DC Comics is under fire after the company deleted a poster for a new Batman comic from its social media due to criticism it received in China. The artwork for the comic, Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child, shows the titular Batman with a Molotov cocktail atop a pink background. Some Chinese internet users claimed the image expressed DC's support for the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, prompting criticism on Twitter and Weibo.
The poster has since been removed, and fans are already questioning why the company was so quick to delete it.
"The black clothes represent Hong Kong, the mask represents Hong Kong, the Molotov cocktail represents Hong Kong, what else here doesn’t represent Hong Kong???" wrote one Weibo user, as Variety reports. "No matter what the reason, to put an image like this up at a sensitive time like this means you have a death wish," another added.
While the company hasn't explained why the poster was deleted, it has still inspired a backlash due to the perception that DC caved to the demands of China. "So now Batman loves money more than justice?" a fan commented on the DC Comics instagram. As the protests over the fugitive offenders amendment bill continue, numerous companies and individuals have received criticism from the Chinese government and public over comments supporting the protesters.
Many highlighted how the NBA and Overwatch developer Blizzard made similar moves to appease their Chinese audiences recently.
The Hong Kong protesters did receive a win this week, however, as Donald Trump signed an act in support of the protest movement. "We urge the United States not to insist on going down this path, or China would firmly strike back and the United States would have to bear all consequences," China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, which also accused the U.S. of "bullying behavior" and "publicly supporting violent criminals."