Bleeding Cool has long followed the acceptability, or not, of swear words in superhero comic books. Look, you've got to have a hobby, right? In the last ten years, we saw "bollocks" arrive as a repeated and acceptable word at DC Comics, mostly down to its British origins (the ninth most offensive word in British English) being unfamiliar to American ears. "Bloody" was fine too, as was an occasional "wanker", again the Anglospecific origins hiding any offense. "Bastard" started to piop up, something that would have been an anathema a few years ago. But suddenly, without warning, "piss" became a thing at DC Comics. Initially the anger of being "pissed" or "pissed off", it soon was fine as an epithet for urine, and even Marvel joined in. Plastic Man even gave us "bullshit".
But then the mature readers Batman Damned hit the headlines and content guidelines at DC Comics were rapidly reined in. I have been told that DC Comics superhero comic book writers have been told they can no longer use "bastard" or "bollocks" let alone all the others. So what can they use?
The preview of this week's Justice League #53, the first of a five-part Death Metal crossover Doom Metal by Josh Williamson and Xermanico has a good go. It shows the first time Nightwing saw Batman with the rest of the Justice League, when he was a wee Robin. And contrasts that with the Death Metal version of reality they are currently living through.
Justice League #53 kicks off "Doom Metal" part one of five—the Dark Nights: Death Metal tie-in that will directly impact the finale of that event! Nightwing's on a mission to free the Legion of Doom from Perpetua's clutches. But to do so, he'll need the help of none other than…Lex Luthor?! The surprises are only just beginning, as Nightwing, Lex, and a new Justice League must fight their way through an Earth twisted by the Dark Multiverse. Titans will be tested, hearts will be broken, and blood will be spilled!
"Doom Metal" begins with Nightwing discovering an assembled Justice League for the first time, years before he would become a member. Take a look at the opening scene, and get ready for more incredible Justice League action in the months to come! "Doom Metal" will also feature the first appearance of Mindhunter, a new, twisted Dark Knight who is combined with Martian Manhunter, the first appearance of Omega Knight—a Frankenstein's Monster version of the Omega Titans from Justice League: No Justice, the longtime-coming reunion of the Teen Titans: Nightwing, Cyborg, and Starfire, and more!
And there we have it, ladies and gentlemen, the fightback begins here, with "tosser". Another variant on "wanker", used to denote someone who is useless, self-obsessed, sometimes in an affectionate manner, but often just screamed in abuse. And occasionally used by government advertising campaigns. Could this be part of the long road back to bollocks? Justice League #53 is up for FOC today…
Say, maybe this is why Hellblazer was cancelled.