There's been a lot of anger in the last week or two over the continuing message that the two major comics American comics companies, Marvel and DC, just don't get it when it comes to,well, women -- at any age.
Things were touched off by this charming statue of Mary Jane Watson, long-time love interest of Peter Parker:
In an odd confluence of bad, she's busting out of her shirt, wearing her thong, and doing her man's laundry. The bonus hurt on this one comes from the fact that Mary Jane is the flagship character on Marvel's push into the Shoujo market that aims itself at young girls. It also runs counter to the long-standing image of Mary Jane as, well, something other than pure eye candy. But that's just one of the Marvel young girl titles. What about their other effort, Emma Frost, which follows the early life of later supervillain-turned-superhero Emma, before she becomes the White Queen and then leads the X-Men? A young woman with immense psychic powers making her way in the world sounds like a cool book for little girls.
Although the inside of the Emma Frost book is fine, that's the kind of cover many of the issues had. Is Greg Horn using something other than porn as his model here?
So maybe Marvel's learning something from all this?
Again, not so much. Check out the cover for an upcoming issue of Heroes for Hire:
Honestly, I expect this one to be porn, and if I had to shelve it just based on the cover, it'd go off in the adult section of a store.
These covers all scream "Girls, don't read me!" They're incredibly off-putting, and not the kind of image I'd want hitting an audience of young girl readers, anyway. After all, why teach little girls to be porny captives when they could be learning to be badass Shinigami like Rukia here?
Sad to say, there's a paucity of female characters in superhero comics to whom I'd happily direct female readers, especially young ones. Here's one of them:
Edit: I certainly had this problem in mind when I created the lead character for my comic, Inhabit. Say hello to Nancy (and one of the Drones she Pilots as she leads her team):
You can read more Inhabit by clicking here.