Marvel has come under heavy fire over a cover for its forthcoming Spider-Woman series by an artist known primarily for his erotic art, showing the superhero in what one critic described as a "blatantly sexualised" pose.
Announced at Comic-Con in
One cover for the first comic in the series by the artist
It drew immediate and scathing criticism. "If you're wondering what the hell
"As for the position she's in . . . Christ . . . Here's a simple rule: If it's inappropriate for a male character, it should also be inappropriate for a female character."
"I think it's a really disappointing decision by Marvel editorial to choose this kind of artist for a variant cover on a female-lead comic. There's a time and a place for
Pop culture site the Mary Sue added that "anyone familiar with pornography knows this pose . . . ripped straight from the fantasy medium", pointing out its similarity to one Manara had already drawn in an Italian erotic comic.
Marvel has yet to respond to requests for comment, but Hopeless, who is writing the new Spider-Woman series, told fans on Twitter: "I can promise you we have no intention of blatantly sexualizing any of the characters in our story. I don't have any input at all on covers. You have my word that our story treats Jess with the utmost respect."
Marvel has recently moved to attract more female readers to its publications, earlier this summer announcing that the new series about its character Thor would recast the Norse god as a woman.
"The new Thor continues Marvel's proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more," the publisher said at the time. "And this new Thor isn't a temporary female substitute - she's now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!"
Sneddon said that Marvel had been making "great strides this year in making their comics appeal more to women readers", pointing to titles including
But plot diversity has not meant diversity behind the pens, said Sneddon. "There still just aren't enough women breaking into the superhero comics industry, and covers like these help illustrate why." She said they put up a "no women welcome" sign which put off not only female readers but also many women creators.
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