DC Comics got itself in political hot water over a drawing that's been linked in mainland China to Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests.
The image in question, which DC removed from its social media accounts, was created by artist Rafael Grampa for
writer Frank Miller's graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child , to be released on Dec. 11. The drawing shows a youthful superhero holding a Molotov cocktail. In the background are the words: The future is young.
Chinese social media users took offense at what they said was a clear reference to pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. This perceived support for the youth-led movement that has rocked the Chinese territory sparked a backlash against DC that the
company tried to quell by taking down the image without explanation or apology.
But the controversy was just getting started. The self-censorship only angered fans around the world, who questioned DC bowing to pressure and urged it to go in the
opposite direction. The disputed image's removal inspired people to circulate it widely, and to criticise the decision to withdraw it.