I am a male. I read comics. If this cover of powerful female comic book figures tied up, helpless, suits zipped down to expose the maximum flesh without revealing a nipple is designed for the arousal of the male reader, then I’m going to be blunt
You fail. It is not arousing. I do not want. I am not excited or titillated by the prospect of this cover. Further, I’d be embarassed to walk out of a comic store with this in my hand. One glance from the average punter, and I’m some freakshow. Ordinary punters thought the Mary Jane statue was bad. What the hell are they going to make of this? It’s reinforcing the stereotype of comic book readers as strange individuals who lack social skills, haven’t met a real female in their lives, and have immense forearm stamina.
Thanks Marvel. Way to help show comic books aren’t just for kids, they’re for perverts.
Thank god this is a Max title, and won’t make it to a really broad audience.
HEROES FOR HIRE #13
The Story: The Heroes for Hire find themselves in the middle of World War Hulk when their mission to Hulk’s stoneship leaves them on the Warbound’s death list! It’s divide-and-conquer as each hero is hunted by a member of the Jade Giant’s band of alien soldiers.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
- ALL AGES
Appropriate for readers of all ages.
9+ years old Appropriate for most readers, parents are advised they may want to read before or with younger children.
OH SHIT. What where you thinking? Wait. I remember, Marvel isn’t misogynistic! The chief editor of Marvel has a daughter. I bet he’ll sit there and read this comic with his daughter. That’ll make it all fine.
- The cover is sexualised violence. The women have bared breasts without the shot of an unclothed nipple. Shaded nipples are acceptable. So are erect nipples through the cloth of their costumes. Sure, defeated, semi conscious, captured by aliens, but sexually aroused by the moment. They may be about to suffer painful torture, but they’ve got hard nipples about it. (No, I ain’t screen capping that. It’s creepy, and it’s a demonstration that the artist painted the costumes over a naked female form. I suspect porn tracing) Could you imagine a cover with Spiderman and Wolverine and Cyclops strung up, each sporting obvious erections about what will happen next? (Yo! Alex Ross! Buddy, do it. It’ll be worth the lolz)
- The hands are also important here – the female characters are in signs of defeat and submission, and the one set of male hands are in active resisting poses (I’m assuming that’s Shang-Chi from what I’ve read around the place)
- It’s freaking Bratz Porn. The eyes that set it off.
- Finally, remember, even if you’ve been fighting your way through an alien strong hold, lip gloss is important.
So, I want to make this clear. This is a cover that has women portrayed at passive sexualised objects in the name of selling comics.
It is sexist.
It is reinforcing the misogynist view point that women are to portrayed as passive sexual objects to be acted upon by men, in this case, the male viewer of the comic.
It is offensive to consider this cover art for a series that is considered suitable to be read with children as young as nine, or read by children as young as nine.
If you want to persuade me that this cover isn’t sexist, because men are drawn in similar poses, then I’m up for the challenge. If you can find me a cover with up to three men, all drawn in passive poses, with demonstrable hardness of the nipples or penis, sad faces, and the female hero (for what little of her is seen) being active, you can tell me that this cover isn’t sexist because stuff happens to guys as well. Especially on the cover of T+ rate comics.
Checklist for you
- Up to three males. I’m not even looking for parity of numbers (there are four women on the cover of Heroes for Hire).
- Some obvious arousal at their situation (erection of nipples or penis is fine). If this is missing, then no dice. Harden those man parts up or go home.
- Some costume change/ removal of costume. Preference is for removed pants/trousers, will settle for opened shirts (even though that’s not the same level of sexualised posing. Pecs != Breasts for sexual connotation otherwise men would own bikini tops). There has to be some evidence of interference with the uniforms of the men. I’ll accept torn (bonus for tears with bleeding cuts under them), cut, removed or opened (Nightwing’s chest to ceiling mid 80s open V won’t count unless it’s been obvious interfered with by a third party. I’m looking for parity with the white jump suit, not Black Cat’s costume)
- Passive/defeated demeanor. No struggling resistance against the bonds. They need to be defeated AND enjoying it.
- BONUS POINTS: An active female hero presence, doing something active about the dramatic situation that the men have accepted.
Prove me wrong with evidence. I’m not even asking for a one to one swap on most points.
Show me that the Heroes for Hire #13 cover is simply a gender reversal of existing cover art. Show me that there’s no sexism, because this has happened to men before.