DC’s Most R-Rated Rule Characters by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman confirmed one major R-rated DC Comics rule that he wasn’t allowed to break during his iconic run on Sandman for the publisher. Legendary The Sandman writer Neil Gaiman is confirming an R-rated rule that he could not break during his iconic run at DC Comics, as he couldn’t mention DC characters pleasuring themselves under any circumstances. In a recently shared Twitter comment that’s received more than 75,000 likes, Gaiman confirmed a question regarding DC’s rules on masturbation in comics, as creative teams were strictly prohibited from showing (or even talking about) the act in their books.

DC Comics has always pushed the envelope in bringing gritty, dark action to the world of super-heroics, as some of their most iconic stories are full of violence, sex, swearing, and more adult-themed scenes and narratives. In the ’90s, Karen Berger founded the now-defunct Vertigo imprint, which pushed the envelope on more adult-oriented creator-owned books even more. The results were some of the most unique, compelling comic books ever, as, over the years, the line carried the likes of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, Y: The Last Man from Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, and Preacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. DC’s more recent Black Label line has also taken its stories in a much more adult-themed route. However, before Vertigo, Neil Gaiman admitted that he had to follow an R-rated rule at DC Comics: No masturbation in stories. It’s important to keep in mind, that the R-rated rule was a few years before DC Comics decided to push the boundaries of its darker storytelling with Vertigo. Gaiman tried to get the word “masturbate” into The Sandman, but ultimately was explained the R-rated rule and how he couldn’t use it at the time. The Sandman was still relatively new at the time, and including scenes or references to self-pleasure might have halted the story altogether due to its graphic nature.

Ultimately, it seems the situation worked out for both Neil Gaiman and DC Comics. Gaiman would soon get more creative freedom working on The Sandman with the Vertigo imprint as DC Comics allowed its creative teams a little more free rein when including adult themes and situations in their comics with the line. Still, it’s funny that nearly three decades later, the R-rated DC Comics rule returned in such a big way on social media.

Showrunner The Boys Season 3 Opening Scene is Jaw-Dropping

The Boys executive producer, writer, and showrunner, Eric Kripke, teases season 3’s opening scene as “jaw-droppingly insane.” Based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic series of the same name, Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys has received critical and commercial acclaim thanks to its outlandish take on the superhero genre. The TV-MA series follows Hughie Campbell, Billy Butcher, and their eponymous team of anti-superhero vigilantes as they attempt to expose Vought International, the multi-billion-dollar conglomerate that licenses corrupt and abusive “Supes.” Its cast includes Jack Quaid, Karl Urban, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher, Chace Crawford, and Claudia Doumit. Following The Boys’ shocking, hilarious, and tremendously successful debut run, season 2 of the series upped the ante in almost every perceivable way. Given the number of risks that were taken in 2020, season 3 is poised to swing for the fences when it premieres on June 3. Urban has revealed The Boys season 3 is so intense that they ran out of fake blood by episode 3—a situation undoubtedly exacerbated by the introduction of the superteam Payback, which is led by Jensen Ackles’ parody of Captain America, Soldier Boy. Now, The Boys’ showrunner has given fans some insight into episode 1.

Its second season, The Boys depicted a whale being speared by a speed boat, a very-adult version of Mr. Fantastic, and Homelander lasering people to death (among other things). Despite its chaos, season 2 ended on a blissful note, with Butcher, Frenchie, Kimiko, and Mother’s Milk awarded some peace and Hughie getting hired by Congresswoman Victoria Neuman, unaware of her true, explosive intentions. One of the reasons The Boys works so well is likely because of the creative process Kripke describes as it facilities a mindful balance of drama, comedy, and complete insanity.

The Boys’ season 3 trailers have showcased plenty of mayhem, social commentary, and teased the incorporation of a type of Compound-V that makes Butcher and the Boys Supes for 24 hours. The cast has talked about how season 3 will adapt one of the comics’ most notorious, explicit storylines in “Herogasm,” which supposedly left the crew traumatized and the director confused. While it’s unclear how season 3 will begin, the series’ pilot saw Hughie showered in blood and guts after A-Train ran through his girlfriend, Robin. Using that as a barometer, season 3 is sure to be a shocking, inappropriate, upsetting, and wildly entertaining affair.