DC Movies: A Bastion of Feminism Putting Marvel to Shame

July 25, 2016

The big news at the San Diego Comic Con over the weekend had to be DC's rollout of the next year's worth of films. First up was Justice League:

It's a great trailer, though one that doesn't exactly highlight Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) as much as one might like. No fear! There'a whole Wonder Woman trailer!

Oh, wow, Marvel can't make a Black Widow movie because it's too busy making movies about psychotic raccoons and talking trees? Oh, they're releasing Captain Marvel in three years? Big whoop. They're just following in DC's progressive footsteps. Of course, DC has always been ahead of the curve on equality; who can forget the Harley Quinn-heavy trailer for Suicide Squad:

I can always use more Margot Robbie in my life, and Suicide Squad clearly delivers on that front.

Of course, the biggest news of the week was the debut of the DC Animated Universe's The Killing Joke. Comic book fans will recognize The Killing Joke as one of the key texts of the Batman universe. Written by Alan Moore (Watchmen) and drawn by Brian Bolland, The Killing Joke is nominally a Joker origin story, one in which he tries to prove that anyone can go crazy if they have one day that is just bad enough. It's more famous, however, for being the comic book in which Barbara Gordon, a/k/a Batgirl, was crippled by the Joker and then photographed in sexually abusive ways in order to drive Commissioner Jim Gordon nuts.

The animated film, in a truly progressive fashion, gives its female star much more to do: we learn about her motivations and what drives her to pursue justice at the side of the Batman. Instead of being a story solely about three men—the Joker, the Batman, and the Commish—it's now a story about a woman and her desires, and the way the world punishes those brave ladies who step out of their box.

Of course, the man babies and their allies are crying their delicious salty tears about this expansion of the role of a powerful woman in their boy comic books. Oh noes your childhoods be ruined because Batgirl has a more empowered origin story, wah wah. Give me a break.

The obvious course of action is to support DC in their effort to create more complex and interesting roles for women. Everyone should purchase The Killing Joke when it arrives on Blu-ray. Just as we progressive heroes fought for Lady Ghostbusters to have a big weekend to spite the man babies crying all their man tears, we must put our money where our mouths are. Buy a copy of The Killing Joke—and then buy one for a friend. We can't let the complainers win.

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