Robot 6

Vertigo disappears from DC app—unless you’re a grownup (Updated)

Comixology's DC application

Comixology's DC application

Valerie D’Orazio noticed that all DC’s Vertigo titles had disappeared from the DC iPad app, which is powered by comiXology, although they remain available on comiXology’s non-publisher-specific comiXology app. We wondered if this had something to do with the fact that the DC app is rated 12+ while the Comics app is 17+, and a quick e-mail to comiXology CEO David Steinberger confirmed that hunch:

Yes, the DC app is a 12+ age-rated app, while Comics by comiXology is a 17+ app. Vertigo title[s] purchased on our app or at comics.comixology.com will appear in the DC app, as long as you’re logged in as the same comiXology user.

The Comics app is free, so as long as you’re over 17, you can buy titles like The Losers, Fables and Sandman from the Comics app and read it in your DC app—a bit cumbersome, perhaps, but it works.

UPDATE: I e-mailed David some follow-up questions; here are his answers:

Brigid: So the key is really that if you have a comiXology account, your identity is constant across all the different apps?

David: Yes, every app (and the website comics.comixology.com), with the current exception of the Marvel app, is part of the comiXology platform, so if you buy DC on the DC app, you can view it on the Comics by comiXology app, or on comics.comixology.com, and vice versa. The same with BOOM!.

I feel like this hasn’t gotten enough attention. We were the first to have digital comics available both on the iOS and on the web, so you don’t even need an iPhone or iPad to buy and read digital comics, but if you do, you can buy and read on any of these devices and the web.

Brigid: Are you restructuring it so that all the apps appear to be 12+ unless you are logged in as an older user? Someone just said to me that the Boom app went from 17+ to 12+.

David: Nope, we just made the argument that the BOOM! content was 12+ and was mis-categorized as a 17+ app. Apple apparently agreed, and on the latest update let us move it to 12+.

We don’t currently have parental controls built into the app, so whole apps have to be either 12+ or 17+ (or 9+ or all ages).

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Comments

15 Comments

I said it before, and I’ll say it again, there is very little difference between the content of DCU imprint and the Vertigo imprint.

The occasionial swears and boobs but yea there isn’t much difference anymore.

Wraith/Lando: Based on what? That is such a bazaar statement and you give no explanation what-so-ever. Are you really saying that you can’t differentiate things like Batman, Superman and Green Lantern from things like Sweet Tooth, Y: The Last Man and DMZ? I’m very confused…

Wraith: Yeah those are pretty vague statements. Thats like saying When I read Superman I don’t know if I’m reading Hell Blazzer or Scalped. Wraith, explain yourself. No one understands where your coming from.

Lando: You forgot rape.

In “Identity Crisis,” a prominent character was raped, then eventually murdered, while pregnant. That book starred every iconic superhero kids should rightfully love and admire — presumably, as most of us did, which is why we read comics today. I’m gonna go all “Seduction of the Innocent” here, but I don’t think that’s 12+ material. “Daytripper” is Verigo and I’d feel better handing that to a kid. When one of the two imprints goes all the way one direction or another, they REALLY go all the way.

Age restrictions on comics are stupid in general. How many of us read Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing when we were kids before any of DC’s books had mature readers labels? Those comics contained some of the most gruesome and terrifying material ever released by DC. Remember Abby Cable flaying herself naked? Camelot 3000 would have surely carried a mature readers label if it had been released a few years later. How many of you watched Nightmare on El Street or Friday the 13th movies on cable when you were kids?

One of the most ridiculous things about Vertigo is how all Vertigo books have mature readers labels — even when those labels are retroactively applied to titles that have no R-rated content and were originally released without warning labels. Can someone please explain to me why the three Animal Man trades need mature readers labels? I’d really like to know. Even better — the collection of Alan Moore’s first Swamp Thing issues has a mature readers label because it’s a Vertigo release– even though those issues were Code-approved!

Frankly, I’m vastly more worried about kids playing video games that portray shooting people or flying bombing runs as adventurous and without real consequences.

Wraith: Yeah those are pretty vague statements. Thats like saying When I read Superman I don’t know if I’m reading Hell Blazzer or Scalped. Wraith, explain yourself. No one understands where your coming from.

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The following things are now allowed and have been shown in DCU superhero comics (both CCA and non CCA DCU superhero comics) over the last 20+ years.

1. On panel rape (IDENTITY CRISIS) and a strongly implied scene of rape in an issue of ACTION COMICS (written by Chuck Austen) where a Kryptonian literally raped a woman to death.

2. Underage teenage sex (Wonder Girl and Superboy in a TEEN TITANS annual from a few years ago).

3. Sex scenes (the orgy scene in one of Winnicks sex filled OUTSIDERS run and the erotic sex dream scene between Hawkman and Hawkgirl in an issue of JLA from a couple of years ago)

4. On panel and uncensored bloody and gory violence (including dismemberment), like Superboy Prime killing lots of heroes in INFINITE CRISIS and the murdered bloody corpse of Arsanel’s daughter in the CRY FOR JUSTICE mini series

5. Cuss words like asshole,ass,bastard,bitch,and goddamn have all been used in DCU superhero titles (even the word s**t was allowed uncensored in the DARK KNIGHT STRIKES BACK)

Wraith, I don’t know what version of Identity Crisis you read, but there is no “on panel” rape. And while I’m not 100%, I’m pretty sure the word ‘rape’ doesn’t even appear anywhere in the series.

I’m not arguing necessarily with your basic conceit: that DC (and Marvel) comics by and large are not geared towards children. It just seems you have a particular bugbear about sexuality, seeing as how your list contains three different sexual objections before getting to a blanket bullet point about violence and gore, which is much more pervasive and the number one reason I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving these books to any little children.

Wraith, I don’t know what version of Identity Crisis you read, but there is no “on panel” rape. And while I’m not 100%, I’m pretty sure the word ‘rape’ doesn’t even appear anywhere in the series.

I’m not arguing necessarily with your basic conceit: that DC (and Marvel) comics by and large are not geared towards children. It just seems you have a particular bugbear about sexuality, seeing as how your list contains three different sexual objections before getting to a blanket bullet point about violence and gore, which is much more pervasive and the number one reason I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving these books to any little children.

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Actually my user name is Blade X on these forums. I typed my newsarama and The Beat user name in by mistake.

1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it in IDENTITY CRISIS where we saw a fully clothed Doctor Light rape a fully clothed Sue Dibney from behind on the JLA satelite?

And FYI, rape is not considered to be sex, but a violent criminal act.

2. Ahhh, the old tired “You must have a problem with sex” BS excuse whenever someone says certain sexual acts inappropriate for certain comics. Give me a break due. My beef is clearly only with on panel sexual situations acts and sex between under age kids/teenagers. To insinuate anything other wise in my statement is a load of BS.

1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it in IDENTITY CRISIS where we saw a fully clothed Doctor Light rape a fully clothed Sue Dibney from behind on the JLA satelite?

You’re wrong.

You’re wrong.

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So where was it that Doctor Light raped Sue Dibney?

So where was it that Doctor Light raped Sue Dibney?

In Identity Crisis #2, Sue Dibny is attacked by Dr. Light. It is implied, though not shown or mentioned directly, that Light may have raped Sue.

I don’t know if any DC Comic since has come out and said “Light raped Sue” but to my knowledge it has not. I’m not defending Identity Crisis or DC in any way, just saying that example you site as example number one never happened, except in your mind.

In Identity Crisis #2, Sue Dibny is attacked by Dr. Light. It is implied, though not shown or mentioned directly, that Light may have raped Sue.

I don’t know if any DC Comic since has come out and said “Light raped Sue” but to my knowledge it has not. I’m not defending Identity Crisis or DC in any way, just saying that example you site as example number one never happened, except in your mind.

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Dude, Light was shown on panel bending Sue over from behind and (IIRC) we see her hands making a fist and she screams “NO”. As you yourself admitted, that was “implied rape”. So it’s only in your mind that Sue was not raped by Light. Also, wasn’t there at least one interview where the writer of IC said that Light did indeed rape Sue?

As you yourself admitted, that was “implied rape”.

Well, I think for the purposes of this discussion there is a difference between actions implied and actions explicitly shown. I’m not arguing that implied rape even has a place in DC superhero comics,(I don’t think it does) but I think you hurt any arguments you make when you misrepresent what actually happened. The scene with Light and Sue was written and drawn in such a way that Light’s attack could be inferred to be rape, or inferred to be a simple attack on an innocent bystander (also, the scene doesn’t unfold as you described. I just went upstairs and dug the issue out, and Light is never shown bending Sue over from behind.) although given the horrified reaction of the other Justice Leaguers, the rape inference is not outrageous, and probably what the creators intended. However, your comments make it seem like it was a scene from “Irreversible”.

Well, I think for the purposes of this discussion there is a difference between actions implied and actions explicitly shown. I’m not arguing that implied rape even has a place in DC superhero comics,(I don’t think it does) but I think you hurt any arguments you make when you misrepresent what actually happened. The scene with Light and Sue was written and drawn in such a way that Light’s attack could be inferred to be rape, or inferred to be a simple attack on an innocent bystander (also, the scene doesn’t unfold as you described. I just went upstairs and dug the issue out, and Light is never shown bending Sue over from behind.) although given the horrified reaction of the other Justice Leaguers, the rape inference is not outrageous, and probably what the creators intended. However, your comments make it seem like it was a scene from “Irreversible”.

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It’s been a while since I flipped through that issue of IC, so I’ll take your word on it on how they scene was played out.

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