WTF: Batman & Batgirl Are [SPOILER] in DC's Animated KILLING JOKE Movie

The Killing Joke has been a contentious point in Batman comics history because many people view the way The Joker paralyzes Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl) as a symptom of a larger negative attitude toward women in comics. You can read all about the controversy here. It's tough to argue with that assessment, especially considering that the story was meant to be a one-off but Barbara ended up remaining paralyzed and taking on the role of Oracle in canon after that.

Spoilers for DC's animated The Killing Joke ahead.

Now word has come out that in DC's animated film adaptation of the movie (which was already controversial just for existing), Batman and Batgirl are lovers. ComicBook.com pointed me to these scenes, one of which shows the two characters about to have sex, and the other confirming that the act occurred (the fact that the YouTube video is called "Batman a Pimp" is emblematic of some of the larger problems at play here):

This subplot was apparently added just to pad out the story and give Batman more of a reason to hunt down The Joker after the villain paralyzes Barbara later on.

EW has learned the prologue was added to the film in an effort to further develop the character of Batgirl, who is not deeply explored in the comic, and to flesh out the story. The original Killing Joke comic, a one-shot, is a relatively slim 48 pages. 

That seems like a pretty terrible reason to introduce this idea. Using Batgirl's brutal assault as a simple motivation for Batman takes away her agency and is another blow to the idea of equality in comics and comics-adjacent culture. I thought we were past this kind of thing in 2016. We can do better than this.

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