Spider-Woman Cover Sparks Controversy
It was announced during Comic-Con last month that a new ongoing Spider-Woman series would begin in November. Helmed creatively by Dennis Hopeless & Greg Land, it immediately came under scrutiny by comic fans/Spider-Woman fans (me included) because those aren’t exactly the two best people qualified to do a straightforward Jessica Drew comic without sexuilizing her somehow.
Now this new cover by artist Milo Manara, an artist well know for drawing women with little to no clothing in compromising positions, has been released. Causing even more controversy. It reminded me of a similar incident with DC and the Catwoman #0 cover by Guillem March. But with a couple of big differences. The main one being this Spider-Woman cover is a variant and won’t be available everywhere. The other being that Marvel must’ve known what the cover would be like based on Manara’s portfolio.
So here’s the deal. Despite the advancements women have made in comics behind and on the page. Despite that there is way more female charters heading up their own books than ever before, this seems like a “one 1/2 steps forward and two steps back” kind of deal.
I understand heterosexual males are still the comic book industries’ biggest demographic, at least that’s what comic publisher’s must think. And while I do think sometimes these kinds of complaints are just people getting upset just to get upset. This one they may be right about.
As I’ve grown out of being a horny teenager, these types of comic covers just don’t appeal to me. I would not be reading this in public for fear of embarrassment. Even the covers of Sex Criminals, a book about having sex (and stopping time) aren’t as graphic. Once again, this is not the cover being forced on us. But how can I convince my young niece to start reading comics when she sees that on the shelf with the other books?
I don’t know, maybe I’m way off. What do you guys think?
I think that there’s a book for every interest on the shelf. And it kinda sucks being a Spider-Woman fan when this is the crap we get. All that means is that Marvel won’t be getting my $3.99. That’s it. My decision was made the day I learned Greg Land was drawing it, but that’s my choice.
I may not like a book, but once I buy it for that month, I have cast my vote in terms of the book’s future. The surest way to support a book is to buy it, so surely the inverse must be true.
And for the record, Milo Manara specializes in one form of artwork, and I personally find the use of his covers to be -in the cheesecake cover market- the equivalent of Playboy covers. As compared to Penthouse, Hustler, Score, Etc., Etc.,. Honestly, there are more lewd artists out there than Milo Manara.
As a dude, I have seen some Manara pages, and he is much better than he needs to be for his usual subject matter. His books are also primarily published in European markets, where he is highly regarded as an artist. Yes, he is an artist. So was Vargas, and so is Olivia.
Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, comic book retailers have to order a certain number of Spider-Woman copies in order to receive a copy of the Manara Cover. Variants are called “Retailer Incentives” because they exist to help the company sell the book to retailers. Comic book companies -like Marvel- like to give gifts to people that help them.
For example: A retailer orders 10 copies of a book with a $3.99 cover price, with a 1 in 10 variant cover. The retailer has the option- depending on the demand at their LCS to order more enough copies (10) in order to be able to order a variant. Therefore, the variant cover can be sold by the retailer for as much as $39.99, because the retailer wants to make back the price of the ten books.
Like I said, if you don’t like a book, don’t buy it.