Batman: Damned was quite the topic upon release, but it wasn't for the reasons that DC wanted, and that is something they will address with future Black Label offerings.
For those who aren't aware, Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo's Batman: Damned series is the first offering from DC Comics' more mature oriented Black Label imprint. The comic surprised some though when it offered a look at Batman's penis after he exits the Batmobile in the Batcave, and DC quickly moved to censor that in future prints of the issue. At New York Comic-Con DC Comics co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio offered their take on how things played out in this situation.
“I think we made some choices after it went out,” DiDio told Polygon, “and there were some production errors that led to the book being published the way it was ... that ended up being a big story. But thankfully people were very pleased with the story and the content, the beautiful art, and the story that Brian [Azzarello] and Lee [Bermejo] had come up with really resonated with readers.”
“It’s made us, certainly, look at what Black Label is and think about whether these elements are additive to the story,” Lee said. “And that’s something that we’ll be mindful of going forward, because I don’t think we want necessarily a repeat of what happened with the first issue.”
That topic became the main focus of reactions to the issue as opposed to just the quality of the story as a whole, and that's at least part of why DiDio kind of wishes it never happened in the first place.
“It’s something we wished never happened,” DiDio said, “because it really took the attention away from what we thought was quality storytelling, and that’s not the way we see this imprint. As a matter of fact, we’re excited by all the books that we have under Black Label. And it’s an important line for us, so much so that we’re actually repositioning some of our older material that has that same tonality and bringing it in and reprinting it under the Black Label name.”
So don't expect to see that kind of thing in future Black Label books like Batman: Last Knight on Earth, Superman: Year One, or Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons when those eventually release.
What do you think of DC's approach to Black Label? Let us know in the comments!