I love comics in a lot of ways. The beauty of story-telling is wonderfully alive within the medium and the art form continually gets more and more beautiful. Yet, there are problems with it. Sexism, racism, ableism, and homophobia have been issues in comics for a long time. This is not to say that all story lines, characters or publishing houses consistently struggle with these issues. Overtime there has been much progress in expanding who is represented in comics: from women, to disabled individuals, to racialized and sexually marginalized groups. Yet the issue of sexist depictions of female superheroes is still an issue, especially when looking at the angles and male gaze which objectify some characters. The gallery shown below is not a full representation of the progress eliminating sexism and the ways it still needs some work. There is arguably no way to compile a full list as comics have such a rich and full history that is continually growing. As a feminist, I will always love comics, which doesn’t mean I can’t critique them.
This image of SpiderWoman released on a comic cover in 2014 uses horrific mutation of the female anatomy to look more sexy.
SuperGirl can be criticized easily depending on the image, but this image is more empowering as she is in action, central and engaged.
This one is just obvious
A powerful woman SheHulk, being strong yet why are we looking at her crotch? The angle is objectifying and the progress is sacrificed to the love of wet/ sweaty women available for the male gaze.
Wonder Woman in action. Gazing directly at the viewer- engaged and not passively viewed. Moving to a more empowered representation.
Vampirella, come’on… Look at that costume! Sexism still exists!
PowerGirl, due to her costume, can she ever be empowering and not over-sexualized.
Check out the angle of this PowerGirl drawing, very sexual.
A more empowering depiction of Wonder Woman as an active warrior, engaged and central. Question is whether depictions of violence is helpful to combat sexism…
The answer to combatting sexism is not objectifying men and women at the same time! Wonder Woman is not super because of her epic Game, getting all the boys!
This depiction of Wonder Woman is violent and incredibly uncomfortable. A beaten and chained woman should be criticized, especially in such a sexualized way.
The first Muslim female comic book character to lead her own comic book and on the front cover, welcome Ms. Marvel
An empowered Black woman in comics is amazing and Storm started it all.