Posted by Don MacPherson on August 5th, 2012
I’ve been reading DC Comics titles since the late 1970s, before I even reached double digits in terms of age. As such, I’ve read, from time to time, of the exploits of the comics publisher’s softball team over the decades. Back in the day, its accomplishments and defeats were chronicled occasionally in the pages of its various comics in supplementary/advertorial material. In recent years, the folks responsible for Blog@Newsarama have kept the industry apprised of the team’s games.
On Facebook the other day, I stumbled across a link to a blog, the DC Bullets blog, which offers more detailed accounts of the team’s efforts and no doubt the fun its members have on the field. Honestly, I don’t have much of an interest in rec-league softball in New York (or anywhere else, for that matter), but what caught my eye wasn’t the link to the game report, but the team logo (seen at the right).
The team name obviously comes from the icon that was displayed prominently on most DC comics for decades. The star-spangled brand was perhaps the longest lasting one in recent memory, running from 1977-2005 according to Wikipedia. It’s certainly the DC logo I most associate with the company, as it was launched around the same time I started reading comics.
These days, of course, DC has adopted a company logo/icon that’s meant to evoke the image of thumbing through the pages of a comic. As such, the DC Bullets team name seems rather lacking the current context to be relevant. Of course, renaming the team “the DC Pages” brings to mind young people running water and notes to members of Congress in Washington, not interns, editors and production artists working on Superman and Batman comics in Manhattan.
What struck me, though, wasn’t how the team name might be seen as being out of date, but rather how then logo incorporates bold letters spelling out “Bullets” through a Bat symbol. It seems odd to merge the notion of firearm ammunition in an image representing an iconic character that’s been defined for decades, in part, by his abhorrence of guns. I know, I know… when the Batman debuted, he carried a handgun, but the character has evolved beyond that element. He’s synonymous with a distaste for guns, for a perspective that sees guns being linked to crime rather than protection.
I point this out not to suggest it’s a problem to be addressed immediately. Instead, I think it’s more indicative of how a corporate entity or some other such organization can evolve slowly over the years and how the effects of some changes can go unnoticed by those charged with its stewardship, even in minor matters. Calling the team the DC Bullets made perfect sense in 1982. In 2012, maybe not so much.
Regardless of what one thinks of the team name or its logo, one thing is clear: the notion of a group of co-workers getting together in their down time to play softball against other corporate teams is something to applaud, even envy. For such an effort to succeed (not in terms of winning games, but sustaining an ongoing effort), it speaks to the camaraderie and morale in the workplace. The team blog demonstrates pride in the team and its activities, but the organization of the team year after year, and the willingness for co-workers to seek out the opportunity to come together outside of the office, reflects well on the members and where they work.
Follow Eye on Comics on Twitter.