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Current Events / Comics / Art PopWrapped | Current Events

Sexy "Spider-Woman" Cover Raises Fans' Eyebrows

Lorraine Levis | PopWrapped Author

Lorraine Levis

08/22/2014 1:17 am
PopWrapped | Current Events
And here I was thinking we were moving on. Monday saw Marvel release the Milo Manara’s variant cover for  Spider-Woman Number 1 and it would be an understatement to say that this caused a bit of controversy. The cover features Spider-Woman in a provocative pose, described by Marvel senior vice president of publishing Tom Brevoort as “a spider-like pose” but many are stating that this pose harks back to Manara’s earlier and most renowned work in the “erotica” genre. Many news sources are criticising the move with The Mary Sue, saying that the cover "does not instill confidence, nor does it tell women this is a comic they should consider spending money on" and Elle saying: "imagine Spider-Man in that position instead, and the concept would have never gotten this far." Both of these sources have a good point: with the character looking like her costume was literally painted on, how can we say that this is a good move when the comic industry is at a very sensitive place with regards to the portrayal of women? On the other hand, Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott, who has been heralded as a warrior for the portrayal of minority character,s has hit back against this criticism on Twitter: Gail Simone, the creator of the concept of the Fridging Effect (where female characters are killed off or de-powered for the sake of a male character’s storyline) as well as being the writer of Batgirl, Red Sonya, and Deadpool, among many others, has also put her thoughts into the debate: When people then claimed that, because the cover is a variant, it shouldn't matter is much, Gail had a response for them too.
Courtesy of comicbookresources.com
Courtesy of comicbookresources.com
Courtesy of comicbookresources.com
Courtesy of comicbookresources.com
This is not the first time that Manara has come under fire for his Marvel covers as we can see a similar trend running through some of his other work with female characters. Having previously declined to comment, Brevoort released a statement via Tumblr regarding the issue:
"I think that the people who are upset about that cover have a point, at least in how the image relates to them," Brevoort wrote. "By that same token, Milo Manara has been working as a cartoonist since 1969, and what he does hasn't materially changed in all that time. So when we say 'Manara cover,' his body of work indicates what sort of thing he’s going to do."
Brevoort also stated that it was his belief that the Spider-Woman #1 cover is "one of the less sexualized ones " Marvel has published by Manara. "Given that the character is covered head-to-toe, and is crouched in a spider-like pose, it seems far less exploitative to me than other Manara pieces we've run in previous months and years."
"I think a conversation about how women are depicted in comics is relevant at this point, and definitely seems to be bubbling up from the Zeitgeist," Brevoort concluded. "That too is fine. Nothing gets better unless ideas are communicated."
Spider- Woman is being released as part of the “Spider-Verse” run where all of the incarnations of the spider- family are coming back for a huge comic event. What do you guys think? Are people over-reacting or are things like this pushing the cause of equality in comics back a couple of years? Personally, I think that with such an iconic character getting her own book, it goes against what that stands for to have a cover like this. Variant covers are usually the ones which go on to be worth something and so do we really want this to be how the book is remembered? I don't think so. Please let us know what you think  in the comments!

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