This is a licensed Superman t-shirt that's become the latest subject of social media outrage for an allegedly tone-deaf treatment of DC's female characters. The shirt features Superman making out with Wonder Woman with the caption: "SCORE! Superman does it again!" DCWomenKickingAss complains that the shirt reduces Wonder Woman to a sex object to be won by Superman, and also contrasts the ease with which DC approved this licensed shirt compared to their reluctance to allow the Superman logo on the statue of a murdered child earlier this year. Here's the shirt:
What do you think? Is the shirt in poor taste? It doesn't personally bother me other than being juvenile and ironically most likely to be worn by people who have never and will never have sex with another human being, but I do understand why it upsets people as part of a pattern (a pattern that undeniably exists).
The Mary Sue points out that the image on the shirt above is actually taken from the cover of Justice League #12, and in the original picture, Wonder Woman is lassoing Superman. The lasso had to be digitally removed to make sure Wonder Woman wasn't looking too empowered I guess, which is why her arm is so awkward in the picture now. Here's the original:
More offensive, in my opinion, is this licensed DC shirt from Amazon, also making the rounds today in the usual places:
That's right. It's the "training to be Batman's wife" t-shirt, which comes in "100% polyester" and "junior fitted size." Because if there's one thing we hope that superheroes teach girls, it's that it's never too early for them to base their entire life's aspiration on pleasing the man they hope to marry. We're not sure exactly what training to be Batman's wife entails, but we can imagine the excuse "Scarecrow dosed me with fear gas" gets old fast is all we're saying.
At this point, I'm starting to wonder whether this is actually a purposeful business strategy. This t-shirt would have likely gone unnoticed if it weren't featured in this way, and I'd be interested to see how it sells in the wake of controversy. Perhaps we'll reach out to SuperHeroDen and ask them about the Superman Does It Again shirt. For DC itself, however, while it's totally within their rights to use their properties in any way they want, the risk/reward for allowing shirts like this, pissing off their feminist fans and causing a big ruckus that makes them look bad only so that some dumb t-shirt company can make a quick buck, seems to be hardly worth it.
At some point, DC needs to take charge of their brand image and take responsibility for stuff like this. It's a shame when they work hard to produce comics appealing to female fans only to have a public outrage like this counteract it.
Especially when it breaks such a longstanding record. It was 80 days since DC had done something stupid. Now it's zero.
RESET THE COUNTER!