DC Comics and writer Tom King pulled an upcoming cover of Heroes in Crisis #7 featuring Poison Ivy after it was leaked on Bleeding Cool.
The cover showed an injured and possibly dead Poison Ivy laying on the ground with blood appearing to come from her wrists. It’s more than likely Poison Ivy might still be alive on the cover as she appears to be trying to send a message by writing in her own blood.
DC Comics and Heroes in Crisis writer Tom King took to Twitter to announce the cover had not gone “through the standard DC approval process.” He would also add that he “did not like the cover” and that the “cover will not be used.”
An unfinished cover for Heroes in Crisis 7 was leaked prior to going through the standard DC approval process.
I did not like the cover. I discussed the situation with DC editorial who agreed with my objections. This cover will not be used. Thank you.
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) December 14, 2018
A number of folks took objection to the cover because they believed it revealed key plot points from King’s Heroes in Crisis, namely that Poison Ivy would die and that the murderer was none other than Wally West. They believe Ivy is writing a W in her own blood.
ugh why is king even bothering with this possibility that Wally would murder other heroes? I don’t really care if this is red herring or not the whole murder mystery of Heroes in Crisis is stupid af and uses a lot of cheap shocks to garner sales. Also why draw Ivy w/her ass up pic.twitter.com/oLiqQDTP0g
— nigel (@ihatepuff) December 13, 2018
However, much of the criticism of the cover came from people who believed it was too sexual and promoted violence against women.
This #HeroesinCrisis cover is so creepy. The position of #PoisonIvy‘s body sexualizes her murder. I do think DC will bring her back as the new green elemental, but the way they are doing it is problematic to say the least. pic.twitter.com/pei9Fa3jhw
— Alexandre Louzada (@AlexandreLouza5) December 14, 2018
heroes in crisis (mister king, i’ve heard) killed a queer, non-monogamous feminist woman and sexualized her dead body. fetishized a murder. this is ridiculous and so not ok. i’m so disgusted rn i don’t even know what to say. #SavepoisonIvy pic.twitter.com/R5ftdub1rh
— ligis (@demavngrs) December 14, 2018
Fans: “You know… The posing of Poison Ivy’s dead body on the cover for #HeroesInCrisis #7 is really problematic…”
DC: “Right… So it’s the coloring that’s the problem…”
Fans: “What? No it’s-”
DC: “Aaand fixed and off to the printers! No need to thank us!”#FizzVsComics
— Michael Scally (@FizzVsTheWorld) December 15, 2018
@TomKingTK really unimpressed with the sexualization of Poison Ivy’s dead body. This is essentially a pin up pose. I’ve attached a few samples of male superheroes dying for your reference @ivygirl851 @harleivy #SavePoisonIvy #dccomics pic.twitter.com/rG7boIA1u9
— Aly (@aly_grift) December 14, 2018
Sexualisation of the death of women in comics is as old as comics themselves. #SavePoisonIvy
— Sandra Fowler (@fitemefowler) December 13, 2018
You can go all day through Twitter and find these claims repeated ad nauseam. How they see a dead woman laying on the ground in her blood as sexual is beyond me. The fact that they seem to see this points at their own own mental health issues rather than the DC’s cover which many believe reveals obvious plot details.
However, one Twitter user believes this whole controversy is a conspiracy in and of itself. They even insinuate that DC Comics and Tom King might have leaked the cover to Bleeding Cool in order to gin up a controversy in order to boost sales for the flagging series.
You said it. The reaction was so predictable it looks very much like a calculated stunt to create buzz for a failing book. King lost the bulk of his readers in July and he’s not going to get them back.
— D. Barant (@dbarant) December 15, 2018
While it’s unclear if there is any truth to the suggested conspiracy, the book has seen a significant decline in sales since it was first released. Back in September, Heroes in Crisis #1 shipped 140,699 units. It would be the #2 comic for the month. However, just a few short months later and Heroes in Crisis #3 would only ship 83,794 units. It definitely looks like the book has lost a significant portion of its original audience.
Heroes in Crisis is a series that supposedly focuses on the mental health of superheroes as they go through their lives fighting crime. It explores how the superhero lifestyle impacts DC Comics heroes and villains’ psychological health and where they go to seek out treatment. It’s a subject matter that has its roots in Tom King’s former profession during his stint as a counterintelligence officer for the CIA.
During a panel in “DC in DC,” Tom discussed the place he created within the DC Universe, Sanctuary, where superheroes could go to get the help they needed whether it was for mental stress or even dealing with PTSD.
“We’re creating this space where superheroes can go that sort of mimics the good work people are doing for veterans around the world, …They can have a space where they can actually admit that this violence has had consequences for them and has affected them mentally, so that your greatest heroes, who are inspiring our children, can say proudly: yes, I’ve had some mental difficulties, and yes, working with people has helped me through them. And we don’t hide behind that.”
However, the series seems to be relying on a lot of death rather than actually examining the stress and potential PTSD of superheroes who sacrifice everything to save innocents.
What did you make of the now pulled Heroes in Crisis #7 cover? Do you think it gave away significant plot deals? Or was it a perfect eye-grabbing cover that might get you interested in the story? What do you make of the response to those who objected to the cover? Do you think DC Comics should have pulled the cover? Do you think this whole controversy is a stunt by DC Comics to sell more issues of Heroes in Crisis? Tell me what you think!