Sunday, December 01, 2019

DC Comics Yanks Batman Poster After China Complained It Showed Support For Hong Kong Protests

DC Comics is the latest entertainment company under fire for submitting to the will of the Chinese government after they pulled a promotional poster for a new Batman run after the Chinese complained that it showed support for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Variety reports that DC Comics “yanked a poster for a new Batman title” by Frank Miller that showed Batman “throwing a Molotov cocktail against a backdrop of hot-pink words spelling out the new comic book’s tagline, ‘the future is young.'” The DC Black Label comic, “Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child,” is slated to hit shelves December 11th and is hotly anticipated.

Pro-government Chinese commentators pointed out the similarities between Batman’s actions on the cover and actions taken by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, who recently holed up in the city-states colleges and universities for a showdown with Hong Kong police, armed with a number of home-made defenses including Molotov cocktails. Demonstrators managed to hold off law enforcement for nearly two weeks before being forced out under threat of arrest and potential interrogation by Chinese-backed forces (and an uncertain future that could include life in prison or worse).

“Is Hong Kong really becoming Gotham City? But Hong Kong rioters are not Batman. Instead, they are the criminals of Gotham City,” one user of the Chinese social media site, Weibo, commented, according to Newsweek. Others, who could have been Chinese officials sent to foment opposition to the Hong Kong protests among the Chinese population, accused DC Comics of encouraging violence.

“[T]he poster came under fire from Chinese internet users who contended that it contained coded messages in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests,” according to Variety. “They said that the Molotov cocktail alluded to young Hong Kong protesters’ more violent tactics, that the ‘dark knight’s’ choice of black attire referred to the black-clad Hong Kong protesters, and that the ‘golden child’ of the book’s title was a veiled reference to the color yellow, which was taken up by previous pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong five years ago.”

Batman, of course, typically wears a black suit (though some iterations have been shades of blue or purple). Molotov cocktails are a generally recognized symbol of guerilla warfare and street-level resistance. And the “Golden Child” reportedly refers to an Earth-bound boy with extraordinary super powers.


1 comment:

Bird of Paradise said...

Holy Wimp-Out Batman