No, I’m not showing it. I’m not talking about it…directly. I’m not researching to see who wrote it, and I’m only going to mention it in passing in order to get everyone on the same page. The fact that I have to have any mention of this for someone who comes through the archives years later, thus either stirring a memory or causing someone who was lucky enough not to hear about this story to hear about it, hurts my comic-loving heart. And yet….
PEOPLE WON’T @#$%$%#$^ #$%^$%^% SHUT THE #$%# UP ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s everywhere. Every comic critic I follow who discusses current comic stories is doing videos about it. Comic blog and commentary sites are discussing it. News and opinion sites who usually don’t give comic books the time of day are talking about it. Your grandma has probably already formed an opinion of it even if she’s never read a comic since they stopped making Meet Misty. Yes, I remember that comic existed because it was advertised in the comic tie-in to Star Wars: Droids and Spider-Ham, but the point is everybody is talking about this, especially those who find the story conceptually disgusting, incredibly stupid, and are using it to trash everything messed up with modern comic book writers.
And DC Comics is laughing their heads off at you like THEY were the Joker!
In fact the Clown Prince Of Crime himself couldn’t have caused as much chaos as we have right now…and every media and comic book critic is falling right into their trap. This is my warning to the comic critic community…you’re being suckered! This isn’t about me not caring about this story, it’s about exposing that DC’s plan worked. Yeah, it could be the writer, it could be the editor, it could be the publisher; nobody at any stage of approval thought this was a bad idea. In fact they see it as a great idea…and the critics are proving them right!
Okay, very brief “what the hell are you talking about” description. Joker, The Man Who Stopped Laughing or whatever it’s called (I frankly don’t even care enough to get the title right because it isn’t worth any time to give it any promotion) has the Joker falling into mud, getting “pregnant”, and throwing up a Clayface type clone baby of himself. There may be more to it than that, but I don’t care and I’m not sure how many critics are looking beyond that anyway. Many of them have abandoned DC due to all the crap they’ve been pulling between anything Dan DiDio was involved with, Future State, activist pandering, or whatever nonsense the TV and movie division, the only part Warner Brothers actually cares about no matter who owns it, is doing at the moment. That’s the story: pregnant Joker.
And I know why the critics are mad at the very concept. You have mothers being called “birthing people” to play to the extreme arm of transgender rights. Don’t tell me there isn’t an “extreme arm” because every movement since time immemorial had an extreme movement. God had to shove Jonah into a whale to stop him from being a “hater”; what makes you think you’re cause isn’t in trouble? Some of the really wacko types even want to treat transwomen, who were born with male organs and thus can’t have babies, like they can get pregnant. I know, you can find references to that before this became the latest cause du jour. I remember some hoax article in my teen years claiming a dude got pregnant but that’s not possible, no matter what bad Arnold movie choices tell us. If a woman completes the transition to full male he no longer has a uterus but there’s currently no way to get him to be the donor part of the babymaking process. If you’re born male you never had a uterus and thus all the other steps of the baby forming process are impossible, and I don’t see that one changing with current medical technology. The fact that this paragraph exists at all, especially on a website devoted only to examining the end product of the STORYmaking process for successes and failures as a story tells you what the current state of our culture is like.
(Note that I’m not commenting on the transgender community itself. If you’re old enough to make that decision, you do you. I’m just noting that this cultural debate is one of the reasons a pregnant male character is causing this reaction. It should be as dumb as that Junior movie, and we just wrote that off as crap. It also wasn’t made in the current sociopolitical cultural climate.)
Additionally, there have been story plots and executions that leave a lot to be desired. Some writer just wants to write a bunch of goofy, allegedly “adult” stories and you get the modern “grown-up animation” movement from US cartoon producers that looked at South Park and said “we can make even more nonsensical crap like that” and gave us…well, that’s a long list, isn’t it? Few of it understood what makes the show work…which I can’t explain because at least I admit to only barely understanding it. Quirky characters and situations can make for good comedy but quirky itself isn’t comedy. There’s no effort put into it. Just make a bunch of dumb jokes and pretend you tried. People are getting so sick of it that when a good use of “quirky” comes along it gets rejected on basic principle and something potentially good becomes the storytelling equivalent of the 1980s video game crash.
It’s also taking one of the most dangerous villains in the DC multiverse and reducing him to a sick joke. It takes away some of his power as a scary villain, as an honest threat to Gotham’s guardians or anywhere else when the Joker takes his brand of vacation because someone thinks Joker versus Blue Beetle has potential. I suspect this is the heart of the problem by critics but I can’t bring myself to even dig into that. I’m just ranting on the existence of the rage when there are stories that deserve more rage while this one is at best shaking your head, calling it stupid, and getting back to the real worldbreaking in comics right now.
So when you have something that clearly has elements of a major social controversy and current de-evolution of storytelling while turning a popular fictional villain into a cheap joke the normal reaction is to trash it, what do you get? An overwhelming urge to point out why it deserves trashing, and to use it as an excuse to show the further decline of DC Comics and the mainstream US comic companies who cater to the activists and the hack writers who just want “I wrote an official Joker story” on their resume. I get that. I had considered at least posting someone’s video on it since I didn’t read it myself, nor do I plan to. It’s a comic book focusing on the Joker, not Batman, Robin, Nightwing, or the rest of the Bat-Family beating up the Joker. They lost me before Joker and Clayface made a baby.
However I’ve come to realise, fairly quickly which is why I’m so disappointed to see the critics I follow discussing it to death, that even this article is in essence a mistake. NOBODY should be talking about it! I gave up the win I proclaimed on Sunday just to mention that this exists, but when my news and YouTube feed has videos talking about it every second scroll or in my RSS feed I kind of have to ask, even though none of them actually read my site and few know I exist, how are you being so easily fooled? DC WANTS YOU TALKING ABOUT THIS STORY! They don’t care that you hate them. They already hate you and go to the lengths of making you their next villain in the story to show you how much they hate you. Learn from Lian Harper, people!
You remember Lian, right? Cry For Justice? Little girl? Bundles of fun? Blown up with Star City, driving her one-armed superhero father back to drugs and it wasn’t even important to the main story? The writer of that story was happy that people were talking about him, even to say how much they hated it. To the average egomaniac, just talking about them makes them happy, even if it is to say how much you hate their story, because they don’t care about their own writing as much as their own press. Press agents who didn’t want to do their job in favor of being another yes-man convinced these egomaniacs that “any press is good press”. I’m pretty sure that’s why Ezra Miller doesn’t care about what he’s getting right now because he’s still in the Flash movie and Warner Brothers Discovery still has plans for him as of this writing. Not surprising that the director who was canceled for all of five seconds because of his pedophilia jokes even with all the evidence of actual pedophilia and hebephilia in lala land is the dude DC wants to make their Kevin Feige. I looked that one up; it’s a legit term. Aim it towards infants and it’s apparently called nepiophilia. See all the stuff you’re reading today that you never wanted to know? That’s part of the problem here.
Like I said, DC WANTS you talking about them. From video descriptions, because I refuse to watch them and give this story any further dignity, apparently there’s more to it, meaning raging on a non-controversy beyond the shock value. It’s not the first time that a story seemed controversial on the surface. Just the idea of “that thing I’m not mentioning again” is enough to cause trouble. Regardless of the specifics, though, the point is you’re talking about. Curious fans may to go to look it up. The writer got paid so he (or she, still don’t care who wrote it) doesn’t care if you pirate it. DC cares, but they’re hoping you’ll run to the comic store or comiXology or even their own comic hosting service, whatever they’re calling it after DC Universe collapsed, and spend money to see for yourself if it is really as bad as the critics are saying. In other words…
JUST BY TAKING TIME TRASHING THIS STORY YOU ARE PROMOTING IT!
Look, I defend discussing bad stories ordinarily. It’s chronicling the slow degrade of our pop culture, it’s taking characters who were beloved for so many decades the calendar crossed a century. There are writers who seem determined to destroy the last remains of comic books and their influence, leading to a sci-fi Star Treky future where comic books have disappeared (so has TV and movies but they haven’t realized that) and superheroes aren’t even a discussion topic. (The X-Men crossovers notwithstanding mind you.) The hopes of many of these reviews are to hopefully reach the next group of writers to not make these mistakes, to rally around current superhero and comic writers who want to make superhero and other comic stories, to show Hollywood (as if they care) why we love the media they’re poorly adapting in the hopes of getting a good adaptation and story out of them, like Oliver Twist asking for more gruel. (I haven’t read that book either, but I’d sooner read it than the one we’re talking about.) This time though, I’m on Professor Geek’s side when he says negative reviews like this give the story undeserved legitimacy. There are more important terrible stories to focus our rage on, that actually do ruin the source material. They should stop making this crap but by giving it life we become part of the problem on something so asinine at the core that it isn’t worth more than a passing remark or a “laugh at the monkey” breakdown of why it’s stupid and moving to a more deserving target of anger.
When it gets to the point that Fox News is covering it, a network that rarely acknowledges comics, things have gone too far. You know they aren’t looking into the details. They don’t know he barfed up a mudbaby. We, who openly discuss this stuff, need to research it better and inform the public on the specifics, or in this case ignore it completely. By talking about it you stroke the writer’s ego…which is why they wrote it in the first place. Even if this is their type of humor, it’s the same old “hook them on shock value” that’s been going on long before Andrew “Dice” Clay was in existence, and it’s the same type of shock value writing that led the very same Joker to rip off his own face and staple it back on as a mask, just with a poor attempt at quirky humor. Just by talking about it you give the story some kind of authenticity. You’re talking about it, therefore it must be worth talking about. The shock writer will see that this worked, and find something even more shocking to get you talking about it, and them. This is feeding the beast and sadly too many of my fellow critics out there are falling into the trap.
I could see if this was story that had potential long term ramifications for the Joker and the rest of the DC Universe but it doesn’t. It’s a very stupid, utterly worthless idea that survives on shock value. Shock value only has power when you’re angry or otherwise offended. While it is important to acknowledge crap like this in the hopes of…yeah, I’m going to say it…make superhero comics great again, save your real anger for something like Joker wearing his face skin as a mask or something else that may matter years out. Joker having a mud baby isn’t going to matter to anyone unless some jackass actually tries to make this a character in the DC universe…which I would totally expect them to try but this one has as much of a chance of holding together as actual mud when the water dries up.
Just stop talking about it. Ignore the next issue. Let the shock do nothing. If DC doesn’t get the hint that this type of gross nonsense isn’t making them money, then hope is lost and we have to give up our cultural icons. Superman is my favorite superhero and I don’t want to give him up any more than you do but the everything for meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee crowd wants everything popular to reflect their tastes and worldview, and like the high school clique culture they don’t want the geeks and nerds to have anything cool. Short of getting real comic writers who care about comics and continuity into the right positions, until David Zaslav and Jim Lee (or whomever replaces them) finally starts addressing the problems with their current approach to the comics, or until we find a proper replacement that makes the sting of losing our childhood heroes to bad comedy activists and cheap marketing tricks easier to take, we have to choose which stories to dissect and which to ignore. By acknowledging this story we’re causing the very chaos that the current crowd wants because in the end this isn’t a story worth fighting over. Make note of it in passing but you’re giving DC exactly want it wants with a story like this.
The Joker would love to see this happening. He’d laugh his head off while DC is laughing to the bank and the writer is laughing as he adds this to his work list!