Batgirl “Joker variant” cover pulled amidst sea of criticism.

DC Comics have confirmed that Rafael Albuquerque’s highly criticized Joker variant cover for Batgirl #41 will not be published at the artist’s request.

In a statement, Albuquerque said:

My Batgirl variant cover artwork was designed to pay homage to a comic that I really admire, and I know is a favorite of many readers. ‘The Killing Joke’ is part of Batgirl’s canon and artistically, I couldn’t avoid portraying the traumatic relationship between Barbara Gordon and the Joker.

For me, it was just a creepy cover that brought up something from the character’s past that I was able to interpret artistically. But it has become clear, that for others, it touched a very important nerve. I respect these opinions and, despite whether the discussion is right or wrong, no opinion should be discredited.

My intention was never to hurt or upset anyone through my art. For that reason, I have recommended to DC that the variant cover be pulled. I’m incredibly pleased that DC Comics is listening to my concerns and will not be publishing the cover art in June as previously announced.

With all due respect,

DC Comics then added:

We publish comic books about the greatest heroes in the world, and the most evil villains imaginable. The Joker variant covers for June are in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Joker.

Regardless if fans like Rafael Albuquerque’s homage to Alan Moore’s THE KILLING JOKE graphic novel from 25 years ago, or find it inconsistent with the current tonality of the Batgirl books – threats of violence and harassment are wrong and have no place in comics or society.

We stand by our creative talent, and per Rafael’s request, DC Comics will not publish the Batgirl variant.

– DC Entertainment

It’s worth clarifying that the “threats of violence and harassment” mentioned in DC’s statement were the ones being directed at people who were criticising the cover — something which was cleared up via Twitter by Batgirl co-writer Cameron Stewart.

Click for the full size cover.

Click for the full size cover.

The image of the cover was released on Friday as one of the twenty-five Joker themed variant covers for the month of June. Albuquerque’s cover pays homage to Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Batman: The Killing Joke, in which Barbara Gordon was shot and paralyzed by the Clown Prince of Crime.

The cover received a hugely negative response for highlighting a far darker side of the character’s history – serving as a stark contrast to the youthful, exuberant tone of Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr’s current title.

So, what do you think? Was Albuquerque right to request that the cover not be published? Let us know in the comments.


576682_510764502303144_947146289_nThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
Article Archive: Ceej Says
You can follow Ceej on Twitter

1 Comment on Batgirl “Joker variant” cover pulled amidst sea of criticism.

  1. It’s hard for anyone to say if he was right to pull this cover because his reasons are: ” I respect these opinions and, despite whether the discussion is right or wrong, no opinion should be discredited.” So he didn’t say if he agreed or disagreed with the issues raised, he simply said they existed. So no matter the reasons if anyone could come up with a reason to be offended by this cover he would want it to be pulled. Which is his right, though a very difficult position to hold for a professional artist.

Comment On This Article

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: