Harley Quinn executive producer Justin Halpern recently claimed that DC Comics pushed back a graphic sexual encounter between Batman and Catwoman in the upcoming third season of the HBO Max adult animated series.
Halpern, along with his co-creator Patrick Schumacker recently spoke to Variety about the series.
During his conversation with the publication, Halpern first stated, “It’s incredibly gratifying and free to be using characters that are considered villains because you just have so much more leeway.”
He then went on to state, “A perfect example of that is in this third season of ‘Harley’ [when] we had a moment where Batman was going down on Catwoman.”
“And DC was like, ‘You can’t do that. You absolutely cannot do that.’ They’re like, ‘Heroes don’t do that,'” he continued.
Halpern then detailed that they countered, “So, we said, ‘Are you saying heroes are just selfish lovers?’ They were like, ‘No, it’s that we sell consumer toys for heroes. It’s hard to sell a toy if Batman is also going down on someone.’”
Based on this information it’s unclear if DC Comics was successful in nixing the scene or if indeed it will be included in the upcoming Harley Quinn Season 3.
Even Variety notes, “Still, it remains to be seen if Batman and Catwoman will be shown engaging in some bedroom antics in Season 3 or if it will simply be implied via cunning linguistics.”
It is interesting that DC Comics is the one being credited to pushing back against Halpern and Schumacker given the company green lighted a graphic scene between Batgirl and Batman in the animated adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Killing Joke.
DC Comics also published a full nude illustration of Batman in Batman: Damned by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. It included Batman’s genitals.
The publication of the comic did see pushback from comic book shop owners. Patrick Potter of Comic World in Florida penned a letter to DC Comics’ then Publisher Dan DiDio.
He wrote, “While DC may see no harm in this type of gratuitous display, and may feel labeling it “mature readers” is enough of a deterrent to under-18-age buyers getting their hands on it, you should have — at the very least — polybagged it with a warning to retailers to not sell copies to anyone under 18.”
Potter continued, “I guess it’s no big deal to you if some parent looks through our shelf copies, sees Batman’s penis, then files a complaint with the local authorities resulting in some clueless retailer’s arrest. I haven’t forgotten Friendly Frank’s or the reasons why the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund exists.”
The shop owner then noted he would no longer be ordering DC Black Label titles, “I will bag and label my shelf copies of this issue, and will refrain from ordering shelf copies of DC Black Label titles in the future. You have indeed successfully made an impression with your new line, Dan. Good luck with that.”
DC Comics did eventually announce they would be censoring future issues of the comics. The Guardian reported, “DC confirmed to the Guardian that Batman’s genitals would no longer be depicted in any future editions of the comic.”
Interestingly enough, DC Comics still publishes Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ The Watchmen, which includes nude shots of Dr. Manhattan.
What do you make of the possibility of this graphic sexual encounter showing up in Harley Quinn Season 3?