This Licensed T-Shirt Tells You a Lot

This Licensed T-Shirt Tells You a Lot About How DC Comics Views Wonder Woman



Warner Bros. makes a lot of money each year licensing the rights to the superhero IP of DC Comics. And that includes literally hundreds of t-shirts. We know that licensing can be pretty strict. It took a public shaming for them to allow the Superman logo to be used on a statue of a young fan who had been starved to death.

So it’s always interesting to what DOES get signed off on. Like this shirt. 

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Click the “read more” to see the t-shirt.

Besides the obvious main issue that this shirt portrays Wonder Woman as some sort of accomplishment achieved by Superman, and that the relationship is framed as being all about Superman & how awesome he is that he “got” her, the whole concept of the shirt is weird to me.  The phrasing doesn’t seem to fit at all.  It isn’t a comic style kind of phrasing, and Superman, as a cultural icon, isn’t known for his sexual prowess.  You think Superman, and you generally think “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” or him punching giant robots or something.  Not “SCORE!  LOOK AT SUPERMAN AND ANOTHER SEXUAL CONQUEST!” (and of course Wonder Woman as a sexual conquest -_-)  So, this entire thing also seems really incongruous to me and trying to place both Superman and Wonder Woman in contexts that don’t suit them, just to shoe horn in the “look at this stud getting the hot babe!” framing.

Update: Via Comics Alliance, DC has issued a statement about the above t-shirt as well as a couple of other ones that have taken criticism recently (you can see the other ones in the Comics Alliance article):

DC Comics is home to many of the greatest male and female Super Heroes in the world. All our fans are incredibly important to us, and we understand that the messages on certain t-shirts are offensive. We agree. Our company is committed to empowering boys and girls, men and women, through our characters and stories. Accordingly, we are taking a look at our licensing and product design process to ensure that all our consumer products reflect our core values and philosophy.

Thanks to all the readers who pointed me to this!