Cooke Kerfuffle

The kerfuffle is here.

Someone asked Darwyn Cooke what would have to change before he would be willing to go back to doing superhero work for Marvel and/or DC.

He was not shy in his response:

“I want them to stop catering to the perverted needs of 45-year-old men. I want to stop seeing Batman f***ing Black Canary. I don’t want to hear Batman swearing. I don’t want to see him feeding a boy rats. I don’t want to see characters getting raped in the a**. I don’t want to see characters who’ve been straight for 60 years become lesbians overnight because the writer’s too stupid or uncreative to come up with something decent. I want to see new characters for a new time. And when the industry of superhero comics realigns its sights to the young people it was meant for, I’ll be there with both, uh, both arms and feet.”

In reading the comments on the post at iFanboy, it sounds like most of Cooke’s comments refer to Frank Miller’s All-Star Batman and Robin, whence we get the famous “goddamn Batman” panel, and which Linkara has reviewed on his show.

What people latched onto, though, were (1) the “lesbians overnight” comment, and (2) its potential relationship to his line about superhero comics’ “sights” needing to be “realigned” for kids.

Point #1 has caused some bafflement – people aren’t sure if it refers to Greg Rucka’s recreated Batwoman (who has 60 years of name-continuity, though her current incarnation is essentially a new character), or the Question (whose mantle was recently passed to a new character), or the Rawhide Kid (who is a touch too male to be a lesbian), or someone else entirely. Point #1 also causes concern in that Cooke seems to be saying that a character turning out to be gay isn’t “decent”; me, I suspect he’s complaining more about the essential gimmickiness (ha!) of such a move than any hypothetical “indecency” in having a character be gay.

Likewise, I don’t think points #1 and #2 are supposed to be specifically connected. It was an off-the-cuff answer with all the dangers thereof.

Among other trains of discussion within the comments, people complain that if the comment is indeed about Batwoman, then Cooke’s clearly not read anything with her, as she’s awesome with awesomesauce on top (an assessment with which I heartily concur). She is essentially a new character unrelated to the original (indeed, one commenter claims the original is still around as a separate character).

The exegesis in the iFanboy comments is pretty complete, so I’m not going to add much here. My main reason for making this post is to quote this comment, from someone who clearly has read the recent Batwoman stories:

All the 45-year-old-men I know totally get off on nuanced stories critiquing the effects of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell at the United States Service Academies. Hot! Hot! Hot! They say. Give me some more of that social commentary action!