Even cartoon adaptations are reaching the R-rated level
Imagine this narrative of an upcoming R-rated movie: A homicidal maniac escapes captivity, kidnaps a high-ranking city official and subjects him to a litany of extreme degradation and torture. The story's protagonist races against the clock to rescue the victim — but not before someone close to both men suffers a grievous wound.Except possibly its own author, Alan Moore, who's all but disowned it because today, he's not so happy he went through with this, but is glad the editors at the time wouldn't approve of the idea Barbara Gordon end up raped after being injured.
It may come as a surprise that the hero and villain in question are none other than Batman and The Joker. The synopsis describes the latest superhero movie — this one a cartoon video, no less — called "The Killing Joke" that's expected to be released in July. Based on an iconic graphic novel published by Warner Brothers' DC Comics in 1988, "The Killing Joke's" dark tone and decidedly adult content earned it a place in the pantheon of avant garde storylines. To date, many fans and experts consider it one of the best Dark Knight stories ever written.
"We're at a point now that we can choose to be as authentic to the source material," said Sam Register, president of Warner Brothers Animation, in a recent interview with CNBC. "'The Killing Joke'" had been on the slate for years, and the director felt it could be close to the source material.I wonder if that includes any cartoons they've produced based on Superman, the Flash, and even Justice League? Maybe not yet, but they could be soon. What this hints is that children and teens aren't taken as a valid market much today, and that's not a good thing. It also suggests the same mentality that flooded DC's comics is now turning up in the WB animation department to boot. Even Marvel cartoons may not be immune to this.
"We didn't go for rated-R but we knew that would be a possibility," he said. "We decided to embrace it."
The soon to be released video, whose R-rating is a first for a DC superhero endeavor, is part of a fabric of highly lucrative comic book films that are darker and more violent. However, what has become increasingly apparent is that fewer of them are suitable for children and young adults.
I think this is the same cartoon SJWs wanted censored, and while I don't support censorship, I do know that if the approach used in the Killing Joke cartoon leaks into other animated products based on characters and series where the vision was anything but dark, it'll only devastate those properties too, and make them less appealing, as already seen in their output since the mid-90s. And that will only ensure the further decline of comicdom along with Hollywood.