Secrets DC comics doesn't want you to know

Detective Comics Comics, or DC as the kids call it, has been around quite a long time and, in their history, there's a bunch of pretty terrible things they've tried to keep secret, hide, or just literally close their eyes about. Here are just some of the dirty little secrets that the company behind Superman, the Big Blue Boy Scout, wants to keep hidden.

DC almost made the most racist character imaginable

Who would've guessed a company that has existed since before the second World War would have some racism in its history? That said, you might be surprised by just how horrible the racism was.

You might already know that DC has a history of being pretty racially heinous, like that time they turned Lois Lane into a black woman, for … reasons. That's actually incredibly close to what DC did for their first black solo superhero, only much worse. See, their original idea for the first black solo superhero at DC, home of Superman and Batman, was a guy named the Black Bomber, a white racist who, when stressed out (yes, like the Hulk), turned into a black superhero.

That's right, their entire concept for the first black solo superhero was going to be based on Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde. Did they not see the unfortunate implications in making a white racist be the good side and a black superhero the bad side? Thankfully, DC didn't officially release the character because even in our dark world the Sun occasionally shines. In this case, the editors at DC wisely decided to hold back on their virulent racism — eventually, a black DC writer would create a character named Brown Bomber to make fun of the whole idea, seen in the image above.

They made a racist Hispanic character

You might know Vibe from CW's The Flash. He's the one who creates cool things for the Flash, and he has SFW vibrating powers that involve moving through other universes. Now, as is our wont, we're here to ruin him for you. You're welcome!

See, Vibe's original version was a bit … different. He was basically a wild and crazy Hispanic breakdancer. Your typical "fun" racist character. In fact, he was so cartoonishly racist, one of DC's most popular artists refused to draw him! George Perez — who co-created Teen Titans and was the artist for Crisis on Infinite Earths, possibly the single most important comic book event ever — absolutely hated him. He said, "Being Puerto Rican myself, I found the fact that they could use a Puerto Rican character quite obviously favorable … But having him be a breakdancer! I mean, come on now."

Imagine being DC and doing such a bad job creating a character, one of your most popular artists regularly went on rants about how terrible he is. Next time you watch Flash, make sure to take a second out to groan for the history of Vibe. The only way it could've been worse is if they kept doing it.

They made an alleged sexual harasser an editor of Superman books

While hiring someone who has allegedly harassed multiple women is probably bad, putting him in charge of every single Superman book DC puts out is even more worrisome. If Superman could determine whether there's any truth to the repeated sexual harassment allegations against DC editor Eddie Berganza, he might throw ol' Eddie to the Moon.

According to Comic Book Resources, Berganza was reported for sexual harassment multiple times between 2010 and 2016. So what was DC's official position on Berganza? You know how comics character who are attempting to get away with something sometimes just lean back and whistle nonchalantly? It might be a little like that. And after maintaining that stance for several years internally, DC kept silent for several weeks when the larger story broke in April 2016. DC finally released an official statement in May 2016. The statement did not name Berganza or any employees and simply said DC was "reviewing our policies, expanding employee training on the topic and working with internal and external resources to ensure that these policies and procedures are respected and reinforced across the company." So that settles that, right?

Hired almost no women, fired one of them

When the New 52 came out, there were almost zero women working on any of the comics. Think about how hard that is. Each comic needs a writer, an editor, an artist, a colorist, a letterer … and there were fifty-two of them. That's approximately two hundred people. How many of them were women? What percent? Wanna take a guess? Would it be twelve percent? Gosh, that'd be low. No, that's actually the percentage before the New 52 debuted. After, the amount of women working at DC was one percent. Yeah, 1%. As in, almost zero.

Of course, that wasn't quite horrifying enough. See, one of the most respected women writers was working on Batgirl, a character she had helped define as Oracle after the Joker crippled her in The Killing Joke. Her name was Gail Simone, and guess what? She was freaking fired, despite her comic being one of the most popular and best-selling of all the 52. If it helps at all, the outcry from her firing reached such a fever pitch that she was jobless for less than a week before DC hurriedly hired her back and went, "See, see, we don't hate women! Please don't hurt us." See, at least Joker would've owned his terribleness.

Alan Moore despises them because they cheated him out of ownership of Watchmen

Alan Moore hates DC. Why? Watchmen, that's why. See, the reason that DC can merge Watchmen together with the rest of the DC Universe, is because DC owns the rights to those characters and that comic. That's how big comic companies work, right? Whenever someone works for them, they're sacrificing the rights to get the glory and paycheck that comes with writing (or drawing) Batman punching someone. That's just how it works!

Well … mostly. But, see, with Watchmen, it was a bit different. The story wasn't set in the DC Universe, and was actually so new that Alan Moore (and his co-creator, artist Dave Gibbons) made an agreement with DC where, after Watchmen was out of print for a certain amount of time, the rights would go back to Gibbons and Moore. It wouldn't take too long, Moore thought. After all, comics were, more or less, disposable. There were no collections or anything.

But then, Watchmen got super-popular, to the point where it has still not gone out of print. Ever since it first started coming out, DC has made sure it's kept coming out. It was part of the inspiration for comic collections — also known as graphic novels — in the first place! This is why Alan Moore absolutely despises DC to this day. On the other hand, it's kinda his fault for making something so good people will love it and pay money for it until the literal end of human civilization.

Comics aren't where the money is, licensing is

As it turns out, comics don't actually make that much money — the majority of the cash that comic companies make come from their licenses. For instance, ever buy a lunchbox with Batman on it? Ever watch The Dark Knight? Ever go to Six Flags and ride that weird Batman rollercoaster that lets your feet hang and is super killer? That's where the real money comes from.

Even the better-selling expensive super-comics aren't that big a boon for the billion-dollar comic companies. All that money comes from licensing out their characters to be on cereal, LEGOs, or in movies. That's actually part of the reason behind some of DC's hardcore rules about what characters are and aren't allowed to do. You can't ruin Batman to the point that licensers won't want him anymore! Though at this point, in the case of Batman, that's probably impossible.

DC almost went bankrupt

OK, as we said earlier, comic books don't actually make comic book companies that much money. DC's parent company, in fact, decided their comics made them so little money, might as well chuck the whole thing into the fire. Yep, they highly considered ditching DC and selling it to Marvel, who had better-selling books and could afford the purchase. Yep, the people who make Captain America almost owned Batman. That means that the Civil War we got could've had Batman and Superman! Tell us that wouldn't have kicked infinitely more spandexed booty than Ant-Man vs Hawkeye.

Unfortunately, Marvel didn't see it that way, and refused to buy. In their mind, the reason that DC was failing was because their characters were lame as hell, so why even bother getting involved? To be honest, that isn't entirely untrue, but on the other hand … you could've had Batman. You sitting there calling him and his ilk a bunch of lame-o's? Smells like missed opportunity, Marvel.

They refused to let two women get married in the 2010s

Marriages in comic books tend to be huge events, with a bunch of build up, and lots of marketing. That is, when they happen, anyway. Sometimes they don't, and sometimes the reasons are so peculiar, you can't help feel like someone is lying. Like in the case of Batwoman and her would-be wife.

Now, we're not saying anyone is lying — we're just saying that, lie or not, this was a severely bad decision. Batwoman is one of DC's most exciting new comic characters, a cousin of Batman with red hair, military training, and a girlfriend. For a few years, her creative team was writing a long story that would climax with her and her lady getting married. That is, until one of the head honchos at DC said that she wasn't allowed to get married, with the official excuse being that the Batcharacters need to stay miserable. Yeah, okay, that's definitely it. That's why Robin's cheerful most all the time. Because he's hiding his abject misery. Besides, ask any married couple and you've got a 50% chance of them opining that if DC wants Batwoman to be miserable, let her get married.

The creators reacted as you might guess the writers of a red-headed kick-butt lesbian would: they instantly quit. Which is sad, because their Batwoman was one of the most exciting and unique new comics, bringing in new readers — young and old. And the old guard apparently just couldn't handle that. Must be an anti-ginger thing. Yeah, that's it.

DC says it only publishes comics for 40-year-olds

Pictured: one of the main cast members from Comic Book Men, and DC's prime audience, apparently.

Yep, DC Comics — the home of a man who makes shapes with a flashy green ring, a guy who dresses like a bat and punches people, and a circus strongman who can fly because the Sun is yellow … are not for children. DC, by their own admission, only makes comic books for 45-year-olds. And not just 45-year-olds, but 45-year-old men, specifically. Your weird Uncle Ted? He's the target audience for Robin, a pre-teen who runs around in actual underwear.

This revelation explains a ton, actually — why DC is so resistant to change, why the DC movies are so grim and gritty, and why almost everyone who works for them is also a 45-year-old dude! Because that's their audience. Only they can appreciate the subtle poetry and gruff-yet-life-affirming, soul-searching artistry that is a dude who talks to fish.