Just Some Observation

I’m done reading Birds of Prey (until the fourth volume comes out, that is), but I thought I’d share an observation I had as I read. Check out the two pictures below:


Almost identical in scene, setting, circumstances and characters…

But, the differences are unsettling. Namely, the overt sexualization of the characters’ bodies and their lack of individual identity in their faces in the second picture.

This is the sort of thing seen a great deal in comic book art and comic book culture: the women are treated as sex fantasies more often than not. This is a great indication of why the industry has yet to become accepting of females as comic book professionals (artists and writers) and in the general superhero fandom.

This really isn’t so much a thesis as it is an observation made by many long before I stumbled into things. It’s also a way I can share this comic and share some of these other comic strips describing the issues in better ways than I ever could.

Weigh in. What do you guys think?

6 Comments Add yours

  1. herdthinner says:

    I suspect that I’m too jaded, or am a terrible feminist (or both), but I saw the differences in the pictures as 1) posed, 2) springing into action.
    But in the second picture, the gal with guns a-blazing has a very oddly-shaped torso, and I don’t mean in a “failed attempt to look sexy” way. It’s just wrongly-shaped. Now that’s jarring to me!
    I think it helps that these ladies (again, to me!) just look athletic and don’t have each jug the size of their head. Just one of Power Girl’s is worth two of theirs. I could be wrong, of course.
    (I do not find kissable Batman attractive, But I don’t find pumped-up, brooding Batman attractive, either.)

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    1. Holly says:

      I don’t know what it is, but comic book artists seem to think that women’s bodies are just tortured when in motion.

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      1. Psylocke springs to mind 🙂

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  2. I think herdthinner has a point; the second, to me, feels like bad art – impossible angles to boot! Even that kick looks weird.

    That being said, I do think you’re right. Women in comics are sexualised in a way that’s pretty sad. With some women, it’s not so much an issue – I don’t mind Emma Frost, as she’s embraced her sexuality as a part of her character, and almost lampshades the sexualisation of women when written well. But other characters are just gratuitous (many), and that saddens me.

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    1. Holly says:

      You know what’s funny, I actually wasn’t looking too closely at their bodies (which is ridiculous, I know), but I was thinking that their faces are all the same, except for Katana’s for obvious reasons.

      I do respect Emma Frost for that reason; she owns her sexuality, like you pointed out She-Hulk does. But, trying to appeal to the audience using blatant sexualization is gross. At least the first picture is the cover of the trade.

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