DC Publisher Jim Lee Talks About Changing Black Label Comics In The Shadow Of The Batpenis

Jim Lee, publisher and CCO of DC Comics talked to Polygon about, what else, Batman: Damned #1, the comic he drew a variant cover for. and the Batpenis. And the fuss that followed its publication, getting worldwide headlines and spawning many a joke on late-night chatshows like Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert.

However, rather than appreciating the publicity that the book got, DC Comics chose to not reprint the comic book at all – leading it to currently selling from between $45 and $60 on eBay.

At New York Comic Con in the bars, it seems that this was all the comic book professionals could talk about. But Bleeding Cool also got the word that there had been a smackdown from above and anything vaguely controversial was being picked up. That the male nudity seen in Batman: Damned #2 was being scrubbed away, and delaying the long-completed comic book. And that even though DC Comics had printed hundreds of proof galleys in advance, the art of which was greenlit, somehow this was now a 'production error' rather than something played for and got, but that didn't go over well with the publisher's new President.

Talking to Polygon, Jim Lee seemed to confirm the bowdlerisation, on other Black Label books at least.

"It's made us, certainly, look at what Black Label is and think about whether these elements are additive to the story. And that's something that we'll be mindful of going forward, because I don't think we want necessarily a repeat of what happened with the first issue."

Batman Damned #2 is now planned for publication on December 5th.

(W) Brian Azzarello (A/CA) Lee Bermejo
As Batman's descent into the madness of Gotham City's decadent underbelly continues, he must try to exorcise some of his demons…and who better to help than the Demon, Etrigan himself. And where there's demons, there's also a Deadman, a Spectre, an Enchantress and a host of other supernatural friends and foes-it's a veritable Grand Guignol!  In Shops: Dec 05, 2018 Final Orders Due: Nov 05, 2018 SRP: $6.99

DC Publisher Jim Lee Talks About Changing Black Label Comics In The Shadow Of The Batpenis

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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