This post contains spoilers for the upcoming film, Batman: The Killing Joke. Read at your own peril.
When it was announced that Batman: The Killing Joke, the famously controversial Alan Moore comic, would be getting an animated film adaptation (R-rated to boot), critics of the storyline were quick to voice their displeasure. While the comic does maintain a cult-like status among many DC fans, the sexual assault, torture, and paralyzing of Barbra Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl, at the hands of the Joker in order to further the character development of Batman and Jim Gordon has led to countless accusations of misogyny. Editor Len Wein’s infamous response of “Yeah, ok, cripple the bitch” certainly does nothing to weaken those claims.
However, Entertainment Weekly reports that leaked footage confirms that Batman and Batgirl are engaged in a sexual relationship in the film adaptation, subtext that was not present in the original 48-page one shot.
This is hardly the first time that Batman and Batgirl have been in an intimate relationship canonically, but the inclusion of a romantic subplot to add to Batman’s man pain is sure to frustrate many hoping for a more progressive approach to this particular Joker tale.
The film is slated for a theatrical release on July 25 and 26, with a digital release July 26 and blu-ray on August 2. Prepare your levels of outrage or excitement accordingly.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)