The first issue of Detective Comics (vol. 2) during the New 52 relaunch ended with a hell of a cliffhanger: Batman's iconic villain, the Joker, had voluntarily undergone surgery to remove his face. Tony Daniel's gruesome, disturbing panel that closed out the issue vaulted the book into numerous prints and had readers wondering over the past year, "What happened to Joker?"
Several weeks ago, DC unveiled plans to bring the Joker back to the forefront of its Batman line with the crossover "Death of the Family," and Batman series artist Greg Capullo was charged with the task of redesigning the Dark Knight's post-op arch nemesis. Capullo was keeping those designs well guarded as he and Batman writer Scott Snyder calculated the appropriate time to disclose the new Joker before October's Batman #13.
However, DC fucked up, the second time today actually. The publisher released solicitations that clearly showed the new Joker on the cover of Batgirl #14. Greg Capullo instantly went into damage control mode on Twitter, pleading with fans to avoid the solicitations until he and Snyder were able to release the Joker's design on their own terms.
Teasers are one of the many things wrong with the comics industry, and this case exemplifies their faults. It's impossible to go into any story cold these days with the kind of relentless and spoiler-filled ad campaigns publishers launch for months building up to any sort of new event. In this instance, it seems as though Capullo and Snyder had a very clear plan in conjunction with the book's release for revealing their new Joker. The lack of coordination with its creators and the disregard for suspense or surprise DC maintains is absolutely troubling.
We did not include the aforementioned cover in order to respect the wishes of Greg Capullo and the intents of readers who wish to steer clear of spoilers.
It appears the Batman solicitations that featured the spoiler and were released to Newsarama have now been removed.
The Batgirl cover in question has still not been edited in further solicitations.