The upcoming Doctor Strange mini-event, Doctor Strange: Damnation appears to have caused a little concern from certain retailers in certain parts of the country with a certain customer base. As a result, Marvel Comics is making a special bowdlerised version of the cover that takes away the “Damn” and replaces it with a “Tar”, transforming the comic into Doctor Strange: Tarnation.
No, seriously, this is not a Jude Terror article, this is me, and this is really happening. Look.
And yes, I know, it looks like a Jude Terror photoshop job, but seriously, it isn’t. Look, you can go and take a look on the Previews site.
Honest. As it says:
“NEW “TARNATION” VARIANT ANNOUNCED FOR DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION #1! A new order all variant is now available on DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION #1, with a family friendly TARNATION treatment on the cover! All interiors and content is identical to DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION #1, only the cover treatment is altered. IF retailers show interest, Marvel will create a TARNATION variant for each issue of the limited series.”
“Damn” was once the most offensive word in the English language and cut from printed literature. It caused a massive fine for the producers of Gone With The Wind when Clark Gable said “quite frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” and its use in British TV in the sixties caused Mary Whitehouse to get all of a quiver.
But for most people, it’s lost that power. I remember the eighties’ kids TV show Press Gang that used the word repeatedly. It’s common in the Simpsons. It wasn’t even on George Carlin’s list.
But, you know, some areas of America can be more sensitive than others. And clearly, some retailers do have an issue with stacking a comic with such a name on their shelves. And maybe some others might enjoy such a bowdlerised edition. And if you want more, and there’s a demand, Marvel is promising to supply it.