Right-Wing Culture Warriors Infuriated By ‘Pregnant Joker’ Comic Book – Forbes

American actor Jack Nicholson plays the Joker in the movie Batman, directed by Tim Burton. (Photo by … [+] Murray Close/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)
The Joker has done a lot of wild things in his 80-year (and counting) presence in comic books; veering from goofy prankster to psychotic murderer, the clown has tried to trademark fish, cut off his own face, and in a recent DC comics storyline, he even became pregnant.
One of the short stories inside The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing sees the titular supervillain fall under a magical curse, which gives him a swollen pregnancy belly. Eventually, the Joker “gives birth” by vomiting up a pile of mud, which reshapes into a little clown clone. The two Jokers then stare at each other, both of their thought bubbles reading: “He’s so handsome.”
The comic’s writer Matthew Rosenberg has said the story is his tribute to the Silver Age of comics, a period characterized by extremely silly plot twists and kid-friendly carnage, where anything can, and frequently does, happen.
While the “pregnant Joker” story was seen by some critics as a slightly desperate, “jumping the shark” moment, the story infuriated right-wing culture warriors, who misinterpreted the goofy story as some kind of social justice-infused commentary on trans men giving birth.
Conservative influencer Nick Adams, who generously describes himself as an “alpha male,” didn’t hold back, calling for a “total boycott” of the Joker (Adams seemingly referring to the character, rather than DC comics, or DC Studios). Considering the immense popularity of the Joker, the vague boycott doesn’t seem likely to succeed. On Twitter, Adams wrote:
“The latest issue of ‘The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing’ comic book features a scene where The Joker—a MAN—becomes pregnant. That’s NOT how it works! I am calling for a Complete & Total BOYCOTT of The Joker until further notice. What’s next, a fully-electric Batmobile?!”
Former GOP congressional candidate Robby Starbuck tweeted: “In the new Joker comic he gets pregnant and gives birth. Yep, the Joker is trans now. At least the character is the joker because a pregnant woman thinking they’re a pregnant man is the definition of a joker. Who else is sick of this lunacy?”
YouTube talk show host Steven Steele tweeted, “JUST IN: DC Comics has made The Joker pregnant in its latest issue, because of course they did.” YouTuber/comics critic Ethan Van Sciver described the story (which, again, features a magical mud clone), as “grotesque filth” created by “perverts.”
Fox News even ran a segment on the comic book, with the hosts appearing confused about the subject, seemingly uncertain if this was as serious an issue as, say, the Green M&M changing her shoes.

In the end, the marketing folks at DC Comics got exactly what they wanted, as the weird comic, which was described as the Joker’s “most bizarre caper yet,” received a huge amount of attention, arguably more than it deserves.


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