DC abandons the Comics Code Authority in favour of actually rating its content

It’s about time. DC has announced that it is adopting its own rating system similar to Marvel’s. While DC comics have become increasingly gruesome, they have made no attempt to warn the reader about disturbing content within, and they’re extremely reluctant to slap the sales-killing “mature content” label on a title for good reason. They effectively follow no rating system at all. You take a gamble every time you open a DC comic: will there be eye gouging, torture, gory decapitation, baby tossing, or simply the usual sexualized violence against women? And then there’s Teen Titans. There are numerous titles that should carry some type of rating for various types of content without being penalized in sales (don’t even think about taking away my Secret Six!), but with no predictable limits on what can be published, the most mainstream of titles continue to catch readers off-guard.

The rating system isn’t great – like Hollywood’s MPAA it falls far short of the specific trigger warnings that feminist fandom uses, which would benefit readers far more than context-free stuff like “intense violence, extensive profanity, nudity, sexual themes and other content suitable only for older readers.” (Because it’s important to warn for things like profanity but not things like misogyny, racism or ablism.) But it’s a big improvement over not warning at all.

Michelle Bacon

Michelle loves comics and code. A lifelong Superfamily fan, she's been collecting comics for 20 years, and running Supergirl: Maid of Might since 2000.

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