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Marvel’s Controversial, Hypersexualized ‘Spider-Woman’ Cover Goes Up For Auction
By Mikelle Leow, 30 Sep 2020
Image by Heritage Auctions and featured with permission
Spider-Woman, Spider-Woman, does whatever a chauvinist imagines women do.
One of Marvel’s most infamous works is a cover for Spider-Woman No 1 in August 2014 that the company was later impelled to apologize for. The artwork, a variant cover commissioned to Italian erotic comic artist Mio Manara, featured the hero on all fours—dressed only in what looked like body paint—and seemingly flashing the city.
The illustration was widely criticized for “blatant sexualization” and for “toe[ing] the line of pornography” by the general public and the press alike.
The cover might be shunned upon, but it’s now the most popular item on sale in Heritage Auctions’ European Comic Art collection. The image has been viewed over 8,600 times on the auction house’s website and currently has the most number of bids for the event.
“Whether you like it or not — and, clearly, many did not — this image is now part of comics lore and pop culture,” addressed Olivier Delflas, Heritage Auctions’ European-based Consignment Director for Comics & Original Arts.
At present, the listing has fetched a bidding sum of US$15,500.
Following backlash in 2014, Marvel Comics ended up replacing the cover with a less racy version, in which the character’s rear had been concealed by the Spider-Woman logo.
Former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso also issued a vague apology for publishing the offending cover. “We apologize – I apologize – for the mixed messaging that this variant caused,” he told CBR.
Image via Heritage Auctions
[via Boing Boing, images by Heritage Auctions and featured with permission]
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