- US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is the subject of a new comic book: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force: New Party, Who Dis?
- In one limited-release edition of the cover sent to a Bronx comic store in Ocasio-Cortez’s home district, the congresswoman nicknamed “AOC” bears a striking resemblance to Wonder Woman.
- DC Comics is reportedly not happy about this, and sent a cease-and-desist letter to the publisher and retailer involved.
- But a cartoon version of the congresswoman’s Wonder Woman cover can still be bought online for $10, even though some are needlessly auctioning off copies of it for upwards of $100.
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She’s a 29 year-old congresswoman who wants the US to run on 100% renewable energy, is part of a proposal to cap credit card interest rates at 15%, and recently became the youngest woman to ever preside over the House of Representatives.
But is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez … Wonder Woman?
If you ask DC Comics, the answer to that question is absolutely not.
The company reportedly sent a cease-and-desist letter to comic maker Devil’s Due and New York comic shop Collector Cave, after limited-release editions of a cartoon about the Freshman congresswoman popped up with some cover art that bears a striking resemblance to DC’s Wonder Woman. The book in question, titled “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force: New Party Who Dis?” went on sale last Wednesday, and copies with alternate cover art are still widely available.
But the special edition Wonder Woman-style version of the cartoon that DC Comics is reportedly upset over was sent only to a single Bronx comic store, which sits squarely inside Ocasio-Cortez’s home district. The cover of their special promotional item featured an illustrated image of the lawmaker clad, much like DC’s Wonder Woman, in a blue skirt, red bustier, and gold headband.
Another less realistic-looking Wonder Woman-style AOC comic book dubbed the the “Washington Warrior” version is still available for $10 online.
The $10 cartoon parody quickly became a hot commodity on eBay, fetching $100 per copy
Thanks to Fox and NY Post wrongly reporting that the comic on top was challenged by DC Comics for looking like Wonder Woman, people are now paying big money for both.
Only 250 exist of the bottom one, the ACTUAL cease-and-desist one.
You can still buy the top one for cover. pic.twitter.com/IgUvsaJtc4
— Jonathan Larsen (@jtlarsen) May 19, 2019
Cartoonist and writer Rich Johnston, who first reported about the cease and desist letter on his website Bleeding Cool, said he hasn’t seen the letter from DC Comics but that “multiple sources” including some collectors trying to score copies of the new comic book, confirmed that the publisher and retailer had both recieved the order from DC Comics.
“They’re quite protective of their intellectual property and how it might be seen in other contexts,” Johnston told Insider when reached by phone on Sunday.
(Cease and desist orders typically serve as legal warning shots, meant to simply suggest that legal action may ensue if they are not followed.)
“One could argue that a publisher has the duty to protect its trademarks,” he added. “But, this is clearly parody.”
The Devil’s Due comic which is still for sale is a less-lifelike political cartoon, which means that DC Comics would not have a very powerful legal claim on that specific cover. It’s impossible to know exactly how all the copyright and free speech issues at play might shake out in front of a judge, but political speech and satirical cartoons have historically been well-protected forms of First Amendment speech in the US court system.
“I don’t think anyone involved with this expected to get a cease and desist from DC Warner’s.” Johnston said. “This is the kind of thing that, I believe, if it went to court, DC Warner’s would not have a chance, at all.”
But others who visited the comic store in New York hoping to score their own copy of the limited edition AOC Wonder Woman cover said that the store did have some initial concerns about the art.
“The store owner told me they kept trying to get the artist to make the Wonder Woman one less Wonder Woman-y, but there was a language barrier and ultimately they got what they got,” one customer told Insider in a direct message on Twitter.
For now, it appears that AOC Wonder Woman comic is no longer for sale, except on the black market, where it’s likely to now fetch some sky-high prices: on Sunday afternoon there was a $310 bid for such a cover on eBay.
“Once again, DC Comics have accidentally created an insanely hot collector’s item,” Johnston wrote online Friday. He estimates there are, at most, 250 copies of the rare find in existence.
Also, somewhat oddly, as of Sunday afternoon, a handful of copies of the $10 Wonder Woman-style comic – which is still readily available for regular-price purchase from Devil’s Due – were being auctioned on eBay for $99.99, with new people viewing that listing every minute.
DC Comics and Devil’s Due did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment for this story.
Update: A previous version of this story misstated which comic cover was the subject of the cease and desist order. It is this lifelike version, and not the $10 cartoon one which people can still buy from Devil’s Due.