Dear comic book fans,
I am 100% with every single one of you who has derided the cover to Catwoman #0 for being a ridiculously literal T&A overt sexual objectification of the character of Catwoman. There is no denying that, and most mainstream comic books still have a significant gender imbalance when it comes to sexualisation and objectification of their characters. Cyclops, for example, is in incredible shape, wears lycra that brilliantly shows off his musculature, yet is about as sexy as porridge. Great tactician, stoic, noble leader, not sexy. Yet somehow female characters seem unable to pull off the same trick.
I suspect there are cultural biases that run deeper than just comic books, and we could go round and round on this one, but my point is that yes, the Catwoman #0 cover is all about her boobs and her arse and that’s just demeaning to the character, and whoever made the editorial decision to run this over at DC needs to think a little more carefully in future.
However, the thing I really take issue with is the argument that what makes this cover so wrong is the unnaturalness of the pose. That because it would be physically impossible for a human being with ribs and vertebrae and things to recreate this pose, that it should not appear in a comic.
And yet, Todd McFarlane (a sample of whose work you can see above) was celebrated for just this sort of thing during his run on Spider-Man, and he is just one notable example of the way artists have always worked in this medium.
Prove me wrong - try and recreate the poses above. You should probably make sure there’s a responsible adult nearby, ready to call an ambulance though.
Comics are, by their very nature, a medium of the fantastic. Things happen in them that are beyond what is possible in the real world, and the pictures in them are rarely trying to be photo-realistic. Artists often represent the bodies of the characters in exaggerated poses to more dramatically show their great feats of agility or speed or strength, because showing things like agility in a static picture is a tricky thing and a little artistic license and exaggeration goes a long way.
This is normal, and comics would be weaker, and less exciting if we were to ban any poses not achievable by a normal human.
To argue over the lack of realism in the Catwoman #0 cover is to entirely miss the point. The pose is a dynamic and eye-catching one that, if it were a male character, would probably do an excellent job of attracting buyers, without attracting such a shit-storm of negative press.
No, the real problem with the Catwoman #0 cover is the gratuitous objectification, plain and simple, and to base your offense on anatomical quibbles is to be side-tracked from the real problem that’s being jammed in your face.