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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Has the DC Comics reboot gone too far?

rebooted Starfire

I don’t read comics and had not heard about the DC Comics reboot prior to two readers contacting me independently about it. Robert wrote:

DC has relaunched 52 titles this month — brand new “first issues”. They’ve drawn a lot of fire for their depiction of certain female characters, notably Catwoman and Starfire. I can’t say it’s unfounded; I don’t have any problems with a little comic book cheesecake, but lines were definitely crossed.

io9 has an interesting post in which a seven-year-old female comics fan responds to the new Starfire (pictured above):

I can see almost all of her boobs… Well she is on the beach in her bikini… But, she’s not relaxing or swimming. She’s just posing a lot… She’s not doing anything… I mean, grown ups can wear what they want, but she’s not doing anything but wearing a tiny bikini to get attention… I want her to be a hero, fighting things and be strong and helping people.

About the rebooted Batgirl, Lisa wrote:

Barbara Gordon is back as Batgirl, after twenty-plus years in a wheelchair after being shot by the Joker in The Killing Joke. I grew up with Gordon as Batgirl and with Yvonne Craig in the role in the 1960s series. I’m thrilled, but there’s some very angy fen out there.

Short version of the debate is between the folks who love Barbara Gordon as Batgirl and those who loved Barbara Gordon as Oracle. As Oracle, Gordon was paralyzed from the waist down but became a master computer hacker and information broker to the superhero community, as well as still being able to take down a bunch of ninjas from the wheelchair with her fighting sticks. There are some very angry folks that one of the few disabled major characters has been un-disabled. Others see it as only being fair to a major female DC character in light of Batman himself being healed of a similar spinal injury in a few issues of his comic.

(For more on the reboot, see ScreenRant’s complete guide.)

Has the DC Comics reboot gone too far? Are there other issues beyond sexism and ableism that are angering fans? How should fans repond if they don’t like the new books? Is simply not buying them enough, or should readers communicate more directly with DC to let the company know why former readers have given up?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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