in higher esteem than Wonder Woman, who is probably the world's best known superheroine. Considering WB is still working on a Wonder Woman TV show (you'll remember the project was delayed by a year to give them more time to cast the main role) you'd think they try to start selling some of those books now. But hey, the Flash was a TV show like twenty years ago, so it's all good.
Of course, DC's marketing department has better things to do than make sure their big catalog that's being shipped out across the country doesn't smack of sexism. Like reading second tier comic book websites' critical commentary on them and then deciding to blacklist them. Or change their black characters into tigers. Or go see Iron Man 3.
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