The Avengers: Strike a Pose!

In the ongoing saga of offensive representations of women in superhero comics, we can now also add the pre-publicity of Marvel’s upcoming would-be box office behemoth The Avengers. Take a good look at this early piece of art designed to get us even more excited after the feature-length trailers Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger whet our appetites earlier this year:

As you may notice, all these (more or less) iconic characters are pictured to their best advantage, coming straight towards the viewer in aggressive, dare I say somewhat phallic poses. All but one, that is, as Scarlett Johansson’s character seems more interested in showing off her backside than facing what must undoubtedly be a redoubtable foe head-on. Not only do we get a detailed view of her nicely rounded posterior, but this particular pose also casts into telling relief her voluptuous bosom, emphasized by the traditional skin-tight outfit. Cartoonist Kevin Bolk picked up on this rather unsubtle way of representing superhero characters on the basis of gendered stereotypes, rightfully feeling that the male characters in this shot were being treated unfairly by denying them similarly cheeky poses:

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2 Responses to The Avengers: Strike a Pose!

  1. Karl says:

    Here’s bit of similar satire that might amuse you: comic artist Aaron Diaz imagines what his comic Dresden Codak might look like when rebooted by DC:

    “Since she’s probably a D-cup, Vonnie’s the strongest female character Dresden Codak has to begin with. We decided to make her stronger by tweaking some things about her origins. Now on Nephilopolis, all the women are more sexually liberated and don’t need to wear clothing. “

  2. Pingback: The problem of female role models | Dr. Dan’s Medicine

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