Sunday, October 24, 2010

This week in altered DC Comics covers:

A few days ago over at Blog@Newsarama, I noted that DC had removed an upside-down cross from Frank Quitely's cover image for Batman and Robin #15 between the time the book was originally solicited and the time it was actually printed and shipped to shops (something I had idly suspected may occur when I first saw the cover, given a few other recent-ish examples of DC removing potentially offensive to someone imagery from their covers featuring Batman or Superman).

Well today I got a small stack of books from my nearest comic shop (reviews tomorrow; I'm still reading a few graphic novels that were in the mix), and had a good chance to study the wraparound Crime Syndicate vs. Justice League cover by Ethan Van Sciver.

It looks like this: It's not perfect, but it is a pretty exciting cover image, with really big, colorful figures beating on each other in exciting action poses. If you read Bleeding Cool because you have to at least occasionally check it out for work (because you are a semi-professional comics blogger), you may recall this post by Rich Johnson from way back in August, in which he pointed out that artist EVS apparently slipped a little coded message into the image as it was originally solicited, with the an S, a T, an F and a U among the letters on the sign Donna Troy was being punched through, reading STFU, an acronym for, you presumably already know, Shut The Fuck Up.

Well, if you compare the two images, you'll see that DC decided to remove the F and change the U into a J, removing the coded message.

Obviously, like a the other cover changes discussed in my post at Blog@, it's not a very big deal, and, if anything, is somewhat comforting, as it let's us know for sure that, yes, someone somewhere at DC does look at the covers to see if there's anything that might give anyone something to freak out or complain about or launch a campaign against corrupting funny books over. (At least some of the time, anyway—I'm not sure why whoever takes the STFUs and upside-down crosses off the covers doesn't also nix the blood-puking covers).

It's kind of too bad that they just stopped with those letters, however. I mean, if someone was going to go to the trouble of fixing part of this cover, why'd they stop there? Why not ask EVS to do something about Ultraman's weird right arm? Or the fact that EVS drew a different version of Power Ring than the one that appears inside the book? (This Power Ring is the Kyle Rayner equivalent from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's JLA: Earth-2 original graphic novel; the Power Ring in the story is the original, Hal Jordan equivalent, back from the dead just as Hal is).

Or the just plain insane amount of cleavage Dona Troy is showing?


Randal said...

If that STFU was intentional and not wishful thinking, then EVS is a big of a dingbat (and this is coming from someone who used to loathe him and has come around to liking him). However, there's no in-story reason for it to be there so I don't care at all that DC changed the cover. The Batman cover is only slightly, barely, in the tiniest bit only more of an issue because the cross kind of was part of the whole picture instead of a goofy code. But I still don't care at all because DC can do what the hell they want to the cover since it's their cover. I can't believe the howls of censorship, especially the real snotty "it's the cross of St. Peter; DC's so stupid to connect an upside down cross to something Satanic" argument. Yes, it's the cross of St. Peter, but the vast majority of people don't see it that way, and the meaning has changed over time. It reminds me of Peter David's smug-I'm-so-edumacated, "I don't know why they call what Scarlet Witch did Decimation - the word comes from the concept of only killing every tenth person, but more than 10% of mutants are gone." Or someone correcting you when you want a Xerox of something, or a Kleenex.

I dunno - rubs me raw.

But you know what doesn't? A comic company producing a cover that has a changed image.

Yeah, you're right about the arm and Power Ring, but if you get my blatant and gratuitous cleavage shots taken away, you and me, we're gonna have words, Caleb.

Kid Kyoto said...

Y'know drawing the wrong villain is a much more egregious mistake than slipping is a text-speak cuss word. Why aren't more people bringing that up?