The last couple of months haven't been great for female comic book fans.
In the wake of Marvel executives dodging the question of when the company would finally make a female superhero movie, and fresh off a Marvel apology after the company made a Spider-Woman solo comic book cover overtly sexual, it's now time for an apology from DC Comics.
Over the past week, bloggers and comics sites pointed out two t-shirts the comics juggernaut was selling. The first depicted Wonder Woman, one of the company's most iconic heroes, as Superman's latest sexual conquest:
Look at this bullshit. It's licensed too. pic.twitter.com/HijAb8gPtW— Tamara Brooks (@MisfitsTamara) September 28, 2014
The second was a pink and grey shirt for juniors that declared "Training to be Batman's Wife":
The shirts are clumsy, and they reinforce the idea that women are objects to be won. It's all the more disappointing, because they come from a company that promotes empowerment not just with iconic heroes like Superman, but also with feminist touchstones like Wonder Woman and Batgirl (whose titles under Gail Simone especially became feminist landmarks). DC Comics apologized on Monday, stating that the shirts are sexist and that the company needs to review its licensing. The company said:
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.
In short: DC's (and the comic industry's) female fans deserve better. And they're not getting it.
The "Batman's Wife" t-shirt is still being sold on Walmart's site.