Two Words That Got Gotham City Year One A 'Racially Offensive' Warning

A month ago, Bleeding Cool broke the news that Gotham City: Year One, a new DC comic book series by Tom King, Phil Hester and Eric Gapstur, would contain the following warning on the index page, though there had been no heads up to comic book retailers who may have been ordering the title. Instead, they discovered via Bleeding Cool.

 Gotham City: Year One
 Gotham City: Year One

"This comic contains language of a racially offensive nature and may not be suitable for all age groups. Its inclusion is an intentional creative choice intended to highlight the fact that language if this type was frequently deployed in past decades and remains in use today, even as contexts evolve. Readers for whole such language is triggering or hurtful should be advised."

 Gotham City: Year One is set many years before Batman and Bruce Wayne, and stars the original Detective Comics police detective Slam Bradley. Those stories from the thirties and forties starring the character famously depicted racist caricatures of East Asian people, which previously saw DC Comics cancel the Detective Comics Before Batman volume. The character has been used a lot more recently, but his racially offensive history has been ignored. However, it seems that Tom King may be wanting to lean on it a bit more in this upcoming comic, out tomorrow.

1. "Colored Girl"

DC Comics

A term reclaimed by some, its common use during the USA's recent era of racial segregation has made it among the more offensive words for describing a Black person in America, used to describe anyone who was not seen to be white, notably used in areas designated as "colored-only", seen as dismissive or reductive, and part of language choice of systematic racism.

2. "Negro Town"

Racial Gotham

A once-common American term for Black populated area in cities, the term has also fallen out of favour, albeit with some resistance. Hundreds of people protested in Rockcastle County, Mount Vernon, Kentucky when a small road, Negro Town Hill Road was renamed Sally J. Road in 2007, in honour of Sally. J. Newcomb, the then-last Black resident of Mount Vernon.

The language choice may not have been as serious as some comic book retailers may have feared from the warning given, but DC Comics does have five issues yet to go. Gotham City: Year One #1 is published tomorrow.

(W) Tom King (A) Eric Gapstur (A/CA) Phil Hester
There once was a shining city on the water, a home for families, hope, and prosperity. It was Gotham and it was glorious. The story of its fall from grace, the legend that would birth the Bat, has remained untold for 80 years. That's about to change.
Superstar creators Tom King and Phil Hester team up for the first time to tell the definitive origin of Gotham City: how it became the cesspool of violence and corruption it is today, and how it harbored and then unleashed the sin that led to the rise of the Dark Knight. Two generations before Batman, private investigator Slam Bradley gets tangled in the "kidnapping of the century" as the infant Wayne heir disappears in the night…and so begins a brutal, hard-boiled, epic tale of a man living on the edge and a city about to burn.In Shops: Oct 04, 2022 SRP: $4.99


Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

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.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.