DC Delays New 'Batman Inc.' Issue Over Aurora Shooting Sensitivity

DC Comics has taken potential sensitivities over last weekend's "The Dark Knight Rises" premiere massacre to heart, and followed Warner Bros.' lead by adjusting its content and release schedule accordingly.

The Batman Inc. publisher has pushed back its latest issue release to Aug. 22 to address artwork and story elements that could make audiences uncomfortable in the wake of the events of the early hours of July 20 in Aurora, Colorado.  A half-hour into a midnight premiere screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," 24-year-old James E. Holmes donned tactical riot gear, stormed a crowded theater and opened fire on the audience, killing 12 and injuring another 58 people.

In now-delayed issue, artwork depicts a teacher pulling a pistol on her frightened students. A character says at one point, "Eyewitnesses spoke of a grisly bullet-riden cadaver." According to TMZ, that's just two of multiple references to violence involving firearms.

Warner Bros. has similarly rehashed its strategy for the Ryan Gosling-Sean Penn drama "Gangster Squad." Much of that controversy comes back to a single scene, reportedly critical to the story. In it, multiple gunmen shred a movie screen with Tommy-gun bullets, firing relentlessly into an audience. It was that scene's inclusion in the film's trailer - packaged with "The Dark Knight Rises" - that cause Warner Bros. to immediately pull the preview from screenings hours after the massacre.

The Monday following the opening weekend, Warner Bros. executives convened and agreed, in the interest of re-cutting the film, to push its release back from Sept. 7 to Jan. 11, 2013.