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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Batman The Killing Joke Trailer. Azzarello Is A Mysoginistic Arse

I think the idea that only that company has a rather loose attitude when it comes to how women are treated in the work place is at odds with facts.  Until female creators and staff at "the Big Two", who we have heard at the centre on incidents, break their silence and say "Fuck You" to non-disclosure agreements (or gagging orders if we want to be factual) this will go on.

To say I was a little confused over some forum chat after the San Diego Comic Con which included lines like "Damn (sic) Batman nails Batgirl and they don't even show it!" and "Cmon we all know Bats has been oiling that clam for years!"....which prompted me to leave the forum. What the hell was all this childish crap about?  

This is how First Post reported it:

Portrayal of Batgirl in 'Batman: The Killing Joke' was criticised at San Diego Comic Con

"The original Batman: The Killing Joke comic by Alan Moore is a cult classic, and almost as revered as the Dark Knightseries even though it's merely 48 pages.
The allure of it lies in the psychological insights it gives into its characters, and its ambiguous ending that had fans pinning for a sequel to tie up all the loose ends in the comic book. That is why the whole geek fandom was excited when an animated film remake was announced, and fans were super excited for their favourite Mark Hamill, who was going to voice Batman's arch nemesis The Joker.
Barbara Gordon / Batgirl. Image courtesy: Twitter
Barbara Gordon / Batgirl. Image courtesy: Twitter
Director Sam Liu has said that this one is about the characters, about the The Joker’s origin story, about the way Batman and his most famous antagonist serve as mirror images of each other.
Also the enlarged role of Batgirl aka Barbara Gordon was also the highlight of the animated film, which was supposed to be in tandem with the league of strong female superheroes we see on screen today.
So it was surprising when things went downhill for the animated movie at the Batman: The Killing Joke comic con panel at San Diego.
The movie was heavily criticised for its portrayal of Batgirl. We knew the original comic and the movie would consist of a scene where the Joker shoots and paralyzes Barbara Gordon, but it was surprising in the way it was adapted. Added to this was a deeply misogynist story line which also has a scene where the Barbara makes out and has sex with Batman, which is problematic because of the fact that we see Batman is a father figure to Barbara in the comics and mainstream media.
The reason the film makers would want a regressive portrayal of a strong female character seemed unreasonable to fans who saw the animated film at the comic con.
As reported by Hollywood Reporter, a Joker cosplayer asked the writers why they would downplay Barbara Gordon, such a strong female character, and make her story more about the men in her life.
According to Bleeding Cool reporter Jeremy Konrad, the writers insisted she was still a strong female character. Konrad, who’d already seen the film and didn’t agree, himself sarcastically shouted, “Yeah, by using sex and then pining for Bruce.”
That’s when co-screenwriter Brian Azzarello seemed to put it all out there. “Wanna say that again? Pussy?” he asked.
Looking at the response, guess we know where the misogynist writing came from."
Well, okay, I think Azzarello has had an over-hyped opinion of himself for a long time but I did not believe he actually used such a derogatory word at a public where kids were also present.
So I decided to go straight to The Hollywood Reporter, that I would normally have done straight away. This is how they reported on the event:

Comic-Con: 'Batman: The Killing Joke' Team Responds to Controversial Batgirl Sex Scene

[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the animated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke]
Hours ahead of its world premiere at San Diego Comic-Con,Batman: The Killing Joke was already getting negative attention online.
Word got out that the R-rated, animated adaptation of the classic graphic novel would include an expanded backstory that sees Barbara Gordon/Batgirl (Tara Strong) and Batman (Kevin Conroy) have a sexual encounter.
"It's totally out of character for both of them," one woman told Heat Vision outside Ballroom 20, minutes before the screening Friday. "They're supposed to have a father-daughter relationship."
In the 1988 graphic novel by writer Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland, the Joker shoots Barbara, paralyzing her almost as soon as she appears on the page. In the film version, she's the protagonist of the story for the first 20 minutes — fighting crime and dealing with conflicting feelings about her working relationship with Batman, and whether it's time to move on and leave crime fighting behind. After a heated exchange in which she lashes out at Batman for removing her from a case, she kisses him and it's implied they have sex (though that takes place offscreen).
During the premiere, the moment played well, with fans clapping. And the reaction to Mark Hamill's performance as the Joker couldn't have been stronger.
But afterward, things got heated when one fan asked, "You have talked about how you wanted to give Barbara more story … and yet the story you gave her ended up being about the men in her life. Why?" 
Screenwriter Brian Azzarello responded by calling Barbara "stronger than the men in her life in this story."
"She controls the men in her life in this story," he said.
The fan shouted that she was strong by "using sex" as he walked away from the mic, sparking a minutes-long discussion about the scene. When Azzarello said he couldn't hear what the fan said, he challenged the fan to repeat himself, saying, "Wanna say that again? Pussy?"
Others chimed in, saying they added sex and Batgirl "pining after Bruce" to the film.
"I don't think she's pining over Bruce at all," said Azzarello. "She's pining over the violence."
Executive Bruce Timm acknowledged "it's complicated."
"I actually like that in that opening story both Batman and Batgirl make a series of mistakes and then it kind of escalates, because Batman kind of overreacts and then she overreacts to his overreaction," said Timm. "That's a very human thing."
Timm went on to say Batman was more at fault in the first part of the movie. (He overreacts by taking Barbara off the case, and then doesn't communicate with her after their sexual encounter.)
"There's clearly an unstated attraction between the two of the characters from the very beginning and I think it's there in the comics. If you go back and look at the Adam West show, it's there in the Adam West show," said Timm. "It's subtle, but to me it's always been there."
The questioner who sparked the conversation was later identified as Bleeding Cool contributor Jeremy Konrad, who wrote for the site: "Clearly, it was contentious, and I let my emotions get the best of me, and I need to be better than that as a journalist. But it was not necessary to use that derogatory word, especially in this situation, in a public forum. Hopefully, no offense was taken by anyone."
Azzarello also spoke out after the panel, responding to criticism against his comment by tweeting, "I called someone a pussy when they unintelligibly yelled from the back of the room, then wouldn't repeat it."
During the panel, the team also announced three upcoming DC Animated titles: Justice League DarkTeen Titans: The Judas Contract and Batman and Harley Quinn (A Bruce Timm Original).
So, wait, Azzarello did use that expression? No apology. And I think Bruce Timm whom I used to have respect for but who appears to have become just another company "Yes Man" (must protect the pay cheque). No apology but cites the 1966 TV show as evidence that Batman and Batgirl might have this thing going?  
WHAT has that got to do with The Killing Joke story? Also, as an aside, I saw the trailer and thought it was one of those amateur animated features but what the hell. This is DC. Supposedly providing entertainment but allowing one of its writers to shout "you pussy" out at a public event -and one of its executives simply brushes that aside and says he always thought Batman and Batgirl were "knocking boots".
But, there is no sex scene. It's "implied".
You know what? More people might now buy this because...well, "You know".


  1. Well. What a shit show. As with all things I think development and adaption are important - but...
    Here's the problem. You bend something until it breaks..and then you re-boot it. Big mistake. You lose you're audience. You break it - you OWN it. Deal with it. The KILLING JOKE was a stand alone. To some extent it went outside the Batman 'canon' ( what a horrible word ) but it had respect and continuity with what went before. Oh Batman and Batgirl were casual lovers - oh Batman and Catwoman were casual lovers Oh Batman and Robin were casual lovers... how about Alfred ? Don't leave the elderly out of this. Crazily none of this is wrong ... except in the psychology of the character. Batman has as much a 'stick up his ass' as Superman about his 'code', and would no more have sex with Barbara Gordon ( to whom he is father figure and hero ) than her dad ( to whom he is friend, ally and foil ). Anyway. Enough.
    Short side note: things went badly at the bank. They don't like my 'name'.Ha. Would you believe it ? Anyway. Continue as 'planned' and I'll get back to you in a few days with more news.

  2. I ‘ve not seen this cartoon so can’t really comment on it as such but this just shows (imho) what is so wrong with comics / comic characters today. Why can’t they just be “good guys” with a few problems I mean just how dark do they want to make Batman - the Pitch black Knight. For me it is just lazy writing to think that deeper stories is all about over the top violence, swearing and sexual promiscuity what ever happened to fun and the character standing up for what is right! Thistype of thing is just teenage masturbatory drivel.

  3. Paul & Ben. You are both right. Looking at the animation its the typical DC TV cartoon style but in a few places on the trailer it looks rough but that's what happens when you use 4 squillion people on animation! "It's implied" that Batman and Batgirl, though I'm guessing, DC, that should be Bruce and Barbara? had sex. WHY? I read through Killing Joke last night and the whole point was that it was Batman-Joker and that final page. IF Bruce was having sex with Barbara and laughs the same way at the end then he's tipped the psycho-sociological scale over -she was just "a bit of skirt". But Paul, the tide may be turning very slowly. Kong of Skull Island has people saying they are sick to death of seeing Kong going about his life on his island and then humans capture him to do tricks and then kill him. And dinosaurs being machine gunned by humans -Comicgirl19 in her latest video puts it expletively well. Humans big and MF pain in the ass and go kill and destroy "because they can". And DC and Marvel for all their darkness....losing readers like crazy. Either the comics will close down or become nothing but latesat movie tie-ins. After all the antagonists since the 1950s comics will have DESTROYED comics!