Showcase-Batgirl-Comparisson
Via Cranky Chris Butcher:

On the left there, that’s the solicitation cover for SHOWCASE: BATGIRL, the first of DC’s cheap reprint volumes to feature a female lead character. On the right? That’s the cover it shipped with. Spot the difference.

Do we all know what kind of industry we have now? Are we all aware so I can stop getting death-threats from retards when I dare to suggest a comic book cover is mysogynist? No? I’m just a humourless jerk who hates everything you love? Okay then. Just as long as the dissonance is cognative, I guess that’s alright?


Okay, now you just KNOW DC is doing all this just to dip female reader’s pigtails in the inkwell, because that has to be a joke. Right? Please?

1 COMMENT

  1. They just . . . the Big Two this year just decided, “hey, we don’t need the female bucks. Girlz aint in r howzes, buyin r comix.” Is that it? They had a vote, or they connected through the Zeitgeist, or something?

    I have to go put a cold compress on my head. I have a headache.

  2. They just . . . the Big Two this year just decided, “hey, we don’t need the female bucks. Girlz aint in r howzes, buyin r comix.” Is that it? They had a vote, or they connected through the Zeitgeist, or something?

    First I find out Dark Horse is republishing 3 of John Norman’s Gor books, and now this.

    I have to go put a cold compress on my head. I have a headache.

  3. It should be obvious to everyone now just what I was always saying, DC made John Byrne’s comics appear misogynist!

    They hate women, not Byrne. He dates the most beautiful women in the world and took a controversial stand against breast implants. DC forced Byrne to add negative portrayals of their female characters because they couldn’t get laid in high school and they still resent it! Byrne even wanted to do a new Batgirl character but Denny O’Neil stole his idea and turned it into a woman who couldn’t speak, another sign that DC hates women!

    Looks like Byrne isn’t such a cranky, paranoid, loud mouth jerk after all.

  4. Earlier today I wrote a long, stirring, emotional eloquent response to this… but it didn’t show up.

    It was a great comment… it would have made you cry…

    Instead, I just say “Bah, DC! Bah!”

    I actually bought this book. Out of so many cool pix in the book, I can’t believe that is the image they actually chose.

  5. I thought it was just an innocent homage to the cover of Detective Comics #371 (1968), featuring Batgirl more concerned about a run in her tights than helping Batman and Robin fight the bad guys.

    What you’ll find reprinted on the inside isn’t exactly a pean to modern feminism, either. Wasn’t this the phase in Babs’ career when she carried around her Bat-Purse with stereotypical “feminine” crime fighting tools like a “crime compact” and “smoke screen hairspray”? I think the cover is merely reflecting the tone of the tales it’s reprinting….and hardly worth a five-alarm Feminist Alert.

    But, of course, I’m just a Clueless Patriarchal Oppressor…so what do I know?

  6. Time to watch on You Tube the old PSA with Batgirl refusing to save Batman & Robin from the dynamite unless they support the equal wages bill.

  7. Mark: Because of course when there are sexist aspects to a work, those aspects are the most important ones! I mean, GOD FORBID the aspect of the contents that gets reflected in the cover should be one that WOULDN’T drive away female readers.

    Also: yes, you are a Clueless Patriarchal Oppressor! It’s good to see that you’re owning up. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

  8. “Because of course when there are sexist aspects to a work, those aspects are the most important ones! I mean, GOD FORBID the aspect of the contents that gets reflected in the cover should be one that WOULDN’T drive away female readers.”

    That would be fine, if this was some new art created as the cover shown there. But it is actually the first page to Detective Comics #371, done well over 35 years ago, as are most of the stories in the book. That cover actually reflects the times and mindsets of when these stories were made.

    And, last I had heard, that issue of Detective, with all it’s “misogynistic evil” on that first page, probably had better sales than anything resembling a so-called “smash hit” today. Seems readers back then (either male or female) weren’t put off by that image (when it was NEW) to prevent them from buying it up like mad. Only our perverbial “enlightened crusaders” of today seem to let that happen (or so they CLAIM, since I’m sure plenty of those who beef about this kind of thing still buy the work anyway, thereby defeating the purpose of their prostest in the first place).

    That image is a part of the DC’s and the character’s rich history. To deny it is to deny the past it represents. It perfectly reflects the type of stories you are going to find in that book. You know, in a lot of ways, it seems things really were better in “the good ol’ days.” Seems both genders were better able to enjoy the silliness of that time, without regret or recriminations. But, that was before we all became so “enlightened.” I guess ignorance really is bliss.

  9. “Okay Dude, but why did they CHANGE the cover from something neutral to something very frivolous?”

    To better reflect what you were going to read? I can image that some feminist type would have complained that DC used a “neutral” image to fool females into buying the book, which is simply chock full of feminine oppression and gender stereotypes of the highest order. Don’t deny someone wouldn’t have done this, because we all know how it works on the Internet by now, don’t we?

    To pay homage to Gil Kane, one of the greats who had done the largest body of work on the character? I mean, the Carmine Infantino cover is nice, but he hardly did any work on Batgirl’s stories. Kane, OTOH, had done a large portion of her stories under those covers. Having an image by Kane would seem to also better represent what you are getting, in terms of the kind/style of art you will find.

    To use another image, other than the Batgirl intro which has been done, re-done and homaged to death? Again, Carmine’s cover is great, but it’s also very overused. And look at some of the other covers they have? Batman #197 with Batgirl and Catwoman fighting over Batman. Detective Comics #371, with Batgirl complaining about a run in her costume (I didn’t know spandex could “run”). Seems there are a lot of images that could have been deemed just as bad (if not worse) than the one they used. As I noted, you have to take the image into the context of the times these stories were told. They might seem “misogynistic” by TODAY’S feminine standard, but not when they were made. And they should be discarded and ignored, just because of modern popular political opinion of the day finds them annoying. They are a part of the history of the company and the character. If you like Batgirl, you have to accept the good parts with the bad ones. Otherwise, you don’t like the character as much as you might claim.

    Someone one the staff thought the image was humorous and cute and decided to use it instead? See, the image is being lambasted as if it was done as an affront to females, but no one can actually prove that. I’ve come to learn that MOST of the stuff comic feminist often tout as “misogynistic” usually has none of the venom or intent that being misogynistic TRULY calls for. In short, it’s “mountain out of a molehill” time. Which has become all too commonplace online of late.

    It could be any of these reasons. It could be all of them. It could be none of them. You didn’t actually expect me to know why DC used this, did you? But, as you can see, I don’t seem to have a loss of possibilities that has NOTHING to do with anyone at DC being out to “stick it” to female readers or try to drive them away. Of course, I’m not the one with a political agenda or chip on my shoulder, who’s looking to find something “wrong” to rail against, no matter how benign it might actually be. But hey, whatever floats a person’s boat, right?

  10. Content of respective images aside, they were going to have to do SOME editing at some point so that the top of the book didn’t actually read DETECTIVE COMICS STARRING BATMAN.

  11. Do you people know ANY comic history? What’s the big deal? This is NOT an invented cover! It’s a modern redo of “BATGIRL’S COSTUME CUT-UPS!” a story in this volume. It’s not sexist — or if it is, it’s a sexism reflected in the stories inside.

  12. No offense, but I have to agree with The Dude, it is a tribute to the old Detective Comics cover with Batgirl having a run in her stockings. I remember laughing my face off when I first saw that run-in-the-stockings cover. Admittedly, I liked the run better than her doing her makeup.

    As for the cover on the left side, tributes to it have been done a few times now already (I believe one was a Brian Bolland cover) so I can see why they decided to change it to something else. I really don’t think this is something to get so worked up about. It matches the period in which the reprinted comics came out!

  13. Do you people know ANY comic history? What’s the big deal? This is NOT an invented cover! It’s a modern redo of “BATGIRL’S COSTUME CUT-UPS!” a story in this volume. It’s not sexist — or if it is, it’s a sexism reflected in the stories inside.

    I apologize on behalf of anyone, like m’self, who does not have a comprehensive knowledge of Silver Age superhero comics. It makes us lesser people, I realize.

    In fairness, however, it does mean that I’ve never had to have an internal debate to decide whether or not I should masturbate over comics laced with ’60s sexism or, instead, keep those comics in the fine-to-near-mint condition in which I purchased them.

  14. Manga can’t manage to sell to boys while comic’s can’t sell to girls.

    You do know manga is comics, right? Comics are a medium. Comics sell to girls just fine: Buffy, Love and Rockets, and other titles have large female followings. Hell, even Jim Balent’s work sells to women.

    The Spandex fetish comics you like, that feature distorted men and women superpowers may not, but that’s something else entirely.

  15. Tough call on this one. That cover was a direct riff on Page 1 of an actual Silver-Age Batgirl story, one of her most memorable (if regrettable) stories. Yes, it’s the sheer corniness and sexism (misogyny may be too strong) that makes it memorable, but it’s a memorable part of her history nonetheless, just as the Giant Turtle Boy is a memorable part of Silver Age Jimmy Olsen’s. Still, those early stories aren’t exactly the collocted works of Betty Friedan (Babs hadn’t become a politico yet), so maybe that cover embodies “truth in advertising”.

  16. “Some will call a pattern a pattern, and others will call it random events. Or a spade.”

    And some are so intent on finding a pattern, that they will do and say anything to find it, even in the most benign of places.

    Not saying that about anyone specifically, mind you, just saying is all…

  17. Tough call on this one. That cover was a direct riff on Page 1 of an actual Silver-Age Batgirl story, one of her most memorable (if regrettable) stories.

    Drats! And here I thought I could be the voice of reason!
    Better change my position… GRRR! MYSOGINISM! DOWN WITH COVERS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE MATERIALS CONTAINED WITHIN!!!

    … That oughtta do it!

  18. “Manga can’t manage to sell to boys while comic’s can’t sell to girls.”

    READ: ‘go read manga like the rest of the girls!’ (also, dude: comics. No apostrophe.)

    “It’s not sexist — or if it is, it’s a sexism reflected in the stories inside.”

    READ: ‘sexism is just a convention of the genre!’

    “In short, it’s “mountain out of a molehill” time. Which has become all too commonplace online of late.”

    READ: ‘Why are you complaining about this when women in Afghanistan are being killed?’

    “Of course, I’m not the one with a political agenda or chip on my shoulder, who’s looking to find something “wrong” to rail against, no matter how benign it might actually be. But hey, whatever floats a person’s boat, right?”

    READ: ‘There is no sexism here. These are not the droids you’re looking for.’ (Personally, I’m a little amazed to see this used right after “sexism is a convention of the genre!” Do you ever give yourself whiplash, Mark?)*

    I can hardly believe I’m the first to call it, but… BINGO! :D

    (Boys: http://girl-wonder.org/girlsreadcomics/?p=66 – a clue. Please to be getting one. Kthx.)

    *This may not actually be one of the points of Karen’s Bingo card, but it ought to be.

  19. Has anyone mentioned yet that the second one is just an ugly cover, in and of itself? Batgirl staring off into the middle distance, eyes out of wack, not at all looking into the mirror (how exactly is she supposed to do her lippy?); ribcage jutting out weirdly. She looks like she just got thwapped in the back of the head by one of those bad guys she’s ignoring.

    If you want to do a funny, retro cover, it should at least be a nice-looking retro cover. Blech.

  20. Having read the book in question, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s a sexist cover choice. The issue they pulled from to get that cover is one of a relative few near the beginning that are very sexist in their depiction of Batgirl, rather than the solo stories that make up the bulk of the book and show her as an independent, intelligent crime-fighter (and Congresswoman, a development that apparently got retconned away somewhere in the years since.)

    In short, given any number of images to recreate for their cover, they picked the single most sexist image in the book, the one most guaranteed to create an impression of Batgirl as a ditzy bimbo. Whatever their motives, the result is a sexist cover.