By Dek7264 0 Comments
When I first saw the images that Marvel released of X-Women, my kneejerk reaction was that they were trying to use sex in order to sell books. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. There was some initial response after those first couple of images, but this week there’s certainly been an influx of people commenting on the art in this book. I decided that I was going to stay away from the controversy as much as possible and reserve judgment until I had the book in hand and had read through it.
Having now read through the entire book, I don’t think the early complaints of exploitation were unfounded. Many of the suggestive images in this book may be a bit gratuitous, but on the other side of the coin, I didn’t think they were over the top and distracting either. In Babs’ Brutally Honest video about this book, she brings up a couple of complaints about the cover. I was pleased to read that the image on the cover directly relates to a couple of pages in the book. The X-Ladies weren’t just hanging on vines near a waterfall just to look sexy.
I felt that there were the outfits worn in many of the scenes in this book could, arguably, be worn in the given situation. When the ladies are in the water, it’s not unreasonable that they’d be in skimpy bathing suits. When they go out to a party, again, they would probably be wearing clothes to get the attention of potential suitors. Given the personality and the position of power of the leader that was hot for Storm, it’s not a huge surprise he’d make her wear a skimpy outfit. The only part that I felt the skimpy outfits was a bit out of place was when they were on the ship before meeting the Cargo Cultists. It’s possible they’d just gotten quite comfortable around one another, but I can’t imagine they’d want to be dressed so skimpy around “Captain Dave.”
This book is far more tame than I’d expected. The fact that I enjoyed the story definitely helped the book seem less like it was pandering to the horny teenage male crowd as well. Despite looking at the art a little more closely due to all the talk about it before the book’s release, the story helped make sure I wasn’t getting too wrapped up in considering whether it was exploitative or not.
All that being said, could there have been a different cover image that didn’t make them look so suggestive? Sure. Will Marvel sell a few more books because of this cover? Probably. Ultimately, as a male reader, I can’t say I was offended by the sexuality in this book. I’m curious to see how others react to this book, especially women. This title maybe should have been used more to try and attract new people to reading X-Men, or comics in general, by showing some of the strong ladies being awesome but I think the art may not have helped that cause. One final note, I found it humorous that Emma Frost was probably the most dressed female in this entire issue.