Female comics fans are upset over the next cover of the Marvel comic book Spider Woman for what they claim is a disgustingly sexist, anatomically explicit depiction of the female superhero’s prominently displayed rear end.
For the upcoming issue, Marvel hired Italian artist Milo Manara, an artist quite well known in the world of comic book illustration, well known, that is, for his erotic style approach to comics.
Not surprisingly, Manara’s take on the Spider Woman comic mirrors some of his previous drawings of women. It depicts Spider Woman, aka Jessica Drew, crawling over a ledge and onto the roof of a building. She is on her knees, legs spread, head and trunk low, with her rear end high in the air.
But the pose is less the problem than the fact that the hero’s costume seems made of an impossibly thin material. So thin that at least one comic fan site complained that it looked more like body paint than cloth.
As Rob Briken put it, “First of all, even the dumbest, horniest teenage boy on the planet knows there’s no fabric on this earth that could possibly cling to Jessica Drew’s individual buttocks like that. She looks like she’s wearing body-paint, and that’s a big no-no for an industry still trying to remember that women exist and may perhaps read comics and also don’t want to feel completely gross when they do so.”
One wonders what Marvel expected in an age when comics are increasingly under the microscope for being aimed at overly sexed teen boys and depicting woman more as sex objects than heroes.
In fact, the more politically correct comics fans out there have been amusing themselves with something called the “Hawkeye Initiative,” an effort to redraw comics scenes depicting the males as sexual objects instead of the females, sometimes with hilarious results.
The industry has been struggling with the forces of political correctness for years, now, creating new female, Muslim and black characters with varying degrees of success.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com