Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This is probably going to get me a lot of hate comments

I really am not sure where I should begin with a critique with this upcoming Ms. Marvel cover.
To start, it doesn't really look all that - finished? Look at Wolverine (Daken, Dark Wolvie, whatever) and Sentry - it looks like the inkers just said "Well, fuck it, no one's actually going to pay attention to the background on this thing, so I'm just going to finish up and get ahead of schedule". The Sentry's head appears to have been severed from his body and is floating about three feet to the left of the center of his chest (not that I'm opposed to decapitating the Sentry, mind you). Carol Danver's spine seems to have been snapped, as that's the only way I can imagine that I'm seeing her butts and her chest in the perspective depicted. Is this what passes for professional cover art these days? Not to sound like an old man or anything, but the rushed quality is so apparent that it's actually jarring.
Now, as far as the subject matter, I'm not going to go to far in giving it scorn, but I do want to make a few simple observations. First is that it appears Marvel learned exactly zip from the whole "Heroes for Hire Hentai tentacle cover" controversy - even the excuse of using "controversial" cover depictions to drum up publicity and sales doesn't fly because"Heroes for Hire" got cancelled something like three months later, and so far as I've seen on the internet, no one is talking about it. Maybe comic fans are just used to it by now? Maybe they've just lost the ability to care? Or maybe it's because even FANS of the Ms. Marvel comic have found the comic to be generally a boring directionless mess of a book with unsympathetic characters? I don't know.
Still, the thought that Marvel is putting out covers that increasingly are beginning to resemble fanart from bondage fansites? Not that encouraging. And for those about to bring up Golden and Silver Ages comics and covers which featured a fair deal of "Wonder Woman in chains", well, that's fine, but that was then and this is now, so I don't think it's a fair comparison. There has been a fair number of comic retailers taken to court over lurid imagery, and the companies should maybe show a little more discretion. And for the the record, my reaction to this would be the same if the character were male or female.


Phil Watts, Jr. said...

No hate here...

I have nothing against sexy pin-ups. But I do have a problem with artists throwing in T&A shots in scenes that don't call for it. For instance, Frank Cho's run in (NOT-SO) Mighty Avengers, and Ed Benes' run in JLA...and this garbage cover.

The background does look like an afterthought. If they didn't fell like drawing the other characters, they should've just did the two Ms. Marvels and be done with it.

TraveLibrarian said...

Agreed. I couldn't even tell who the blond guy in the background was until you mentioned Sentry.

I really don't understand Marvel artists' fascination with drawing butt shots as the central focus of the panels. One of the other places I noticed it a LOT was in Civil War: Front Line, where there seemed to be someone's (usually a woman's) rear end prominently displayed in the art every few pages.

Also, looking back on one of your previous entries, I have to agree with your thoughts on the Ms. Marvel title. I really wanted to like her book, but something about it bothered me. When you talked about super heroes as celebrities, I suddenly realized what my problem was. Thanks for the insight.