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Over the weekend at the Long Beach Comic Con, Tamara Brooks found some officially licensed DC t-shirts that gave messages that were a bit outmoded, to say the least. Tom Spurgeon quickly labeled them “repulsive,” and everyone else was all like reducing Wonder Woman to a victory level on a sex video game, really? Well, after CBR wrote to DC “DC wrote back and said, we agree:

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.


WHAT TH–! What century is this? Comic Book company, you are supposed to remain silent and just internally fret over these kinds of things, not step up and do the right thing by admitting it was not the best official message to send?

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To be honest, I find the first shirt repulsive. I get that showing Superman is a bro who bang hot chicks is an upgrade for his bulgeless underpants image. But…not the best way to get that across. The second is reminiscent of other t-shirts where the wearer declares she in training to be a trophy wife or whatever. Kinda silly but not the worst thing I’ve seen. But yeah, maybe not the best message for a company that is clearly trying to del with a surge of new customers who are more sensitive to this kind of thing. So yeah, end of kerfuffle, before it ever really got going.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Risking fear of being called an apologist (and trying to make it perfectly clear that my personal opinion is that I think both shirts are incredibly tacky and the Superman one is inappropriate as well) I’m wondering what is to bed said to a woman who wouldn’t have a problem wearing the Batman shirt, in particular. I guess more to the point, if it isn’t to your taste than you don’t have to buy it, but why is it fair to deny a woman who does like the shirt a right to buy it because you find it sexist. The shirt is made for a woman, and while it does reinforce certain dumb stereotypes in gender relations, I know women who wouldn’t have a problem wearing that shirt, both ironically and not. I don’t think any lesser of them for wanting to, and it does bother me than any one faction of a community has the power to blanket ban anything due to personal taste. I guess this is where I do see boycotts and calls to action stepping over the line a little bit.

    I’m not trying to start an argument or mansplain or anything else like that, Again, my personal tastes are that both shirts are tacky. I just don;t think that my personal taste she preclude someone elses.

    (Let me also add that I see a huge difference in the shirts. While the above shirt would make much more contextual and character sense to say Bruce Wayne, instead of Batman, I don’t think it’s entirely off character as the Superman/Wonder Woman shirt is. Even in confines of objective good taste, I can’t and won’t defend that shirt and think that probably shouldn’t have been made in the first place.)

  2. So, comic book fans are picking up pennies from the street so they can donate them to the CBLDF, but these shirts have to be censored and banished from public view? What a bunch of hypocrites. If they are so offensive, they won’t sell. Problem solved.

  3. Some women find the role of being a wife a complete accomplishment in its own right, especially those who are totally lazy and bait rich men.

  4. I find all of those shirts a bit distasteful, but at the same time that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be available for sale to people who want them. I know at least one woman who would ecstatically buy and wear that “Training to be Batman’s wife” shirt without the barest hint of irony, though I guess her tastes don’t get to count when they run contrary to those of the “new customers who are more sensitive to this kind of thing.”

  5. @Heidi – CA’s piece on these mentions that the “training” shirt is a junior miss tee being aimed at teen girls, so that may be where some of the distaste for that one is coming from.

  6. “What century is this?!”

    Hey, DC Comics still publishes ‘Legion of Super-Heroes’ stories — set in the *31st* century — in which Phantom Girl does nothing but fret helplessly on the sidelines while Ultra Boy fights.

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