If you picked up a physical copy of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo’s Batman: Damned this week, then you were treated to a passing glimpse of a totally-nude Bruce Wayne in the Batcave. From the sounds of it, DC regrets greenlighting the decision to show off Batman’s penis.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, all future printings of Batman: Damned will now have the penis in question censored out (as it already was in digital issues) after DC decided that the appendage didn’t really add to the series’ plot. While it’s true that revealing Bruce’s dick wasn’t absolutely crucial to drive Batman: Damned’s larger story forward, Bruce being nude does factor into the scene within the comic—a moment when he’s supposed to be at his very most vulnerable.
More than that, though, the decision to edit the penis out is rather eyeroll-inducing, considering just how often comic book artists go out of their way to show off and accentuate female characters’ bodies by putting them in impossible positions that—wait for it—have absolutely nothing to do with a book’s plot. It’s a bit disappointing to see a major publisher backtracking on what otherwise would have been a small step toward balancing out the pervasive male gaze-iness plaguing mainstream comics. At the very least, Batman: Damned #1 just became a collector’s item you might want to hold onto.