Parents Outraged Over "Batman" Comic

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Posted by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

 

When it came to comics, I would say I was sort of a late bloomer and I really didn't delve into them until I was in my upper teens. So when I read an article in the Charlotte Chronicle today about parents who were outraged over "Batman
Batman Confidential #18
Confidential #18," I kind of rolled my eyes, knowing that parents can be parents and that could mean they overreact sometimes. Then again, what I may not find offensive, someone else very well could.  How bad could it have been, really? Thinking back to the issue, I can recall there being a weak plot, and 'okay' art until I remembered the content. In the issue, Catwoman steals Commissioner Gordon's notebook, and Batgirl (Gordon) chases Selina to a nudist club. There's the kicker; the nudist club part. So maybe these parents in Charlotte, North Carolina had a case. Having read the comic, though; it sounds much worse than it actually is. While the comic itself, from what I remember did take the two female characters to a nudist club; it was far from pornographic. In fact, it was almost campy. The level of graphic material was insignificant compared to what we see in Moore's "The Killing Joke," or Millar's "All Star Batman and Robin." Then again, I read comics; these people obviously don't; so seeing the panels was obviously a bigger deal for them than it would be for me.
For a dime, Spivock bought the comic book last week for her 12-year-old son at Mecklenburg's South County Regional Library. Her kids recently discovered the 1960s Batman TV show. The most eye-popping scene is a two-page spread showing Batgirl's body-to-body tussle with Catwoman for the important notebook. But it doesn't look like a struggle, and contains none of those exclamations from the TV show: POW! BOOM! WHAM! Spivock and her husband, Bill, were not amused.
Okay, the "Batman" television show? Have these people been living in a cave for the last 50 years that they have not watched "Batman Begins" or "The Dark Knight" ? Even Joel Shoemaker and Tim Burton's film versions of Batman were a far cry from the campy and playful Adam West television interpretation of Batman of yesteryear. Even so, I should not be so insensitive. As parents, I feel that if they are really concerned with the reading material their children are exposed to, it is ultimately their responsibility to screen the material beforehand. However, I do feel that DC comics does not do enough to aid parents in that endeavor and that maybe they should take some responsibility.

The call for a rating system!

Stop reading this, right now. Get up, go to your dresser and pick up the last Marvel comic you purchased. Don't open it. Look at the cover. On the bottom left you will see a rating system which will indicate one of the following four options:

  • # ALL AGES
Appropriate for readers of all ages.

  • # A
Appropriate for ages 9 and up.

  • # T+ TEENS & UP
Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they may want to read before or with younger children.

  • # PARENTAL ADVISORY
15+ years old similar to T+ but featuring more mature themes and/or more graphic imagery. Recommended for teen and adult readers.

  • # MAX: EXPLICIT CONTENT
18+ years old Most Mature Readers books will fall under the MAX Comics banner, (created specifically for mature content titles) MAX and Mature-themed titles will continue to be designed to appear distinct from mainline Marvel titles, with the "MAX: Explicit Content" label very prominently displayed on the cover. MAX titles will NOT be sold on the newsstand, and they will NOT be marketed to younger readers.

Marvel does this with each and every one of their issues, and a lot of people seem to think that it might be in DC's best interest to adopt a similar rating system in order to prevent instances such as these from re-occuring.
"DC seriously needs to adopt a rating system for their books. I don't know why they haven't started yet."- Tina/Batmansgirl via http://twitter.com/batmansgirl
Tina, I completely agree. I have personally always felt that as a publishing company with content that varies in being very innocent to sometimes very graphic; it may be in their best interest to utilize a rating system similar to Marvel's. However, this does beg the question: will instilling a rating system for all DC Comics, or perhaps a unanimous rating system for all comics in general really make that much of a difference to some parents? I know, I know; always the pessimist, but how often have I seen parents complain about content in the media in the past? While I feel that DC should input a rating system of their own, I don't necessarily feel that it will make a dramatic difference in the way some parents approach comics. In the end, I really feel that ultimately they are the ones in control over the material that their children are exposed to, and I am sure that Mr. and Mrs. Spivock's 12 year old son has been exposed to much worse material via the internet and "Victoria's Secret" catalogs than what he saw in that issue of Batman Confidential.

Lastly, in no way do I find it a coincidence that this article was printed in the Charlotte, North Carolina newspaper just in time for the Charlotte, North Carolina "Heroes Convention." Just saying.
#1 Posted by Jamiracles (351 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the problem is parents sitting their kids in front of the TV or any old thing and then being surprised when GI JOE detonates the F-Bomb.

I didnt realize DC didnt have a rating system, though.

#2 Posted by Vortex13 (12265 posts) - - Show Bio

Some parent's will be outraged regardless of how tame the subject matter. What I find hilarious is that it's hardly ever about violence which is much more present in most comics than sex. I have no problem with either one and I agree that it is the parents responsibility to screen material for their children. Also they're going to learn about sex and nudity no matter what, chances are that kid's already thinking about sex.

#3 Posted by Vortex13 (12265 posts) - - Show Bio
@Jamiracles: The have a little thing that says approved by the comic code (I just checked) but yea I didn't realize it either.
#4 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio

I never pay any heed to the rating systems, but the fact that parents all seem to think comics are "kid-friendly" or even for kids does annoy me, it's not the kid's fault his mom bought him a comic she didn't approve and its not DC's...the only problem I see here is her assumption

Moderator
#5 Posted by Sparda (15795 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that it's really the parents fault for not at least sifting through the comic before hand, or at least gaining some sort of knowledge of it. If they don't want to read through it themselves, I'm sure a quick google-search could find the info they wanted.

Although, it's strange for DC to not have a rating system. Just from some of the stuff I've read, DC has (like you said) a wide range of content that goes from pretty innocent to fairly graphic.

#6 Posted by TheDastardlyHippo (11 posts) - - Show Bio
Conservatives: Ruining comics since 1954.
#7 Posted by Vortex13 (12265 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheDastardlyHippo: lol
#8 Posted by The_MVPs (84696 posts) - - Show Bio

My personal opinion (and of course I'm not a parent) is that the Spivock family saw an opportunity to get five minutes of fame and took it. Like you said in your closing Babs, I to have to question the timing of this incident. If their excuse is that they watched the old Adam West Batman t.v. show and decided to then purchase Batman Confidential #18 and were shocked by the content, I'm not buying it. You can take one look at the cover and clearly see its a far cry from the T.V. show. Catwoman's custom is all torn not to mention her chest is heavily exaggerated. That right there should have raised a red flag for this uber sensitive mother. At the very least you would think it would have caused her to open it up and flip through a couple pages. Hahahaha I mean wtf, Batman isn't even on the cover. You would think after watching the show she would have at least picked up an issue with the star on the cover. But that's just me. Not to mention the kid was 12, 12! Good thing she didnt check out a comic with Powergirl, she would have never recovered and probably sued the Library.

Now having said that, there's really no excuse for DC comics not to have a rating system. Will it stop parents like the Spivocks from protesting or complaining about the mature nature of comics, no, but at least it takes some of their ammunition away.





Moderator
#9 Posted by Nova`Prime` (4165 posts) - - Show Bio

The problem isn't the rating system and if there is one or not. Its parents for the most part are ill-informed. They see a colorful cover and think "My child likes Batman/Spiderman.. I should buy it.. who needs to read it." Then when they get home and glance at it they freak out, first by yelling at the seller, saying stuff like "you are being irresponsible and not informing your customers of the books content." Then they go after the comic company basically saying the same thing, but during the whole process no one says those same things to the parent. No one says "No sir or ma'am you are being irresponsible for not opening the books and either reading it or at least looking over it to find if it is suitable."

Parents today seem to be more interested in letting others, TV, Comic Books, Movies, and the Internet to raise their children. So when the child turns into a mess its not their fault, "they watched to much TV or played to many video games." It makes me sick what this country is turning into. It seems people forget that censorship is what helped the facist germans and the communist russians gain so much power.

#10 Posted by Shanana (53081 posts) - - Show Bio

I love it when i see parents outraged over Comics/Literature, but turn around and buy their kids the latest 007 game lol

Online
#11 Edited by Vance Astro (91286 posts) - - Show Bio

F#ck parents.It's their fault their kids are f#ck-ups,not comics.Also they need to take the ratings off comics,it's not even remotely necessary  and more importantly nobody even checks for them.

Moderator
#12 Posted by Nova`Prime` (4165 posts) - - Show Bio
@Vance Astro: 150% agree with you there Vance. The same can be said for video games, the only people that look at them and use them are retailers. The kids certainly don't, most of this little b@st@rds just put their hand out, get money and go buy whatever they want. Then the parents get upset at the sellers. Its not hard, its called being a good parent and half of that is interacting with your kids and know what they are up too.

And that's all for my ranting today.
#13 Posted by G'bandit (13689 posts) - - Show Bio

Ignorant parents with the same old bs..

Maybe is time to stop blaming shows, movies, comics, mangas, internet sites, etc. and start blaming themselves for not paying attention to what their children are watching or reading..

Is hell easy to blame others.
They think they are perfect but a comic does not fall into a person's hands like magic, it must be chosen, paid for and taken home.

I don't know, maybe they should of read the damn comic that has a hot D-cup spandex kitty girl on the cover with her clothes all tear up in the first place before giving it to their kid.

#14 Posted by Korg (11931 posts) - - Show Bio
That poor blind woman...
#15 Posted by The_MVPs (84696 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't see the ranting system as something that's suppose to solve the problem. Its more of an insurance policy or disclaimer for the company. Jon and Sally homemaker cant really complain about buying a comic for a 12 year and being shocked by the content if there's a mature rating on the cover.

Moderator
#16 Posted by Anderson: Agent of SMITH (234 posts) - - Show Bio
@Nova`Prime` said:
 "It seems people forget that censorship is what helped the facist germans and the communist russians gain so much power."

I know this is a bit off topic, but do you mind explaining that? I'm not disagreeing at all, I'm just a bit curious about that idea.
#17 Posted by Vance Astro (91286 posts) - - Show Bio
@Nova`Prime` said:
" @Vance Astro: 150% agree with you there Vance. The same can be said for video games, the only people that look at them and use them are retailers. The kids certainly don't, most of this little b@st@rds just put their hand out, get money and go buy whatever they want. Then the parents get upset at the sellers. Its not hard, its called being a good parent and half of that is interacting with your kids and know what they are up too.And that's all for my ranting today. "
I hope the Obama administration will just ignore stupidity like this or he would just make a speech about the parents of America are obligated to raise their kids instead of letting T.V and their objects of interest do it for them.The sad thing about this is we all have to suffer for other people's failures to raise their kids.The more stupid sh#t people do,the more restrictions we have.Pretty soon we aren't going to be able to anything without I.D.
Moderator
#18 Posted by 04nbod (174 posts) - - Show Bio

I too was a late bloomer and agree that DC's ratings system sucks

#19 Posted by King Saturn (224436 posts) - - Show Bio
This issue doesnt bother me at all... I will be the judge of what it suitable for my kid to read, watch or whatever... if I feel its unsuitable then I will take care of the issue
#20 Posted by Incredible Hulk-Prime (1466 posts) - - Show Bio
@Babs:
I agree DC should make a rating system on  their comics like Marvel does.
#21 Posted by TheDastardlyHippo (11 posts) - - Show Bio

Sic the CBLDF on 'em.  And then remind them of something called Free Speech.  And then, just for kicks, loan them a copy of Alan Moore's "Lost Girls."

#22 Posted by avengpymhawk (371 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that comics should have a rating. My son is now at that age that he is starting to dig (No pun intended) through my comic collection. So being a parent I say yes. Comics mostly from the beginning to the mid 90's were basically kid related. Now a days we have rape, blood, and death, like they are no big deal. The issue in question though, is a group of parents trying to make an example of  nothing. Got to love those southern baptist!

#23 Posted by Vance Astro (91286 posts) - - Show Bio
@Incredible Hulk-Prime said:
" @Babs: I agree DC should make a rating system on  their comics like Marvel does. "
I don't think they should have to.Kids don't even read comics.
Moderator
#24 Posted by Rich-Man (101 posts) - - Show Bio

i think that they need to look at the bigger picture here. I started reading comics when i was a kid because i always thought it would be cool to have super powers, to be a hero and save the world. if more kids read comics then they might see the difference between good and evil, and maybe make a difference when they grow up.  there are comics out there with abit of expilcit material yes, but they are also rated for that reason.
maybe if more kids got interested in comics then less kids would go down the wrong path in life, and think back to that hero they always wanted to be.

#25 Posted by TheBug (1111 posts) - - Show Bio

I would have understood the parents if the kid was like 6, but 12?  I think he's mature enough to handle it.

#26 Posted by Vance Astro (91286 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheBug said:
"

I would have understood the parents if the kid was like 6, but 12?  I think he's mature enough to handle it.

"
This is true.There is nothing that has ever happened in any Batman comic that anyone should be able to handle but the time he's 12.
Moderator
#27 Posted by MrDirector786 (43607 posts) - - Show Bio

DC should have a rating system. Also, how outdated are those parents? Still thinking Batman was like he was in the 1960s? Jesus christ...

#28 Posted by getridofdandidio71 (15 posts) - - Show Bio

We are living in an age where most Americans are bunch of whiny beeyotches, most people bitch about the most asinine (did I spell that right?) things these days. I bet you a million bucks these folks voted for McCain. This my generation that's raising children, but they're raising a generation of pussies. I can't stand parents that refuse to take responsibility for their shortcomings and look to blame somebody else instead of themselves.

#29 Posted by Chubbytoad (6 posts) - - Show Bio
I think its true that if nothing else, the rating can serve as a "don't blame us, we gave you a rating to follow". These people sound so ignorant, though, that the rating might not have made a difference. For one thing, if they just wanted 5 minutes of fame, they could have argued the rating was too lenient if there was a scene they didn't like. Second, DC has comics that are especially for younger kids. I've seen them on their own shelves in comic stores. If you're THAT much of a prude, the kid versions are very "clean".  Third, some people are so uptight, they are offended by a woman with an ample chest. They will read all kinds of stuff into it to suit their case for immorality, so people like that can't be pleased no matter what you do.  

And can you imagine a MODERN 12 year old boy thinking the Adam West series is great? Maybe the kid already lives in a cave! Hey, I'm surprised they let him watch that show anyway. Julie Newmar is as good as naked in that suit!!! 

Not to diss the old Adam West series, but come on! My step daughter didn't want to sit through it when she was 10. She said its was "kind of silly". I think kids who grew up on modern movies, TV and video games would look at that old series as a kids' show. 

In the end, parents should page through everything they let their kids read or watch. My wife always did. 

A great deal of comic fans today are adults and DC knows this. Today's kids don't read comics like the kids of the past. DC needs to cater to their installed base. They should continue their kid's comic line and put the ratings on the covers but they shouldn't worry about catering to people like Spivock. 

Just my opinion, of course. 
#30 Edited by Vance Astro (91286 posts) - - Show Bio
@getridofdandidio71 said:
" We are living in an age where most Americans are bunch of whiny beeyotches, most people bitch about the most asinine (did I spell that right?) things these days. I bet you a million bucks these folks voted for McCain. This my generation that's raising children, but they're raising a generation of pussies. I can't stand parents that refuse to take responsibility for their shortcomings and look to blame somebody else instead of themselves. "
Speak for yourself.I'm not a whiny beeyotch and I don't personally know any.
Moderator
#31 Posted by logan48227 (298 posts) - - Show Bio

While I do think DC should implement a rating system, it is strange how this "news" broke at the beginning of a comic book convention. In any case, these parents need to relax. 

And somewhere in Hollywood..........Adam West is laughing his @$$ off. 

#32 Posted by G-Man (36715 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gambler said:
" My personal opinion (and of course I'm not a parent) is that the Spivock family saw an opportunity to get five minutes of fame and took it. Like you said in your closing Babs, I to have to question the timing of this incident. If their excuse is that they watched the old Adam West Batman t.v. show and decided to then purchase Batman Confidential #18 and were shocked by the content, I'm not buying it. You can take one look at the cover and clearly see its a far cry from the T.V. show. Catwoman's custom is all torn not to mention her chest is heavily exaggerated. That right there should have raised a red flag for this uber sensitive mother. At the very least you would think it would have caused her to open it up and flip through a couple pages. Hahahaha I mean wtf, Batman isn't even on the cover. You would think after watching the show she would have at least picked up an issue with the star on the cover. But that's just me. Not to mention the kid was 12, 12! Good thing she didnt check out a comic with Powergirl, she would have never recovered and probably sued the Library.

Now having said that, there's really no excuse for DC comics not to have a rating system. Will it stop parents like the Spivocks from protesting or complaining about the mature nature of comics, no, but at least it takes some of their ammunition away. "
Did you see the pic of them?  Yeah, they look reeeeally upset.



Staff Online
#33 Posted by Morpheus_ (29873 posts) - - Show Bio
"Good thing she didnt check out a comic with Powergirl, she would have never recovered and probably sued the Library."


@Gambler:
  Quote of the day.
Moderator
#34 Edited by Vortex13 (12265 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man: Is his son sitting in his lap? Because I think you lose lap sitting privileges at 8 at the most.
#35 Posted by Korg (11931 posts) - - Show Bio

Not to mention she seems to have the comic in question open in front of her presumably younger daughter (and the cat!).

#36 Posted by Timbojo (8 posts) - - Show Bio

I AGREE 100% that the issue was far from pornographic and in fact, Was campy.  This is yet another case of a set  parents thinking that everybody in the the world should conduct themselves in accordance with their morality, senese of humor,ect... DC comics is not responsible for raising their kids and should publish what they want. The parents in question have the right to not buy the book. I don't beleive in censorship in any form. that is our right to choose and decide what is appropriate for ourselves. Or as someone else wrote this could also be people just looking for their 15 min of fame. In either case if this is that couples bigest problem then they should count themselves blessed.

#37 Posted by rouju (159 posts) - - Show Bio

There's no such thing as bad publicity, and non is better than this kind of

#38 Edited by TheBug (1111 posts) - - Show Bio

Another sad illustration of the moral descent of our society- said one commentor on the Charlotte website.

Thats right folks! Kevin Maguire is leading the moral descent our society!

#39 Posted by Pheeke (198 posts) - - Show Bio

i don't really think a rating systhem is that neccacary, (couldn't hurt of course), i just think that every kid is different, i could watch scary movies and read scary books at younger age than some others, of ourse if a comic is pornographic it should be on a top shelf away from kids, but it are the parents that should look inside the kids comics from time to time and decide for themselfs if its suitable for their kid. they know best if their own child can handle it, i guess.

#40 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19714 posts) - - Show Bio
@Morpheus_ said:
""Good thing she didnt check out a comic with Powergirl, she would have never recovered and probably sued the Library."


@Gambler:
  Quote of the day. "

lmao
#41 Posted by Lissbirds (48 posts) - - Show Bio

I think DC should adopt a ratings system like Marvel...it can't hurt.  At least it can give parents some sort of guide.  And I think Marvel shows a little be more breadth in regard to its subject matter than DC does.


Plus, it seems to me that there aren't enough kid-friendly comics out there.  Some comics have traded in their innocence and sense of fun for angst and grit.  Not that there's anything wrong with that (I enjoy the latter quite a bit), but I think there should be enough variety out there for the kiddies to pick from.  Otherwise, if there aren't any kids reading comics now, there won't be any adults reading comics twenty years from now.

Yes, these parents seem to have a stick up their butt and overreacted.  But, I think there needs to be more comics that bridge the gap between Johnny DC kiddie fare and comics intended for a mature audience.  There's just not enough intelligent-yet-fun comics out there geared towards older kids (or kids at heart.)
#42 Posted by Nibiru (689 posts) - - Show Bio

You wanna know why mango and da animu sell way more than comics? Because of stupid assholes like this ruining everything in America. "I'M OFFENDED!!!!!! GIMME MONIES CUZ U OFFENDED ME!!"

#43 Posted by jefprice (878 posts) - - Show Bio
@Babs: Yeah I'm with you here. Bag em and seal em like Marvel did to a lot of them in the 90's or rate them, or better yet, just be a responsible parent and pay attention to what your giving your kids and what they're reading.  
#44 Posted by War Killer (20343 posts) - - Show Bio

....I got nothing

#45 Posted by The_Martian (36984 posts) - - Show Bio

There should be an official rating system on comics, just like there are for games and movies. If parents let their kids get comics rated for older readers then that is their fault for being dumb.

#46 Posted by AliceHatter (115 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man:
@G-Man said:
" @Gambler said:
" My personal opinion (and of course I'm not a parent) is that the Spivock family saw an opportunity to get five minutes of fame and took it. Like you said in your closing Babs, I to have to question the timing of this incident. If their excuse is that they watched the old Adam West Batman t.v. show and decided to then purchase Batman Confidential #18 and were shocked by the content, I'm not buying it. You can take one look at the cover and clearly see its a far cry from the T.V. show. Catwoman's custom is all torn not to mention her chest is heavily exaggerated. That right there should have raised a red flag for this uber sensitive mother. At the very least you would think it would have caused her to open it up and flip through a couple pages. Hahahaha I mean wtf, Batman isn't even on the cover. You would think after watching the show she would have at least picked up an issue with the star on the cover. But that's just me. Not to mention the kid was 12, 12! Good thing she didnt check out a comic with Powergirl, she would have never recovered and probably sued the Library.

Now having said that, there's really no excuse for DC comics not to have a rating system. Will it stop parents like the Spivocks from protesting or complaining about the mature nature of comics, no, but at least it takes some of their ammunition away. "
Did you see the pic of them?  Yeah, they look reeeeally upset.

"
BAHAHA the girls look stoned!!!
#47 Edited by Storm Rider (166 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheDastardlyHippo said:
"
Conservatives: Ruining comics since 1954.
"
Conservatives? Try idiots. A political ideology has nothing to do with this. If they want to impose their limited, structured and controlled (most assuredly religion-driven) viewpoint on their children, the least they could do is make sure everything they hand their children is censored and whitewashed enough for their liking.



#48 Posted by Korg (11931 posts) - - Show Bio
@Nobody said:
" There should be an official rating system on comics, just like there are for games and movies. If parents let their kids get comics rated for older readers then that is their fault for being dumb. "
You do know Marvel already does this, right?
#49 Posted by DH69 (4258 posts) - - Show Bio

I can see why these idiots...i mean parents, are unhappy with this. to be honest its very understandable, without a rating system for dc how are they supposed to know if its aproppriate for their kids to read. these people are coming from the days where comics and other media didnt have this level of content. most comics have grown with their readers becoming more and more mature as the years grew buy. marvel realized this and they were smart to incorporate a ratings system, hell they even pumped out the marvel adventures series that is geared for younger readers. but seriously over reacting like this from parent is nothing new and comics have been coming into the line of fire more and more lately its just the way things are.

#50 Posted by The Devil Tiger (1263 posts) - - Show Bio
@Nova`Prime` said:
"@Vance Astro: 150% agree with you there Vance. The same can be said for video games, the only people that look at them and use them are retailers. The kids certainly don't, most of this little b@st@rds just put their hand out, get money and go buy whatever they want. Then the parents get upset at the sellers. Its not hard, its called being a good parent and half of that is interacting with your kids and know what they are up too.And that's all for my ranting today."
Yup ! I'll agree with you !

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