Zack Snyder has declared Batman's oral "canon."
This week a conversation with Harley Quinn series co-creators Patrick Schumacker and Justin Halpern was published in Variety and sparked a firestorm on social media.
Specifically, a detail that Justin Halpern shared about a disagreement between the series creators and DC Comics caught fans' attention. While Halpern was noting the freedom the animated HBO Max show allows — thanks to its focus on villains, rather than the hero characters, who are generally treated more preciously — he offered a telling counterexample to illustrate the point.
"In this third season of 'Harley' [when] we had a moment where Batman was going down on Catwoman. And DC was like, 'You can't do that. You absolutely cannot do that.' They're like, 'Heroes don't do that.' So, we said, 'Are you saying heroes are just selfish lovers?' They were like, 'No, it's that we sell consumer toys for heroes. It's hard to sell a toy if Batman is also going down on someone.'"
Obviously the series in question is rated R — and features violent and graphic content far more inappropriate than a consensual genital makeout sesh. So the idea that kids in the market for Batman toys would even see this scene should be out of the question. Yet DC for some reason saw the idea as fundamentally undermining Batman's image and wouldn't allow it.
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Various official Batman media has featured — or at least suggested — Bruce Wayne engaging in p-in-v and other sexual acts, so why was this one off the table? Was this some outdated, Sopranos-style toxic masculinity nonsense about what "real men" are supposed to do in bed?
Needless to say, DC's efforts to suppress the Bat's appetite backfired, and soon the online world was overflowing with jokes, speculation, and weirdly earnest debates about Batman's oral abilities. For example, why doesn't Alfred keep the batcave's fridge stocked? Because Batman absolutely eats out.
Deidrich Bader, 2019 - Lol this is the guy they didn’t want going down on a lady???? Tbh, I can see why. His lips a… https://t.co/kSFmwaDfJN— 🎃☠️ Scarlet Whit🦇🕸 (@🎃☠️ Scarlet Whit🦇🕸)1623709638.0
The uproar also provoked comment from various figures related to Batman, including Harley Quinn star Kaley Cuoco, who took to instagram with the simple message, "lol." Val Kilmer, star of 1995's Batman Forever also weighed in, tweeting a suggestive gif from the film.
Thankfully, leaving aside the obvious reason Batman's cowl covers every part of his head except the mouth, the debate has now been settled by none other than Zack Snyder. The Batman vs. Superman director — once put in charge of all DC Extended Universe films (where he was allowed to break another cardinal rule about Batman using guns) — shared an image of what the scrapped scene might have looked like.
The Dark Knight, in full costume, has his face burried between catwoman's legs, plainly going to town while Catwoman's eyes seemingly roll back in her head, either in ecstasy or possibly in boredom. No one ever said Batman was good at going down...
Canon https://t.co/rpPaRhVnQ8— Zack Snyder (@Zack Snyder)1623980640.0
From some perspectives, the image raises more questions than it answers? Like, what's going on with the opening on that cat suit? Did Zack Snyder have this image custom made for this, or did he already have it? And what exactly Batman is doing with his hands?
But never mind all that. The point is what Batman is doing with his mouth. And along with that image, one word serving as a declarative statement: "Canon."