It didn’t do much to dampen the disdain I harbour for the big-name comic companies.
For a start, I’m not sure how that page was selected as the cream of the crop. Bravo to the artist for being selected, sure, but there were far more dynamic, lively examples I saw posted here on DA, and I'm genuinely surprised that none of them were chosen. The page selected feels just as stiff, stagnant, sterile and devoid of life as much of the other stuff DC discharges onto the shelves (which might have been why they ran with it).
The main gripe I have, though, is that they changed the final panel.
For those that (somehow) missed the whoo-haa that the whole talent search kicked off: the script DC provided to their would-be artists called for illustrations depicting the titular Harley trying to off herself in a series of absurd ways: holding an antennae in a lightning storm, tempting alligators by wearing a chicken suit, tickling the inside of a whale’s mouth and, finally, on the verge of dropping every electrical item she owns into the bathtub at once.
The hysteria machine that is the internet decided that the last bit was offensive and in bad taste and that DC were not only creatively bankrupt but also felt the sexualisation of suicide was perfectly acceptable content for a comic.
I didn’t see that when I was drawing my version of the page, but then, I’m not a sheep that follows the herd around, bleating.
Rather than sticking to their guns and pointing out that the whole issue fuelled by internet cry-babies’ misinterpreted the script and not what the writers had actually put on the page, DC changed the final panel to depict Harley atop some kind of rocket being launched into space.
This irks me because they had a chance to prove they have a spine (and maybe a shred of integrity) they instead bowed to the ill-informed rage of a mob. You don’t pander to people that badmouth you based on erroneous information, you confront them!
They interpreted the script outline as the sexualisation/mockery of suicide? Well, I didn’t read any of the comic and I interpret the panel they printed as something far worse.
That rocket looks like some kind of ICBM.
Harley’s trying to kill herself and she’s going to take millions of innocent people with her.
If you don’t have all the facts, you see what you want to.
Sex, it appears, is far scarier than gruesome collateral damage on a massive scale.
It comes from looking past the exterior of the standard darkly humourous psycho clown, and seeing what is at the very core of the character: desperation.
The Joker is a man who lost everything in an event so horrible and traumatic that he has blocked it and all he lost from his mind and escaped into insanity in a desperate attempt to keep himself from becoming a vegetable. Scarred, deranged and in possession of nothing, the Joker becomes the ultimate nihilist (assuming that is the proper use of the word). He cannot see the world around him as anything but "a monstrous, demented gag" and tries to convince himself that the only way to survive is to be the one telling the joke, instead of it's victim.
So he commits horrible crimes, causes mayhem, and tries to convince himself that it's all alright, because this is just how the world works.
But that last, tiny sliver of rationality within him makes him doubt himself, so along with trying to slaughter people, he also tries to convince other people of the truth of his way of life, in the desperate hope that they'll convince him. It's why he's so obsessed with Batman; here is a man who has suffered nigh as much as he has, but who holds it together enough to actually be a positive influence (mostly) on society. The Joker sees Batman as both the only one remotely capable of understanding him, and the biggest threat to his worldview. It's his constant contact with Batman that feeds that last spark of rationality, and he both loves him and hates him for it. He feels that Batman may restore his sanity, so he tries to corrupt him to save himself from the crushing guilt of all he's done.
He only laughs so he won't cry.
You know who I loved from the Batman universe, Clay Face, in the Batman the animated series, he was epic.
Darkman is probably the best superhero I ever witnessed, the other movie spin off's where crap. But the Liam Nielson one, the first, damn 0_o
Google darkman on image search, just to get an idea.
I like Clayface too, he's an interesting, often sympathetic character, but I simply like the Joker better. You don't like him, I understand that, and I can respect that, but I'm not sure you're giving him a chance. When you look at him, you see a harmless clown (and, to be fair, he was exactly that in the Silver Age. Damn Comics Code.), I see a man pushed off the deep end determined to take everyone else down with him. Like if the bloke at the end of Titanic had dragged the girl into the water with him.
Just do me a favour and read 'The Killing Joke', it's a great example of how to do the Joker well. Do that, and I'll go watch Darkman. Pretty sure I saw a copy of that at the local video rental place that's only still open because we don't get Netflix down here.
Still, 'Killing Joke' is a good one, but it is by Alan Moore, so par for the course.
DC may have gotten some "internet backdraft," but I have a feeling that this was done explicitly to garner said attention. If DC didn't want to illicit a reaction from "The internets" then they could have chosen a less risque and questionable scene to offer their consumers to draw.
DC chose the context and the scene when making this contest. If they didn't want a backlash, then they could have been more clear or chosen a better scene. At the end of the day, I have little sympathy for someone who throws rocks at a hornets nest and then complains when they are stun.
I don't think the furore as being entirely about sexualisation of suicide though, more a certain level of disregard for suicide as a horrible thing that happens, treating it lightly as it were, though you could certainly argue that there was some uncomfortable crossover with unnecessary and tasteless sexualisation of female characters, I don't think the thing you're calling the internet a bunch of whiners over was what the internet was actually whining about in this instance.
Honestly, even if I don't agree with everything everyone else calls a screwup by DC, I can generally agree that they're unable to go more than a week without screwing something up.
If this is their idea of "hot new artist that's never worked in the industry" before, then NO WONDER the rest of us can't break in...
Like, they know she's extremely popular and they really want to appease the fans, but they lost the ability of actually using her in a way that it's coherent with the character itself.
Maybe they are trying to transform her into a Deadpool-style character (and failing). Maybe they are trying to piss off Paul Dini (and it's probably working). I dunno anymore. Maybe they though "oh, an harlequin character is too good, so let's make her a hooker". All I know is that I have lots of old comics of her and watched all of the Batman The Animated Series and the character was good then, and now she isn't.
Maybe instead of killing their characters, they should start killing their executive jobs. And then reboot the universe again because this one looks stupid. Red Lantern? Really? Golden Age comics weren't so stupid.
In fact, I'm tempted to suggest that they have licensed characters (ie Daria Morgendorffer, Jane Lane, Dexter or Deedee from Dexter's Lab, a certain Teenage Robot or, hell, even a certain Homicidal Maniac) do the 'reprogramming' just to point out how silly the scenario can be.
Like I said earlier, it's time for a change (at both DC and Marvel) but there are as many ways to implement that change as there are (former) fans seeking it:
- Daria's version would probably be intelligently written and drawn
- Dexter's would likely have lots of science(-fiction) based stories
- Deedee's would be full of ponies and rainbows and other cavity-inducing material
- Gosalyn Mallard's would be a random mixed-up mess
- Beavis and Butthead's version, well, would probably put to shame (Uuuh... hey Beavis, check out their thingies. Uh-huhuhuhuhuh)
That's not to say that it can't be done, mind you - it's simply that the resulting changes may still arouse ire in the 'New DC Universe's intended audience.
I invite you (and all who read this reply) to post how you (and they) would 'Myx things up a little'.
(It's not always about the 'bottom line' - customer satisfaction breeds loyalty which can create/bolster profit in the long run)
Unfortunately, far too many of them are slow learners and that will some back to bite them...again (espcially once the financial padding of their posteriors wears out).
Oh well, such is 'Nature'.
*goes back to playing Cave Story*
Well said, sire.
so... yeah.. you're wrong..
tl;dr/translation for the dim: Good job, convincing me that you're most likely a teabagging 14 year old. HAND