Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Oh for Fuck's Sake...

I'd like to think I'm relatively tolerant of T&A on comic book covers, in general. I've certainly mellowed in the years since I've had my tirade against midriffs at least. I bought She-Hulk regularly despite the silly covers until the writing got to be too much for me, and I'm usually okay with Ms. Marvel too.

And unlike my partner I thought this cover was fucking hilarious.

I still do. Hee. Sorry, Ragnell. :-)

But maybe I'm wrong, because the cover linked in Rich's post here makes me twitch.

I swiped the cover in question:

Someone please tell me this is a hoax. Or at least that there's a variant cover. Because I like Ms. Marvel. I do. It's a good comic far better than the idiot covers they put on it. I get the need for cheesecake and usually I can look past it.

But I can not walk into a comic book store and purchase that.

Ms. Marvel's been skirting the line for a while, but this looks like it was lifted straight off the jacket of some military-themed porn!

This COULD be a clever cover. It has the elements at least. I really do like the pins and the background. But this completely robs the cover of all that cleverness. Seriously, what the fuck?

And it's not like it couldn't be sexy AND clever. Carol's hot. Military uniforms and fatigues are hot. Easy equation.

This though, it's just lazy! And embarrassing!

Pfeh, I hope nothing of import happens in this issue, because if that's the cover facing me in the store, I am NOT going to be caught dead buying it. Egads.


  • At April 16, 2008 8:53 AM, Blogger Nick said…

    I wouldn't buy it either, and I like some cheesecake here and there.

    This cover not only is gratuitous, it's tacky and without taste.

    The only audience I can think Marvel is looking for with this cover is the random person looking in the comic shop that accidentally picks this up thinking its a misplaced porn magazine.

  • At April 16, 2008 9:21 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Hee. Looks like an outtake from the video that she made with Tony Stark. A RECRUITMENT video for the Initiative.

  • At April 16, 2008 11:51 AM, Blogger Ragtime said…

    Does "erstwhile" have a second definition that I'm not familiar with, or did I miss something?

  • At April 16, 2008 12:00 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Heh, it was meant as a joke, but I'll go take it out. No point in a joke no one actually gets. :-)

  • At April 16, 2008 4:52 PM, Blogger Ragtime said…

    Oh dear. Keep forgetting I'm not at home!

    Anyway, thanks for clearing that up, but don't assume that just because I didn't get the joke that no one did!

  • At April 16, 2008 5:28 PM, Blogger M. said…

    Wow. Did Greg Land draw that?

    I don't read Ms. Marvel, but I don't even think that looks like her. Oh, she's blonde, that should be enough, right?

    Bleah. It's like they let the editors for Maxim pick the cover.


  • At April 16, 2008 5:54 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    ragtime: Heh, it's okay, I'd rather have clarity than humor. :-)

    GGR: I think it's Greg Horn.

  • At April 16, 2008 7:35 PM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    Extra random is added to the "Who the hell's this random blonde?!" question by the fact that Carol's ex-Air Force so this whole army cosplay thing is just kinda out-of-left-field.

    Though I do want to ask said random blonde what the hell her "I'm with Marvel Boy" badge is all about.

  • At April 16, 2008 11:02 PM, Blogger Ami Angelwings said…

    That doesn't look like Miss Marvel to me and I luff Miss Marvel :(

  • At April 16, 2008 11:38 PM, Anonymous ETG said…

    FWIW the first thing I noticed is that the assault rifle looks way out of scale.

    I tend to look for and assume the presence of a joke with covers like these (not saying I'm usually right, just saying that's my default read).

    For me, the message on the cover is "sell-out", consistent from the Nascar-style badges to the slogans right down to the lips and cleavage. I don't read an endorsement of the image displayed. Looks like an in-story ad from an old issue of American Flagg.

    If there's content in the story that suggests a theme of selling out, then the cover is merely less effective then it could be. If there's no thematic tie-in, then it's tacky and sad.

  • At April 17, 2008 1:09 PM, Blogger Dane said…

    I'm going to go against the grain here and say I like this cover, and here's why: To me, it looks like Greg Horn is doing a cover that's satirical of sexy WWII propaganda posters. It's like what air force men would post on their bunker walls, i.e. "Go get 'em boys! Fight the Nazis, we're rootin' for ya!" Except here, replace Nazis with Skrulls.

    Greg Horn does seem to be a divisive figure for people. I loved his covers on She-Hulk -- for the most part they looked fun, funny, and vibrant for me. My friend Wyatt hated him for the level of photo-realism he puts in. Others seem to not like the cheesecake he puts in. And that's cool. We all have our preferences, and hey, he could be drawing the gun out of scale or drawing Ms. Marvel wrong (I don't know a lot about either, really) but I think a lot of people aren't seeing the point of the cover, even though many have seen Land's work before.

  • At April 17, 2008 2:01 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Oh, I don't doubt that's what he's trying to do, Dane. I don't begrudge him that.

    The joke doesn't quite work for me though since the pin-up ladies in those old WWII posters didn't look like modern military-porn stars.

    If he'd drawn Ms. Marvel in a blonde-Betty Grabel-esque image, I think I'd appreciate the joke a lot more.

  • At April 17, 2008 5:40 PM, Blogger Chris Sims said…

    Skirting the line? More like SWIMSUITING the line, AMIRITE?

  • At April 17, 2008 7:03 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    Horn's hit and miss. Sometimes he does these forgettable cheesecake-type things, and sometimes his stuff looks damn brilliant (the American Gothic parody, the Awesome Andy cover, or the Steranko parody).

    This cover is a little of both. It looks like he was trying to spoof some kind of sexy Guns & Ammo type magazine cover. I disagree with Kaliara and Dane in that I think it was satirizing a modern mag rather than an older one.

    Trouble is, if you took the "Ms Marvel" logo off this cover, the average Marvel reader would be hard-pressed to tell who the hell that's supposed to be. I mean, we get the lightning insignia patch and...what exactly?

    Also...Wait a minute! Ms. Marvel doesn't have IMPLANTS!

    Omigod, she's one of THEM!!!!

  • At April 18, 2008 7:39 AM, Blogger Rick Rottman said…

    How exactly does she look like a modern military-porn star? Granted, I'm not all that up with porn stars, let alone military-porn stars. I realize she has large breasts and there is certainly a lot of cleavage on display. Does that alone make it pornographic?

    I don't know a lot about WWII pinup art, but I am somewhat familiar with the nose art displayed on WWII bombers. When I was in the Air Force I worked on B-52's bombers. There was a time in the late 80's and early 90's where they were reproducing some of the WWII nose art that was displayed on B-17 and B-24 bombers. Some of it was so graphic that we couldn't use it.

  • At April 18, 2008 12:55 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Rick, I'm not sure why I have to justify my statement to you. I see a similarity to military-themed pornography (and no, thank you, it's not just the cleavage) and it's enough to turn me off from buying the comic for that month. If you don't see a similarity, that's fine, and if you see a similarity but still like the image, that's fine too.

    If you did mean it as an honest question, I apologize but I don't terribly feel like listing off reasons why. You have the internet and presumably access to google, so I'm sure you can look it up yourself and decide if you agree/disagree from that.

    And while I don't doubt that much WWII art does get pretty graphic, I probably would not appreciate seeing them lampooned in a superhero cover either. Especially not when there are plenty of examples of cheeky and teasing but still fairly tasteful images to recognizably parody.

    Ultimately though, I'm not saying that it's a bad joke (whether you think it's a WWII lampoon or Guns and Ammo lampoon or something else entirely), it's just that the end result is very much not to my taste.

    I'll be sad about missing an issue, but that's life.

  • At April 18, 2008 1:29 PM, Blogger Rick Rottman said…

    Kalinara, it was an honest question. I didn’t mean to imply that you had to justify anything. I just really don’t see the similarity to pornography. I’m not a porn type of guy, so I didn’t even know there was such a thing as military themed porn. Then again, I didn’t know there was such a thing as ‘tentacle porn’ until the cover of HEROES FOR HIRE #13 reared its ugly head. Because I blogged about that, not a day goes by that I don’t get traffic from people looking for tentacle porn.

    It does feature a ridiculous amount of cleavage, but I don’t think it rises to the level of porn. I’ve seen just as much cleavage on broadcast TV. Personally, I think showing cleavage is tacky.

    If it was up to me, women in comics would NOT be portrayed with outrageously sized and inadequately covered breasts. Then again, Batman wouldn’t look like he could bench press 500 pounds and he wouldn’t look like he had a 2% body fat index. Personally I think the way body images are grossly exaggerated in comics has gotten way out of control. For men and for women. If it was up to me, superheroes would look more like people.

    I think I am in the minority and that it’s not going to change anytime soon.

  • At April 18, 2008 1:39 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Fair enough, I admit, I can be a bit oversensitive some days. Sorry for jumping down your throat. :-)

    Actually, it's more the hair/makeup for me than anything else. That particular style of bleached hair and that particular type of heavy make up is something that I rarely see outside of porn stars. Which possibly isn't fair to the poor model if she's not one, but there you go.

    The cleavage is really only added into the equation in the way that...okay, she's wearing something vaguely military, but it has to be unzipped to the breasts, nothing underneath. The particular pose and weapon don't help either.

    Military themed porn really isn't any more military-themed than well...any other porn really has much to do with its theme, I think. More just an excuse to have sex on camera with women in vaguely sexified military gear with big suggestive weaponry. This, to me, looks like a lot of the covers/ads for that sort of thing. YMMV naturally. :-)

    I'd like to see superheroes look more like people too. The exaggeration can be pretty crazy.

  • At April 18, 2008 1:59 PM, Blogger Dane said…

    For the record, now that you described some things you had with the cover, I can see your point way better, Kal. The cover does seem to have an early Jenna Jameson motif about it combined with light military decoration. The military porn star look most likely wasn't what Marvel/Greg Horn were going for, but you can't escape outside context and need to be aware of it.

    This situation really does remind me of the Heroes For Hire/Tentacle Porn issue, because even though Joe Q. said it totally wasn't their intention ("AND DRAWN BY A WOMAN, YOU GUYS SRSLY") it can't get expect to gain some special culture shield because of they didn't mean it.

  • At April 18, 2008 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The first thing that I saw when I viewed this cover was the homage to Private Benjamin and Goldie Hawn (there's even an homage to Laugh-In there), which is where I'm pretty sure that Horn drew at least some inspiration from. Maybe it's a pop cultural awareness thing, but a goodly portion of the people I know discussing this cover see the Goldie Hawn homage right away, while the rest are viewing it sans that cultural awareness and reacting to it accordingly.

    This isn't to imply that because it's a Goldie Hawn homage that it doesn't have its problems, because it certainly does. I want to beat Greg Horn about the head with Kevyn Aucoin and Stephen Marais books so he can learn how to draw maquillage on a woman that doesn't scream LOW RENT PORN STAR.

    Aside from that, I have the usual wincing, sad resignation that I am infused with whenever I look at Horn's Ms. Marvel covers. The irony for me is that this is, to my eyes, the least offensive Ms. Marvel cover he's done thus far, because at least there's some life in her eyes and it's a playful cover, the same way his She-Hulk American Gothic was a playful cover, as someone mentioned above.

    Until you get to the breasts. Then it becomes just the usual Horn failure to render female anatomy with any degree of realism.

    (It's a damn shame, because when Horn can restrain himself from drawing freakish breasts, he can occasionally acquit himself rather well. I loved a few of his Elektra covers because he managed to imbue her eyes with that burning intelligence and her body with a slinky, dangerous grace.)

  • At April 18, 2008 8:52 PM, Blogger Girl Friday K said…

    This is one of those things where I truly love the concept idea of the cover and hate, hate, hate the outcome. This could've been really excellent--and now I'd love to see a Wonder Woman cover like it someday--but the overly gratuitous cleavage shot and the fact that it's difficult to tell who she is just ruined it for me.

    I really wish a lot of comic book artists took their statements a little more seriously instead of snickering over a drawing board of boobies, you know? This could've been really, really clever and was just ruined by a few inches too much.


  • At April 20, 2008 3:30 PM, Blogger Kitty said…

    Ugh. A sassy cheesecake retro-style "Boys! Join the Army and fight Skrulls!" could have been really cute and effective here, something like the recruitment poster with Lady Blackhawk shown in *Birds of Prey*.

    But this is just far too coded as porn: Unzipped sleeveless top, heaving pushed-together cleavage, long undone tousled bedhead hair, pouting lipsticked lips deliberately open next to a phallic symbol weapon. It's the last one that does it for me; if she'd just been smiling with teeth and not looking like she's primed to suck something, it wouldn't look so porntastic.

  • At April 27, 2008 5:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bah, usually I have no problem with "cheesecake" but sometime it is just lame, I don't even find that sexy at all.

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  • At January 08, 2012 11:39 AM, Blogger Amberleigh said…

    Looks like Steven Tyler lmao

  • At July 26, 2012 5:55 PM, Anonymous site said…

    Here, I don't actually consider it is likely to have effect.

  • At May 17, 2014 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    sorry i just saw this and trigger discipline is making me cringe...

    Yeah th pins kinda make it too busy.


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