In the aftermath of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado last Friday, in which 12 people were killed and dozens injured during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, DC Comics has delayed release of Batman, Incorporated #3. In a letter sent to comic book retailers on Monday, the publisher indicated the decision was made due to "content that may be perceived as insensitive in light of recent events." The issue had already been shipped to some retailers.

The last time DC Comics delayed a Batman book after shipment for content reasons was the infamous curse-word ink misprint that allowed pretty extreme language to be clearly visible over the black-bar "censor" ink in Frank Miller and Jim Lee's All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #10. The error was spotted before all the copies reached stores, but some did. A number of those retailers ignored DC's request to not sell the erroneous copies. Ultimately the situation was a tempest in a teapot, but it was pretty crazy that Miller and Lee inadvertently got away with depicting gangsters dropping the C-bomb on a barely pubescent Batgirl.

Batman, Incorporated delay on Twitter, series artist Chris Burnham explained:

While this is a very classy move on DC's part, it seems likely that with some copies already out in the wild, the objectionable content will be posted somewhere on the Internet by tomorrow. It's nice to think that retailers will all follow DC's request and hold the copies for a month without reading them or talking about them or posting about them on the Internet, but previous events have shown chances of that to be remote -- if for no other reason than because many smaller stores don't check their Diamond Distributors updates or the Internet regularly. DC should probably batten down the hatches in anticipation of whatever it was they feared getting out, but pulling the issue before that occurs will certainly help their position.

As for the future of the issue and Batman, Incorporated itself: Issue #3 will go on sale August 22, although it's unknown if that means a reprint with a new scene or if the publisher and creators are simply wanting to allow some distance from the Aurora tragedy. The scheduling of issue #4 and onward is, according to Burnham, "being ironed out right now."

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