I know I promised that I would never write about Spider-Woman’s butt again, but the topic has proven incredibly durable. The Telegraph was only the latest mainstream entity to look at the overall semiotics of it, and referred to many experiments in the captivating pose imagined by Italian erotic master Milo Manara. For instance, this Reddit user rendered the pose in 3D and the result was a hideously deformed freak that will haunt all our nightmares. “Crouching like a Jaguar” indeed.
Another intrepid YouTuber got her friends to attempt the pose with disappointing results.
The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman gave us a memorable MALE version of the pose, which is actually NSFW.
Finally, and most importantly, just as we were heading off to the long holiday weekend, Marvel’s editor in chief Axel Alonso finally addressed the crisis and admitted that under the circumstances—i.e. launching a female led book to a far more diverse readership—maybe this male-centric variant wasn’t the greatest idea ever.
While opinions on the actual piece vary, we realize that the message this cover sent was not the one we meant to send. And we understand — and respect — the concerns of those who expressed a negative reaction to the cover, I want that to be clear.
And Alonso was also forced to bring out the “We have women on staff!” card
We’re far from perfect, but we’re trying. It’s been a priority for me as EIC to make our line and our publishing team more inclusive. We’re at an industry high of around 30 percent female in editorial group, about 20 percent of our line is comics starring women, and our Senior Manager of Talent, Jeanine Schaefer, actively looks to bring more female writers and artists into the fold each month. In fact, very soon we’ll be announcing new series and creators that I’m very excited about.
He also mentioned that Manara would be considered for future variant covers. Hopefully they will be for series that are more appropriate, such as Naked Superheroics, Marvel Big Juggs Spectacular, and I Never thought It Would Happen To Me: The Pool Guy Cometh.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.