DC Comics’ Superman/Wonder Woman annual comic book was subject to criticism by social media. Apparently, when the publication hit the stand, be it a virtual or hard copy, footnotes/captions indicated that the language spoken by a Pakistani character were noted from the angle-bracketed dialogue, “All translated from Pakistanian –ED.”
According to social media, members of the online Pakistani community took notice and teased DC Comics about this misinformation as no such language by that name exists, according to the Guardian.
— The Mary Sue (@TheMarySue) January 5, 2016
This is not unlike saying the people of Brazil speak “Brazilian” when, in fact, they speak Portuguese. So by DC Comics’ standards, do Americans speak “Americanian”? Rest assured, there was criticism received, as diversity campaigner and London-based scribe Nikesh Shukla said this was “troubling” no matter what the reason.
“Either it’s lazy, which is troubling, or it’s ignorant, which is troubling, or it’s on purpose. Which is troubling. But then again, Starbucks, one of the world’s biggest coffee chains, still has chai tea on the menu, which, as we all know, means tea tea. Words fail me. As they did DC.”
DC Comics staff people probably aren’t perfect, and everyone makes mistakes, but seeing “–ED” mentioned in the caption and would likely make things cringe-worthy considering an editor could have caught that error and found a way to do a quick reference check to find out what language is actually spoken in Pakistan. In the age of search engines, is there really an excuse?
A Facebook user had this to say.
“DC Comics has enough problems and now this. People make mistakes but an editor should have caught this. If anything it’s just another example of errors and blunders DC Comics has made for a while now.”
Pakistan is home to a few languages such as Pashto, Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, and Balochi. To note, Urdu is currently the official language of the country, while previously English held precedence as the government saw to it to make a change, according to io9.
Apparently, the ball got rolling on the popularity of this issue when Twitter user and Pakistani writer Khaver Siddiqi made it public.
— Khaver Siddiqi (@thekarachikid) January 5, 2016
DC Comics was even subject to criticism by Buzzfeed India Contributor Imaan Sheikh, who posted about it.
“A five-second Google search could have prevented this.”
Shimshal, Pakistan, was the scene set for the Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #2, and Sheikh found it funny that they got that correct but neglected the language detail. However, this isn’t the first time the publisher had made mistakes. For one, DC Comics has stated Supergirl was created by Superman’s Jerry Siegel And Joe Shuster. It looks like the phrasing of some the legalese involving who created what was stated in error when, in fact, Supergirl was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, according to Bleeding Cool last year.
The recent CBS Supergirl show displays credit given “by special arrangement with the Jerry Siegel family.”
There’s also DC Comic’s Justice 3001 issues, where the legalese of the phrasing made it show that Supergirl is a character based off, or derivative of, the Superman character. Again, credit wasn’t given to Binder and Plastino.
On top of that, there’s a website dedicated to DC Comics blunders at The Outhousers’ “Has DC Done Something Stupid Today?” section that shows a list of mistakes made on the part of the publisher. Wouldn’t that say a lot about the company since there’s a website keeping track of such things?
DC Comics just has to chalk it up and move on, but they also have their fascinating line-up of DC cinematic films.
[Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images News]