DC Comics bends the knee to China, censors “The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child” promo art
Late last week, DC Comics deleted promotional images from its social media pages after Chinese backlash. The image in question is artwork by Rafael Grampá for Frank Miller’s upcoming graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child, which is scheduled for release on 11 December. The image (which you can see below) displays a young hero of the “bat” persuasion holding a lit Molotov cocktail with the words “The future is young” in the background.
Chinese social media users complained about the image, suggesting that DC Comics was using the artwork to promote the youth-led, pro-Democracy movement in Hong Kong. Despite some Chinese users demanding an apology, DC Comics didn’t offer one. Instead, the company quietly deleted the images on Thanksgiving (Thursday), prompting Western audiences to criticize the company for bowing to the censorious whims of authoritarian governments instead of standing up for free expression.
According to Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child is about a new generation of heroes taking center stage in his celebrated Dark Knight universe. In a September press release, Miller explained, “The Dark Knight Returns story began with its heroes getting older. Now we’re seeing the next generation of heroes in action… heroes that are vigorous, untested and loaded with promise.”
This certainly isn’t the first time that an entertainment company has succumbed to pressure from Communist China, nor is it the first time that DC Comics has censored itself following backlash from offended social media users. China has been demanding changes to Western films for years, and the creators behind successful video games including Rainbow Six Siege, PUBG, and most recently Hearthstone have all been willing to accommodate the authoritarian government in Beijing. For its part, DC has been censoring itself for the last several years, including altering a Wonder Woman variant cover in 2016 for allegedly being too revealing, and cancelling a Batgirl variant cover for – *gasp!* – showing the hero imperiled by the villain (above).
What do you think about this latest case of Communist China controlling Western media companies? Are you concerned, or do you, for one, welcome your new Communist overlords? Let us know in the comments!
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