This is the comic cover that seems to boost my traffic now and then.
It’s funny. The review attached to it is just a normal review of the comic, but apparently at least two sites found this when discussing the Hawkeye Initiative, a strike back at covers where women are drawn in a biology-ignoring pose to show off boots and boobs and somehow get the face in there. It’s like being double-jointed at the waist is a female-exclusive superpower. Of course the reason is fanservice, which is where I remind you the above comic was marketed to kids and the stories inside reflect that.
You may be wondering what this has to do with Spider-Man. The answer is nothing. If you’re wondering what this has to do with Spider-WOMAN, that’s another story. We have another cover controversy, folks, and if this keeps up I’m going to need an official category and banner. (Except I have enough trouble drawing women period.) This is, what…the third cover this year we’ve discussed with over sexualized covers? If overdeveloped Cassie Sandsmark didn’t ruin your day and you wrote off these Powerpuff Girls as cosplayers like i did, don’t worry, they’ll keep trying. Marvel is going to again attempt to give Jessica Drew her own title again in their attempt to bring more female superheroes to the comic shelves even though her recent history of previous attempts haven’t done so well. Of course this includes a cover.
First, please tell me that isn’t “Superior” Spider-Woman on the cover. They did it with Spider-Man, they’re about to do it with Iron Man, that junk needs to stop. Anyhow that’s the regular cover and it’s typical Greg Land and while whoever that is with Jessica has some questionable body design it’s the variant that has the internet screaming again.
I do agree that Jessica seems to have a condition known as “big booty”. On the other hand, and this may cost me some of the Hawkeye Initiative crowd, I’m not otherwise bothered by this. Is it fanservice? Yeah, probably. Bleeding Cool compared it to some porn comic they came across but as fanservice goes this kind of works. Jessica (at least in Bendis’ New Avengers) did use her sexuality as a weapon to a degree to the point that she could release mind-numbing pheromones that made dudes gaga for her. She has a tight outfit as well. The pose itself looks like she just crawled up the side of the building and just hasn’t stood up yet while reaching the roof. Actually having it ON the side of the building might have worked better, though. It would still be blatant fanservice (even though we don’t see her chest) but it would make more sense.
I don’t blame people for being sensitive, however. Yes, I’m posting those panels again.
Bloggers and people on social media are not wrong when they say that women in comics right now tend to display at least some of the male sexual fantasy while male characters display the male POWER fantasy. So while we would have written off these covers maybe a decade ago (and it’s still better art than a good chunk of the 1990s gave us, even by today’s Liefeld–which still isn’t much) today any piece of fanservice is noticeable because it’s one-sided but mostly because it required superheroines to dress in unlikely clothing for their crimefighting (and sometimes crime making) styles or put into a pose that is so blatantly fanservicey that the artist doesn’t bother having them in a pose that 1)makes sense or 2)is physically possible. You’re using the wrong action figures for your art model!
This cover is nothing to go crazy over, but it does come off as another symptom of the problem that chases women away from comics. There seem to be a portion of both creators and fandoms who say “women don’t read comics” and are determined to keep it that way. You’d think this industry would be trying to create more fans instead of less. Guess we can place women alongside the kids who need to go someplace else.
Don’t give up hope yet, though.