It’s only been a couple of weeks but fans are still snickering after seeing Bruce Wayne’s “batawang” in the first issue of Batman: Damned #1. The controversy over showing the character’s genitalia has skyrocketed the sales of the first issue and making copies online expensive, sometimes reaching over US$50. While this shows how successful the launch of Black Label is, DC definitely regrets the movie.
During an interview with Polygon, DC co-publisher said that he was happy about the book’s sales but admits that the showing of Batman’s penis should have been a production error. While the book sold well based on Bruce’s privates, Lee feels that people will be picking up issues #2 and #3 based on the content within the book and not just those few panels.
“I think we made some choices after it went out,” he said, “and there were some production errors that led to the book being published the way it was ... that ended up being a big story. But thankfully people were very pleased with the story and the content, the beautiful art, and the story that Brian [Azzarello] and Lee [Bermejo] had come up with really resonated with readers.”
The publisher’s actions after the first issue’s release pretty much solidifies Lee’s words, with a second printing of the comic canned and the digital release censoring the nudity. Reports have also come in about the second issue getting a slight delay to censor even more of the nudity. While Black Label is meant to be a mature comic line, many feel that the nudity should add to the story and the one in Damned didn’t do it.
As someone who reserved Damned #1 over the strengths of its creative team, Lee is spot-on when talking about the comic’s quality. It’s an absolutely gorgeous comic book thanks to Lee Bermejo’s painted art and the writing is solid and gritty, which a lot of us expected from writer Brian Azzarello.
Batman: Damned #1 is probably impossible to find in regular cover price right now. The second issue is slated to come out on December 5.