In a previous post I wrote about female superheroes in the movies, but I did not include the way female superheroes are represented in the comicbooks.
There’s a difference between the way female superheroes are portrayed in films and in comic-books. In movies the women are underrepresented, whereas in comic-books they are often objectified. Many females in comic-books are drawn very sexually. Marvel’s editor in chief, Axel Alonso, has claimed that it’s impossible to stop sexualizing female superheroes because they are defined by their physical skills. Of course, a superhero should be fit, but a lot of the time female superheroes are drawn with thin, curvy bodies and lacking muscle. If they’re defined by their physical skills, shouldn’t their muscles showing their strength be more evident? Alonso has also stated that they won’t stop making sexy characters, he confessed, “I don’t want to be the PC police and say ‘you can’t be naughty, you can’t be fun.”
If having sexy characters in comic-books is so fun, then why is it mainly done to just the female characters? Comic-books most definitely don’t need female characters to be drawn “sexy” to be fun considering Hawkeye, Vol. 1 was one of the top 10 best selling graphic novels of 2013. Hawkeye, written by Matt Fraction stars Kate Bishop and Clint Barton, who are two superheroes that both share the code-name “Hawkeye.” In Fraction’s Hawkeye comic-books, Kate Bishop is a well-written, smart, strong female character that is not sexualized.
A reason for the sexualization of women in comics could be the fact that the amount of male comic-book writers, artists, and editors outnumbered the women nine-to-one at both DC and Marvel.
Is it time for Marvel comics to start recognizing their female fans and hire more women?