Rafael Grampa Batman Image Used In Hong Kong Protests, Up For Auction

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Back in December, Bleeding Cool reported that DC Comics had withdrawn a tweet using the Rafael Grampa upcoming cover of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child. This came after criticism from Chinese critics that it made reference to then-current Hong Kong protests, featuring Batwoman dressed in black throwing a molotov cocktail and that the use of the colour Gold in the title was also a reference. Bleeding Cool was able to confirm that DC Comics hadn't withdrawn the cover, just the tweet, and the comic was published as planned – including in Hong Kong comic shops, such as Metro Comics.

But, in an example of the Streisand Effect, the language used on the image actually become part of the protests, against threats to Hong Kong autonomy from Chinese authorities. And the artwork, featuring Batwoman (though many commentators thought it was Batman) throwing a molotov cocktail, with the phrase The Future Is Young was shown across global media. Including The Guardian, Le Monde, New York Post, Business Insider, Variety, South China Morning Post, Newsweek, and Rolling Stone magazine alongside footage from the protests. Oh, and Bleeding Cool as well, of course.

Rafael Grampa Batman Image Used In Hong Kong Protests, For Auction
Rafael Grampa cover to Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child Used In Hong Kong Protests, For Auction.

Now Heritage Auction to auction original artwork by Brazilian artist Rafael Grampá from the image, as it appeared on The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child, with bidding being received until September the 13th. The image was created in ink and graphite on Bristol board with an image area of 11" x 16" and includes a signed Batman print.

At the time of writing, the highest bid is at $2100, with a number of weeks to go. It would be a fine example of how current pop culture crossed over with social unrest far more efficient these days.


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About 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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