Geek website The Outhousers has a box on their homepage that looks like one of those “This workplace has gone XX days without an accident” signs you might see on a construction site. Instead of tracking injuries of the physical kind, this one tracks injuries to the reputation of one of the Big Two comic book publishers. It reads, “It has been XX days since DC Comics did something stupid.” Today the counter is back at 0. It was there yesterday, too. DC Comics, owners of some of the biggest characters and movie franchises in the world, seems determined to cater to a small but fierce subset of geekdom: Adult men who like their male heroes unimpeded by marriage or morals and their female heroes unimpeded by clothing or agency. The matter of marriage was the cause of one of those counter resets, and while it didn't involve any male characters at all it brought to light something distressingly man-child-ish about the attitude at DC Editorial. The character in question was Gotham City socialite-turned-vigilante Kate Kane, alias Batwoman, the only lesbian hero at any major publisher to star in her own ongoing series and someone who many longtime DC fans considered a sign that there was still hope for the company. That hope was battered when the comic's creative team, J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, left the book because they were told they could not have Kate marry her girlfriend, police captain and longtime Superman and Batman supporting character Maggie Sawyer. DC Comics' only response was to clarify that it had nothing to do with who Batwoman intended to marry: “As acknowledged by the creators involved, the editorial differences with the writers of BATWOMAN had nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the character.” They just don't want their heroes getting married at all, lest they...get cooties, perhaps? DC has been hemorrhaging creators over editorial interference, so it makes sense that they're working on initiatives to recruit new talent into the field. The terms of their latest talent search caused the counter to reset again, this time out of sheer creepiness. The subject of the art for their talent search is Harley Quinn, who made her debut in one of the last really good things the publisher did with Batman, Batman: The Animated Series. As a psychiatrist at Arkham who fell in love with the Joker and became his sidekick, Harley was originally portrayed as a troubled woman in a deeply messed-up relationship. She eventually found support, friendship and self-esteem with fellow female villains Poison Ivy and Catwoman. How does the modern DC want to see her? According to the description of one of the panels they want prospective artists to submit: “Harley sitting naked in a bathtub with toasters, blow dryers, blenders, appliances all dangling above the bathtub and she has a cord that will release them all. We are watching the moment before the inevitable death. Her expression is one of 'oh well, guess that’s it for me' and she has resigned herself to the moment that is going to happen.” DC Comics isn't making comics for kids. They made as much clear to indie creator and OSU alumni Paul Pope, who recounted at San Diego Comic Con this summer that their response to his pitch for an all-ages book was, “We don’t publish comics for kids. We publish comics for 45-year olds.” It's more specific than that: They publish comics for creepy 45-year-olds who want to leer at suicidal women and think marriage is icky.