Earlier this month, a controversy erupted in the world of comics when DC pre-emptively spoiled the result of the much-anticipated wedding between Batman and Catwoman in the pages of Batman #50 by writer Tom King, artist Mikel Janin and an all-star team of guest artists. That reveal, in the weddings section of The New York Times, sparked a chain reaction of events that, apparently, has now led to King requiring the protection of a bodyguard as he walks the floor at San Diego Comic-Con.
In case you're not all caught up on how we got here, here's what happened: On July 1, The New York Times published a piece in its weddings section which revealed that Batman #50 featured Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne calling off their wedding, because Selina believed going through with it would rob the world of Batman. The issue was not due out until the following Wednesday, so many fans were furious about the pre-emptive spoiler, and King himself didn't seem too happy about it either. Retailers were also upset by the move, which led to DC to issue a reply directly to them. In the days after the reveal, one message from both King and DC was clear: The issue is still worth reading, because Catwoman leaving Batman at the altar is not the only big reveal in the story.
They were right, because it turns out sabotaging the wedding (with the help of Catwoman's best friend Holly Robinson) was actually part of a master plan orchestrated by Bane with a host of other supervillains to psychologically "break the Bat" once and for all. It's a key piece of a storyline King's been building throughout his run, and where it goes from here is bigger than a wedding gone wrong.
Still, once the controversy started, there was apparently no stopping, and now we know that — whether due to the early reveal of the wedding's end, the decision to call off the wedding itself, the twist ending to the issue, or all of the above — King received death threats over the story. We know this not because of rumors, but because King himself just tweeted a picture of himself with his new bodyguard from the Comic-Con floor.
King, for his part, seems to be taking having a bodyguard around in stride, and it's nice to see he's got a sense of humor about these things as he attempts to go about his working life amid a sea of fans this weekend. King isn't the first creator to receive threats like this in the wake of a divisive story. Dan Slott famously got death threats of his own after he killed off Peter Parker five years ago (Peter got better), and now Slott is among the creators who have come to King's defense while shouting down "spoiler culture." King will most likely be just fine and keep writing comics for DC, but it's alarming and frustrating that things got this bad in the first place.
Remember, kids: Disliking a comic book story is fine. Telling the person who wrote that story you're going to kill them, even if you're kidding, is not.