Posted by:
Matt McGloin

Batgirl & The Killing Joke Trending Worldwide



Yesterday saw the news that DC Comics had cancelled the Joker 75th Anniversary variant cover set for June's Batgirl #41.

After getting heat on various social networks and websites, the artist behind The Killing Joke homage piece, Rafael Albuquerque, requested that the cover be pulled.

"My intention was never to hurt or upset anyone through my art," Albuquerque said in a statement released yesterday. "For that reason, I have recommended to DC that the variant cover be pulled."

DC Comics followed up with their own statement, which only added to the controversy as it read in part: "...threats of violence and harassment are wrong and have no place in comics or society."

The statement by DC made it sound like the artist was threatened, which never took place.

Both Batgirl's regular artist, Cameron Stewart, and Albuquerque cleared up the confusion on Twitter.

"Something to clarify, because DCs statement was a little unclear. [Rafael Albuquerque] did not get threats. People OBJECTING to the cover did," tweeted Stewart.

"Ill talk more about it tomorrow but I was never threatened. just to make it clear," Albuquerque tweeted as well.

The reason cited for the controversy is that Batgirl is currently considered a more light-hearted series than Alan Moore's serious take on The Killing Joke.

Apparently, the creative team nor the main editor on Batgirl are to blame for deciding to go with the variant, as Comics Alliance points out variant covers at DC are "often commissioned and approved by art directors who have little to do with the actual books the covers will be placed on."

Comic Book creator Erik Larsen also offers his thoughts - in what's being described as a Twitter rant - as Larsen argues (in part), "...creators should not be taking orders from the audience..."

Other comic creators and fans have also reacted on Twitter: