Brutally Honest: X-Women #1- celebration or exploitation?

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Posted by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

Lately, Marvel has been making a big push to reach a female demographic with their one-shots focusing on female comic book characters as well as their Women of Marvel series. So is their new book, X-Women #1 (which hits store shelves on Thursday, July 8th) celebratory of women in comics, or does it smell of exploitation? If the latter, is this a step back for Marvel? Watch the video, check out the official Marvel.com solicitation as well as the cover and some interior art and let me know what you guys think! 

 == TEASER ==

#1 Posted by LoganRogue24 (1185 posts) - - Show Bio

i might pick it up cause iam a Rogue fan and i like Chris Claremonts work.
#2 Edited by Grendel (560 posts) - - Show Bio

It's kinda what Gail Simone will frequently (And justifiably) chastise...female characters being drawn in a humiliating manner to titillate. iI's not empowering, it's degrading.
 
That cover is f-ing ridiculous and how any dude can buy that and not feel it's the equivalent of buying an issue of "Bondage Fairies" is beyond me.

#3 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio

the fact that Marvel sought out the biggest name in erotic comics for an all-female story proves that over-sexualization is their goal here...I like Manara but I prefer his actual original works...his art looks a little off with these Marvel characters IMO

Moderator
#4 Posted by MrMazz (1140 posts) - - Show Bio

this seems like some sorta creepy fan fic writers dream the cover ummm yea thats totally going to sell to women

#5 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio

however I don't think strong female characters can't also be scantily clad and sexualized...example: Lady Death

Moderator
#6 Posted by DH69 (4258 posts) - - Show Bio

oooook so its another useless comic...how long will i have to wait for another lady liberators series, hell despite the artwork heralds wasnt even that bad 
 
wouldnt mind a women of the avengers issue though :p

#7 Posted by shawn87 (2095 posts) - - Show Bio

the way they're being drawn says it all

#8 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio

also this comic was released months ago in Europe, I'm sure it was much more appreciated there, I don't think it needed to be brought to the US

Moderator
#9 Posted by Grendel (560 posts) - - Show Bio

It's on par with the earliest Wonder Woman comics if you've ever read that embarrassing, misogynistic  trash. Way to set back the world, Marvel.

#10 Edited by RiddlingGambit (204 posts) - - Show Bio

What a silly, ridiculous cover. Rogue looks like she saw a spider and grabbed on to a vine out of fear. Storm looks like she got a nose job and is seducing Kitty Pryde. Psylocke seems oblivious to the fact that Kitty isn't paying attention to her. What the heck is with this cover? This seems more like exploitation of Marvel's finest female characters, making them look scantily clad & vulnerable to make sure guys pick the title up even though they'd like us to think they are doing this for the female readers. It seems more about money than it is a show of respect to women. Pfft, & I thought "Gotham City Sirens" was bad... 

#11 Edited by Korg (11931 posts) - - Show Bio
I'm stealing aztek's thoughts and opinions on this. 
  
@aztek the lost
said:

" the fact that Marvel sought out the biggest name in erotic comics for an all-female story proves that over-sexualization is their goal here"

@aztek the lost said:

" however I don't think strong female characters can't also be scantily clad and sexualized"


YOINK!
#12 Edited by Decept-O (7274 posts) - - Show Bio

 That isn't Storm.  I agree with Aztek, Manara should stick with his own creations.  All the characters here really look like clones of one another. I also think his portrayal of all the female characters with their mouths agape is a bit much.  
 
Being one who dabbles a bit in pin-up good girl and bad girl art, I am accepting of some portrayals in the comic book medium.  I just think this a bad example of it, not very well done.   
 
I am not female, naturally, and I understand it must be frustrating for women to constantly be bombarded what media considers how women should be portrayed.  The sexualization of comic characters and the promotion of female characters in an objectifying manner may not be ideal, comics are still, by and large, a market aimed at males. What do most males like?  Women.  
 
  Not excusing anything, but conversely, there have been Manga and other genre of comics that take a lot of female fantasies and really push the envelope.   However, as a comic as a whole, this seems a bit trite and not well done.  It's best just to ignore it and hopefully the sales will prove the comic's merit.
 
#13 Posted by Dark Noldor (547 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it´s a question beyond ethics and marketing, that demands on us to aproach it from a different point of view: what´s exploitation? Is it exploitation to draw muscular bodies of males? Those super defined muscles? Is it exploitation to draw Rogue, Storm etc. in a bikini? Is that a normal scene, like a regular shot from the X-Men books? No, but it´s not the first either. As a comic fan I´ve got no problems with this book, already bought it online. I think other publishers like Zenescope and even Broadsword have a sense of diminishing the women´s body in order to sale, but you must not forget tha Manara is famous for porn books, so, it´s a little predictable of what to expect. I´m ok with it.

#14 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3547 posts) - - Show Bio

What strikes me about the cover image. Why are all their mouths open as if they are on the cusp of orgasmic release?

"...look great doing it."

Just by that statement alone. Aren't they admitting this is exploitation? What would be the point in actually pointing out their appearance in the story as part of the advertising for it?
 
Uh, Babs. How does Iron Man look good in his armor? It's full body. Anyone would look good in it. Everyone looks the same in it. Back in Civil War: Wolverine, Wolverine borrowed Tony's submersible armor to meet with Namor. For the longest time in the conversations they had. Namor mistook this for Tony. It wasn't until Wolverine used his claws did he realize.
 
I thought some of this art looked a little familiar. I've seen samples of some of his work. Fair work, but too Greg Land for my tastes.
 
Marvel seems rather tone deaf when it comes to creating strong female character series. DC has had a much better track record in that regard; Birds of Prey, Gotham City Sirens, ect.
I don't really mind some sexual tension and some exploitative images now and again, but don't just limit it to female characters. Make some of men for the women readers. 
That's what I try to do in my art. I don't want to just target a male audience. So, I try and also work in some beefcake shots for my female audience, and I find that they are highly appreciative of that attention.
 
This on the other hand looks like blatant sexual exploitation. We are only seeing a small bit of an overall book, but is there a point where the women in this comic don't look like blowup dolls?
#15 Posted by Deo Wade (430 posts) - - Show Bio

Marvel's Solicitation + Erotic artist + O Faces = Definite Sexploitation

#16 Posted by JabariSellars (3 posts) - - Show Bio

This cover, like many others that focus on heroines, is nothing more than exploitation. Sadly, no matter how many different voices get added to mainstream comics (i.e. women/non-white artists and writers), this medium--with regard to female characters--is still geared towards a heterosexual pubescent/adolescent male demographic. Great topic, Babs. This is a great extension to the conversation about female costumes. 
 
The sad part is, the sexualization of female characters happens with absolutely no regard. The Queen of Wakanda's main costumes is a leotard with a thong back? The double standard is out there for all to see. The only solution, I contend, is for artists and writers to buck the system. Similar to the solution for the exploitation of non-white (Luke Cage) and non-heteronormative characters (Wiccan/Hulkling, Midnighter/Apollo), creators need to not only place women in authoratative roles, but also change how they are visually depicted. I'm rambling...
#17 Edited by MTHarman (725 posts) - - Show Bio

One thing about comics that I like is its respect for its characters and the relationship or connection that Comic readers have with a certain character. 
But seeing Marvel advertising a One- shot of what they call a "celebration" to those X-women within the wonderful world of Marvel. A special issue for those female Marvel characters who inspired its female readers to continue their interests with their idiolized heroines would be in what I believe to be in a "very special" issue that has a unique cover that looks like it also targets a certain crowd of Marvel fans that are not female. 
I feel that Marvel is attempting to do something very immature with this issue. Its obvious why they made it, its obvious what audience its trying to target, and I strongly find it demoralizing as Marvel takes its own creative female characters and throw them into something that looks like a soft-porn magazine.   


  
#18 Edited by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@Korg said:

" I'm stealing aztek's thoughts and opinions on this. 
  
@aztek the lost
said:

" the fact that Marvel sought out the biggest name in erotic comics for an all-female story proves that over-sexualization is their goal here"

@aztek the lost said:

" however I don't think strong female characters can't also be scantily clad and sexualized"


YOINK! "
"Aztek: Posting Your Opinions So You Don't Have To"
 
also, I charge a $20 fee per character quoted...that'll be $3860
Moderator
#19 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

Anyone else find it ironic that she used the term solicitation rather than preview to describe this issue?
 
Nicely done, Babs. =)

#20 Edited by Korg (11931 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost said:

"I charge a $20 fee per character quoted...that'll be $3860 "

@Korg said:

" I'm stealing aztek's thoughts and opinions"   

@Korg  also said:

" YOINK! "

#21 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@Korg said:
" @aztek the lost said:

"I charge a $20 fee per character quoted...that'll be $3860 "

@Korg said:

" I'm stealing aztek's thoughts and opinions"   

@Korg  also said:

" YOINK! "

"
I'll let you write it off as charity?
Moderator
#22 Posted by Korg (11931 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost said:
" I'll let you write it off as charity? "
Do I look like the kind of guy who pays taxes?
#23 Posted by Shadow_Thief (2509 posts) - - Show Bio

You know, If they really thought that any of us would see this as something other than eye-candy, it's actually kind of insulting.

#24 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@Korg said:
" @aztek the lost said:
" I'll let you write it off as charity? "
Do I look like the kind of guy who pays taxes? "
you want to spend time with the Pain Monster? :O
Moderator
#25 Posted by Rowen545 (378 posts) - - Show Bio

Def. exploitative by marvel, no question about it. 

#26 Posted by Korg (11931 posts) - - Show Bio
@aztek the lost said:
"you want to spend time with the Pain Monster? :O "
Who do you think got him that job? 

 April 15th = Party Time!
#27 Posted by tonis (6202 posts) - - Show Bio

celebration or exploitation? 
 
With the comic industry it's always going to be a little of both when it comes to portraying women, or marketing to them. The publishing companies certainly have confused the two and it's a miracle sometimes that a series even has a female readership at all. 
 
It's not easy to write a book that appeals to both sexes equally. We're just wired differently, and that fuzzes up the senses somewhat when it comes to personal interpretations. 
 
Great topic, love Brutally Honest, tough job but someone's gotta do it.

#28 Posted by SupremoMaximo (209 posts) - - Show Bio

It's like a Wizard Guide to Comics Cover from 1996

#29 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19714 posts) - - Show Bio

Exploitation 

#30 Posted by sora_thekey (8152 posts) - - Show Bio

If the artist is known for erotic art, then isn't that telling you everything?
It's like saying: Greg Land will copy and paste his art... duh, we know that!
 
I do think it's a back step when you try and create a good name for all these characters and the portray them as pornographic stars...
I saw that solicit last Friday and after seeing the art, I thought of everything said in your vid Babs...

Moderator
#31 Posted by bingbangboom (746 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it is about time you cook me dinner!

#32 Posted by baker1skter (163 posts) - - Show Bio

yeah i don't like it, its exploitation. i definitely wont buy it.

#33 Posted by Nova`Prime` (4157 posts) - - Show Bio
@sora_thekey said:
"...create a good name for all these characters and the portray them as pornographic stars... "
Just curious with the exception of the facial expressions is there anything pornographic about this book.. and I am not talking innuendo because you can find that in just about everything you read or see on TV. The answer would be a big NO so Marvel isn't turning their characters into porn stars. This is again a sign of mock outrage because you and most of the others don't like it. But who's to say there isn't someone or a group of people who buy it because they enjoy the artwork. Remember one person's pornography is another person's art work.
#34 Posted by X-93 (234 posts) - - Show Bio

Their faces are not ones of heroes, but of some chick should be with Fabio on some romance novel.

#35 Edited by COBRAMORPH (1517 posts) - - Show Bio

Cant we go back to the old days when the only time women spoke was when asking us men what we wanted for dinner, & then telling us our dinner was ready? How I wish I could go back to the 50's.
 
I think the two images provided above are awful looking art, & I wont buy this cause it looks like garbage. The rest of it, "looking great while saving the world" I think its just nitpicky.

#36 Posted by jakob187 (998 posts) - - Show Bio

It's exploitation, and personally, I don't think they are trying to reach out to the female demographic with this series.

#37 Posted by MorlockMartyr (66 posts) - - Show Bio

What a cheap ploy. They look like strippers. Nothing wrong with strippers, I just don't think of these characters in those terms. Well, maybe Emma. Also it's $4.99, wtf? 

#38 Posted by CoolHand (20 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm kinda diggin the quick and dirty videos while the place gets all proper. 
While I don't approve of it (to this degree at least), exploitation of the fairer sex is nothing new. This just seems like the work of fanfic writers and drawers finally come to fruition.

#39 Posted by TheGhostofGarethGraves (33 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm probably not going to pick this up, since it's Claremont. I don't have anything against him, he's done a lot of good - I'm just tired of him right now. Just a place I'm at. I think with all the pushing that Marvel's doing for the women, this one's going to be more geared for the guys. Total exploitation, complete with the Heavy Metal cover. Come on, it looks like Heavy Metal with some clothes.

#40 Posted by DMC (1550 posts) - - Show Bio

I knew the art looked familiar.Oh man Marvel is skating on thin ice with this one cause from what the preview entails, this has erotica written all over it. 
 
Seriously, why Milo Manara?

#41 Posted by PuckPuck (43 posts) - - Show Bio

Add it to the junkpile with writers/artists who think Deadpool is all about breast jokes.

#42 Posted by Kenjav (155 posts) - - Show Bio

I would normally say 'give it a chance', but after seeing that interior art... it's just fuckin ridiculous

#43 Posted by Dro (941 posts) - - Show Bio

they look like fish.

#44 Posted by couzinit99 (169 posts) - - Show Bio

Ugh this is just pathetic. Being someone who draws, i always get the stupid questions from classmates such as "Can u draw naked ladies" (language is obviously edited lol) which annoys me greatly. Yes, i draw female characters, but i won't exploit their sexuality like that. I'm definetly on the side of exploitation on this issue. I'm not even going to look at it in the store when i go. It's not worth my time.  I'm all for Marvel's female empowerment these days (what with Women of Marvel and what not) but this is a step back in my book.  They seriously have nothing better to do? How about getting Chris Claremont and this lame artist out of there and put in some people who know what their doing and not just doing it for cheap tricks. Its a sad day in comics when something like this comes out. It just furthers the stereotypes of comics nowadays.
#45 Posted by sora_thekey (8152 posts) - - Show Bio
@Nova`Prime`: Alright maybe calling his artwork "porn" is out of line, I apologize for that, but my personal opinion does not change either way.
This is Exploitation rather than "Celebration"...
Moderator
#46 Posted by MichaeltheFly (6555 posts) - - Show Bio

Sometimes Marvel makes me sick, and this coming from a Marvel fan.

#47 Posted by kitsuneconundrum (208 posts) - - Show Bio

i like to open my mouth like that too.

#48 Posted by Gylan Thomas (2727 posts) - - Show Bio
@Nova`Prime` said:
" @sora_thekey said:
"...create a good name for all these characters and the portray them as pornographic stars... "
Just curious with the exception of the facial expressions is there anything pornographic about this book.. and I am not talking innuendo because you can find that in just about everything you read or see on TV. The answer would be a big NO so Marvel isn't turning their characters into porn stars. This is again a sign of mock outrage because you and most of the others don't like it. But who's to say there isn't someone or a group of people who buy it because they enjoy the artwork. Remember one person's pornography is another person's art work. "
Some porn is just porn though :P
 
I just hope who ever gave this the green light is embarrassed.
#49 Edited by buns134 (318 posts) - - Show Bio

@babs
Wait is Kitty actually BACK?

#50 Posted by Blindside002 (226 posts) - - Show Bio

Can we get over the "exploitation" thing about female characters? It usually helps because sex sells, and I have the ability to look past the use of sex appeal to the actual character and substance behind it. No where is it stated that for a character to be good or taken seriously do they have to be clothed regularly, cause lets face it they are superheroes and they don't dress normal, or average in terms of looks. It is superhero fantasy, not realism.

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