DC Comics has apologized for the messages on two licensed t-shirts sold by licensees:
"DC Comics is home to many of the greatest male and female Super Heroes in the world. All our fans are incredibly important to us, and we understand that the messages on certain t-shirts are offensive. We agree. Our company is committed to empowering boys and girls, men and women, through our characters and stories. Accordingly, we are taking a look at our licensing and product design process to ensure that all our consumer products reflect our core values and philosophy."
DC had been taken to task this week for approving two licensed shirts that caused outrage among parents, DC Comics fans, Twitter users and the internet at large.
The impetus for the apology was another sign of the changing dynamics of the comic reading audience (see "What Do We Know about the New Comics Customer?").
The "Batman’s Wife" shirt, which is available at mass merchandisers Walmart and was sold on Amazon, was seen as offensive for reinforcing antiquated gender roles, since it’s marketed toward teen girls, who apparently only aspire to be arm candy and caretakers for male heroes. Comic creator Scott Synder added a bit of levity, but also underscored the point, with a statement on Twitter, "I say, where are the ‘training to be Batman's husband’ shirts? Because I'd rock that."
The "Superman does it again" shirt is a modified image of a Jim Lee Justice League #12 cover, which strips Wonder Woman of her golden lasso that was actually tied around Superman on the comic, completely changing the power dynamic.
Twitter, and takes DC to task for reinforcing gender roles in its licensed kids lines as well. Baby boys are encouraged to aspire to heroics, while baby girls can only hope to date them. Perhaps "Future Supergirl" or "Future Wonder Woman" would have been a more appropriate choice for the pink outfit.
Posted by ICv2 on September 30, 2014 @ 12:56 pm CT