The mobile game Injustice 2, based on a future alternate reality of the DC Comics Universe, pits all manner of versions of DC Comics characters against each other. And, like many other brands, are running a Pride promotion in June for Pride Month. Most months see the game issue a monthly challenge to beat a particular character. And so, with a Pride promotion, they picked their most prominent gay character, Poison Ivy. Can you see the problem for some? Specifically for Pride month, alongside Pride livery, Injustice 2 encourages everyone to beat up Poison Ivy. The more they beat her, the more they punch, kick and kill her, the more points they earn, and that is their "Pride Global Challenge."
It is an encouraging thing in this world that brands wish to embrace Pride imagery and associations rather than, as they did thirty years ago, run away screaming from the merest suggestion that one of their main characters could be anything other than a heterosexual stereotype. But maybe it's worth just thinking if everything needs a Pride logo slapped on it.
It's not all bad, of course; this week sees the publication from DC Comics of a Poison Ivy graphic novel, with the young Ivy, her first girlfriend, and her coming of power in a gothic teen horror romance, Thorns. Batman has seen Poison Ivy's old girlfriend The Gardener return – and one who approves of Ivy's most recent beau Harley Quinn. Given that for quite some time, DC Comics steered away from suggestions that Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy could be anything more than best buds, this week saw DC publish comic books with three separate girlfriends for Ivy at different points in her life. And that, considering everything else, is probably something DC Comics can take some pride in.