In general, every iconic superhero has experienced some weird moments in their history. Batman, the Caped Crusader himself, is no exception.
For example, in 2008, Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros were sued over “The Dark Knight” by Huseyin Kalkan, the mayor of Batman, Turkey. The mayor argued the film used the name “Batman” without permission and allegedly was cause of high crime rates. The lawsuit was just a publicity stunt.
But the incident around the comic book “Batman Damned” is just as strange.
DC Comics intended to start a more mature run of comic books that targeted adults. This series of comics would be called “Black Label.”
“Batman Damned” was the issue to kick-start this series. The comic centers around the alleged murder of the Joker with Batman being the prime suspect. Batman teams up with supernatural investigator John Constantine and tries to clear his name, causing them to dive into the supernatural side of Gotham City.
Sounds like an interesting storyline, right? But this storyline ended up having unintended consequences, proving to be an embarrassment for DC Comics.
“Batman Damned” featured mature content, including nudity. It’s this nudity that has made “Batman Damned” infamous.
In one sequence of the story, Batman is feeling extremely vulnerable – vulnerable enough that he peels off his Batsuit and all of his clothes. During this sequence, the image of Bruce Wayne’s nether region is clearly shown.
This caused somewhat of a controversy, although calling it a true controversy might be going too far.
It was enough that DC Comics, who anticipated a reaction from the comic, decided to order reprints for “Batman Damned.” The comic is still available in stores and digital downloads, but with one simple change: Batman still removes his suit, but shadows from the Batcave cover his nether region. The comic’s overall story isn’t changed in any other way.
This does raise a question of why that image was featured in the comic in the first place, as it had no impact on the story whatsoever. Also, it seems weird Batman does not have any clothing underneath his Batsuit. Does he go commando?
But original issues are still out there and contain that the uncensored image of Batman. Because of the limited run of the comic and the “incident” surrounding it, this undoubtedly makes the original issues of “Batman Damned” a future collectors’ item.
This means in the future, decades from now, original issues of “Damned” will probably cost more than reprints. They may be even featured as an addition in a Batman fan’s collection. Think about that for a moment.
It’s actually unfortunate that “Batman Damned” is infamous for one single panel because, according to reviews online, the comic book itself tells a good story. It’s a shame no one will remember it for that reason.