Marvel Comics is great at patting itself on the back for temporary stories that put women in the spotlight, but when it comes to variant covers that turn women into sex objects its male readers want to pat on the butt, then the company suddenly has no comment. Luckily, Dan “Go to Christ-land” Slott was willing to weigh in on The Mary Sue’s anger over the Spider-Woman #1 variant by Milo Manara. His verdict: it’s a “false ‘controversy'”.
The Mary Sue disagreed. The self-proclaimed watchdog for female representation in “geek culture” reported:
I mean, there’s art you personally might consider too sexualized in general, but there’s that other level of comic book hell reserved for The Hawkeye Initiative-type stuff or otherwise absurd art.
Yesterday, Comic Book Resources posted exclusive November solicits from Marvel Comics, which included the anticipated Spider-Woman #1. The piece included this variant cover by Milo Manara.
I honestly don’t know what anyone involved was thinking. The series is being written by Dennis Hopeless with art by Greg Land, and although it appears Marvel is attempting to draw in women with a slew of new female-led titles, this does not instill confidence. Nor does it tell women this is a comic they should consider spending money on. In fact, what the variant cover actually says is “Run away. Run far, far away and don’t ever come back.”
That may sound like an exaggeration but it’s really not. This is what we talk about when we ask comic publishers not to actively offend their paying (or potentially paying) customers. …
Marvel has declined comment at this time.
As a conservative comic book fan, I know a thing or two about Marvel going out of its way to offend “paying (or potentially paying)” customers. Welcome to the club, Jill! But I digress. Ms. Pantozzi didn’t take too kindly to The Amazing Spider-Man writer’s assertion that her work was part of a media-orchestrated “false” controversy:
Dan Slott’s favorite go-to weapon, the red herring, was on full display when he tried to frame outrage at Marvel’s decision as some sort of misdirected beef with Mr. Manara’s artistic style. Luckily, Ms. Pantozzi was having none of it. It was never about Mr. Manara’s “style” — it was the fact that an artist who specializes in erotic (some might say “sleazy”) artwork was used for a book geared towards female readers.
Backed even deeper into a corner, Mr. Slott doubled down on the “fake” controversy line of defense. The move was reminiscent of the time he and Marvel used anger to sell the Superior Spider-Man #9, and then tried to pretend like they were doing no such thing.
But here is where it gets interesting, dear readers — the woman who works for a website that considers itself a watchdog for women’s representation then went soft on an ideological ally. Someone like me would be accused of “mansplaining” to Ms. Pantozzi if I delivered exactly the same message as Dan Slott, but she simply “walks away” from Slottian mansplaining. She respects Dan Slott (the guy whose great new female character burst onto the scene by getting super-sexy, super-fast with Peter Parker), too much to take the conversation to its logical conclusion: Dan Slott’s tolerance for other points of view only lasts until you put up a strenuous defense against his straw man arguments, red herrings and personal attacks.
“Nothing is being gained.” That seems to be a pattern with the Marvel scribe. Conservative? Liberal? Apolitical? It doesn’t matter. If you disagree with Dan Slott, your point of view isn’t valid or it’s just a “false” controversy stirred up by the media.
As fate would have it, Twitter user Ryan D entered the fray and rightly called Ms. Pantozzi out just as she did the same to Marvel and Dan Slott earlier in the day.
Dan Slott would be “crucified” if he didn’t say the right thing in his Twitter feed, and he knows it. That’s why he decided to return to “less controversial stuff” (i.e., topics where he could easily put himself up on a moral pedestal and bask in the accolades).
I look forward to the moment that Dan Slott goes back to attacking those who disagree with him politically. When that happens, then all of his Twitter followers can forget about the time he “mansplained” to a feminist about her “false” controversy — and she let him get away with it.
Editor’s note: Hat tip to reader Truthwillwin1 for the story.
As usual Dan Slott is a twit. I saw these solicitations yesterday and you can’t say that cover wasn’t intentionally done to steer the eyes towards a spread-eagled butt.
So does Mr. Manara’s 30 years + artistic style always involve spread-eagled butts? I’m not sure I want to know. 🙂
The Mary Sue piece has a side-by-side comparison between the Spider-Woman variant and his “erotic” work. I guess you can get a lot of work over the years if you keep drawing that pose…
I’m not against beautiful and proportional type illustrations of the female form in super hero comic books, but this cover simply degrades women as nothing more than sexual objects. It’s illustrated porn. Why else would you draw Spider-Woman with her butt crack 3 ft up in the air.
Milo Manara should draw a picture of Dan Slott twerking and stick that on a variant cover.
The side by side comparison says it all.
I definitely agree with you. I think there is a proper balance. When I tried to talk about that in my post on The Hawkeye Initiative I had quite a few women get upset with me. 😉 There are even times where I think feminists just simply take innocuous images and turn them into something offensive because that’s what they’re looking for.
For example: There are certain “spider-y” poses that Spider-Woman would do that could very well come across as sexual. In the case of this variant I’d say there’s no doubt what was going through the artist’s mind…but there are instances where I think feminists overreact.
Also, I would have more respect for Marvel if it just came out and said: “We have a male audience that wants female butt variants and that’s what we’re going to do. And if you don’t like it, then too bad.” But Marvel won’t do that. It just does the “no comment” thing. It stays silent, and then when it can get some good press for doing something like She-Thor, then suddenly they’re putting out press releases left and right. The hypocrisy is hilarious (or understandably infuriating if you work for The Mary Sue).
Dan is slipping, he forgot his favorite arguement; it’s all about sales. What causes the eradication of beloved Peter Parker? Sales! What makes a man insert a Hitler reference into a story when he says he is respectful of his Jewish ancestry? Sales! That is not a heart or an apple, it’s a dollar sign; and that would make an otherwise liberal guy turn on his feminist friends. It seems Dan Slott has no principles that can’t be bought, but can you blame him? It’s tough making an ethical stand in a business environment-just ask Hobby Lobby.
So we see typical Dan.
Someone makes a statement Dan responds like a narcissist.
Dan gets called on it and he responds with his usual condescending snark.
This time his twitter followers do not accept it and then he tries to spin the issue and fails.
He continues to get an intellectual beat down and says “Going away now. :-/” he does this to wait for supporters to jump in for him but he never leaves. This time he does not get much help.
He then plays the I never “said that” game and gets called on it.
Then he tries to smooth it over saying that he writes stories that focus on women and he does not even notice until he was finished….nice try Dan.
Then he tries to act like he agrees with everyone from the start “If everyone already agrees with you, then it ain’t worth arguing about. 🙂 Thanks to everyone who kept it civil. (Even when I got snippy.)”
Let me ask how civil was Dan when it was only a few people in the discussion? Notice if he agrees it is a valid site if he does not agree it is a “gossip” site. He was snarky and condescending from the start. He then changed his whole position and attitude when he found himself nearly alone in a losing battle. The real Dan was there, if he has his backup he will say rude things and treat people like dirt but when he is on the ropes and people won’t jump in to save him he changes his tune to be everyone’s friend (or runs to delete the discussion) Marvel’s scribe has once again shown that diversity and feminism are just things they exploit to gain sales. This saddens me since I have been a diehard Marvel fan and yet things like this keep making me walk away.
First off, thanks for the heads up on the Twitter exchange. I must admit that it slightly changed last night’s original plan, but I’m glad I wrote it.
You’re on the money with that one, Truth. I really haven’t had a reason to blog on Dan Slott lately (Spider-Man Crawlspace is doing a pretty good job hammering the first few issues of Amazing Spider-Man), but this one was too good to pass up.
To be fair one could also look at this as a learning lesson, maybe Dan learned from his responses and changed his tune. He is now making jokes about it which once again could be him being humble or it could be him trying to get away from the situation. I really hope that it is a good learning lesson for him, despite what he thinks I do not wish him any harm. I want Marvel to improve and do the right thing with the characters I have loved for decades.
Dan may think that I harbor some sort of ill will towards him, but I don’t. I’m just going to directly call him out on poor editorial decisions or hypocrisy. Since he wants to talk politics on his Twitter account, there will be times when I write a blog post about what he says. This will continue until he is no longer writing The Amazing Spider-Man.
I understand, that is my main issue. He influences thousands of people in comics, forums and twitter. With that said when he makes statements that are clearly not true to belittle a person (the whole reason I conducted the sales information was due to him being rude to fans and using sales incorrectly as a tool), I feel that someone needs to tell the other side of the story. The same goes for his views on politics, if what he says is completely untrue to thousands someone has to step up to tell the other side. If he responds in a civil way we should not have any issues but there lies the problem, he tends to react very poorly.
I have on occasion even taken down articles that I have written because I feel bad for him but if he gets rude I will put them back up. For example he went off on Spider that my data was wrong and bias and he said the beat was unbiased so Spider is wrong, yet we have proof that his statement was a lie, there is even an article that Heidi states that she is bias and they have doughnuts together.
I pulled the article and others as a peace offering, but if I catch him being mean and twisting things agian I will put them back up.
I just read some reviews…wow my wife would be pissed. Her favorite characters are Black Cat and Spider-Man. She already did not like what he did with Spider-man…now Black Cat…oh boy.
IMO it’s not even that good of an ass, lol. There have been better ones (RHATO #1, Black Widow, Nightwing?). That said, you are right that there is definitely a time and place for them, and a comic cover that unsuspecting minds will be attracted to isn’t one at all.
That’s all I have to say on the matter, but apparently for a lot of fans it isn’t. Misplaced outrage much? I pine for the years where the highest amounts of expelled vitriol could be found when people argued about Superman and Goku’s odds in a fight, or why Batman doesn’t just shoot the Joker, or what would happen if Rogue touched herself (I made that last one up, actually. Does it have any basis in reality?)
This, the Zoe Quinn fiasco, and the scandal over Yale Stewart’s… Weiner moment are evident of the cancer that is killing nerd culture. I’m not sure how it can be remedied other than voting with one’s wallet, I guess.
“That’s all I have to say on the matter, but apparently for a lot of fans it isn’t. Misplaced outrage much? I pine for the years where the highest amounts of expelled vitriol could be found when people argued about Superman and Goku’s odds in a fight, or why Batman doesn’t just shoot the Joker, or what would happen if Rogue touched herself (I made that last one up, actually. Does it have any basis in reality?)”
Misplaced outrage is what the SJWs run on. They’re always getting worked up about something, no matter how trivial it might be. People like that give comic/video game/sci-fi fans a bad name. And there are many SJWs who work in the comic industry now.
I too miss the days where arguments centered around “Superman vs Goku” (I never got into DBZ at all, though) arguments or Batman killing the Joker. In hindsight, those arguments were a lot more fun than whatever the SJWs are getting outraged about this week.
“This, the Zoe Quinn fiasco, and the scandal over Yale Stewart’s… Weiner moment are evident of the cancer that is killing nerd culture. I’m not sure how it can be remedied other than voting with one’s wallet, I guess.”
I agree that it’s killing the culture, Starfire. While I do not condone harassment of any type, I think the individuals who do harass women at conventions are a minority and are not representative of nerds as a whole, but this crap plays into the hands of the radical feminists who believe all guys are “sexist.”
I’d say voting with your wallet is the best form of protest in this case. I haven’t bought a new comic from Marvel or DC in years and haven’t looked back since.
You’re correct in saying that if you were to say the things that Slott said to Jill Pantozzi, it would be called “mansplaining” (an idiotic term if there ever was one; it shows you how immature radical feminists really are). But Slott, being a liberal, gets a pass from fellow liberal Pantozzi, who has never missed an opportunity to freak out about alleged “sexism” in comics and in movies based on comics. It was either her or someone else at the Mary Sue that claimed “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was “sexist’ because Wolverine replaced Kitty as the time traveler. I kid you not.
I agree that the cover is in poor taste. However, being a guy, I’ve no objection to artwork featuring strong, sexy women. I’m sure Pantozzi would also freak out about sci-fi book covers featuring attractive women, too (that was the cause of a “controversy” earlier than this year), even though those covers are in better taste than this cover.
That happens quite a bit. It seems like every other week there’s always some feminist freakout about something in comics. Like you said in the Hawkeye Initiative post, if a woman was drawn doing some of Spider-Man’s moves, it’d be labeled “sexist.”
I think back to when I was a kid, and my next door neighbor used to read trashy romance novels in her pool with Fabio or Fabio-ish shirtless men on the cover…and then I think, “Why are feminists getting all bent out of shape over something everyone does?” I’m not saying that all comics should take cues from trashy romance novels; I’m saying that men and women are both treated as sex objects on occasion. Sex sells. I’m not saying it’s right — I’m saying that there is an audience for that sort of thing, and companies are going to cater to their audience. If 15% of comic book fans tend to buy anything with a “butt-centric” cover, then there will be the occasional butt-cover.
Marvel has shamelessly used variants to boost sales for quite some time. I don’t foresee them ending the practice anytime soon.
Yeah, a few of my aunts used to read those types of books in the mid-1990s. And I’ve thought more or less the same thing: why do they lose it over something that everyone does, something that really isn’t worth getting worked up over?
Plus, this brings to mind a double standard I’ve noticed: it’s okay for women to ogle a shirtless dude, but if a guy does the same to an attractive woman, he’s labelled “perverted” and “sexist.” I know for a fact that if I would’ve had pictures of bikini-clad women (like the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition) in my room when I was a teenager, my mom would’ve flipped out. But she was OK with my sister having picture after picture of shirtless guys in her room.
The “controversy” regarding sci-fi book covers earlier this year was ironic because many of those books had female protagonists, were written by women and were generally written for women. But that didn’t stop the SJWs from getting self-righteous about it, of course. A few emasculated male sci-fi writers cross-dressed in order to “protest” the ‘evil” covers…. yeah, it was pretty creepy and disgusting.
Exactly right. As long as there’s an audience for such, publishers will cater to it. And it’s not worth getting worked up over.
Yep, they’ll keep doing it as long as it boosts sales, even if it’s temporary.
Interesting to note that Dan Slott & Jill Pantozzi are longtime friends.
I think what bugs me about the industry is that there are so many people who are buddy-buddy with each other, and as a result things that should be criticized are not. That’s how products go stale. If you’re “friends” with Dan Slott, and he writes something incredibly stupid, what do you do? You have a bunch of creators who are insulated inside their little happy bubble, and then you have people who are trying to squeeze into the bubble. Then, when fans rightly criticize certain projects, they’re the bad guy.
Look how quickly Ms. Pantozzi went from being a “friend” to someone who was peddling a “false controversy.” How will that affect her future coverage of Slott’s work? On Twitter she said she would just “walk away” instead of hammering like she would others. Does anyone doubt that she would pull her punches in the future?
It’s clear from Pantozzi’s reaction that she has no interest in losing a “friendship” with someone so well known in the industry – I’m sure because she feels it loans to her “industry insider” blogger cred.
In the past, she has relentlessly pursued apologies and retraction statements – the case that stands out most to me was with the Canadian Fan Expo. She posted every email back and forth making a bigger deal of it than it was and even going so far to say that an apology and clarification wasn’t enough. The damage had been done, she claimed.
Now you have to consider this refusal to let a story drop, and look how she treated the situation with Dan Slott. He essentially called the story a ploy to generate controversy (admittedly a Pantozzi tactic) and staunchly defended the cover. She backed off and has refused to address Slott directly since (including his posting of a Spider-Man cover with similar subject matter directed at her).
It seems that her feminist enthusiasm has a line… and her journalistic integrity takes a back seat to friendships with industry folks.
Also adorable: many Marvel writers and artists quietly backed the cover on Twitter. A company like Marvel which is tied to a billion dollar movie franchise would likely have issued a memo to its staff to present a united front on the corporate decision. Yet Jill Laments that her “heart is too tired” to continue the argument with Slott – presumably because her “pal” refused to agree with her. For someone so involved in the comic industry it seems that her understanding of how companies like Marvel operate is unrealistic/naive.
Slott backs the corporation that pays his bills. Pantozzi ignores her feminist mission.
Agreed. It certainly seems that way.
One would think a feminist would avoid the “heart is too tired” kinds of tweets. It lends credence to the claim that women are too emotional. 😉
Again, right on the mark.
The thing that bugs me most is that company that is exploiting feminism and diversity seems blind to what they are really doing or they know it is all a publicity stunt to sell books. With that said if you tell them that they will go crazy on you.
Entertainment Weekly decided to get involved. No mention of Dan Slott, though.
Apparently women want to read comics but they seem not very well-versed in the ways of the world. Maybe in a few decades.
Marvel has a new comic and it wanted the public to pay attention. A bit of fancy cover artwork and the blatheraty explode in an orgy of epic proportions. Oh my god, we’re offended again. Yippie!
Is anyone thinking about the children, because that should definitely be on our minds.
Marketing, bitch! Do you speak it?
That just about sums it up. For me, it’s always a fascinating experience to see the perpetually-offended crowd cannibalize each other.
Like I said, it seems like every week they freak out about something that goes against their politically correct worldview. And in this case with Slott and Pantozzi, leftists eat their own.
That bugs me as well. It also explains why there were hardly ever negative reviews of Superior Spider-Man (this applies to many other modern comics as well, but for purposes of this post, I’ll stick to Slott’s comics. It seems to be prevalent throughout the entire industry); he’s friends with the reviewers. But when bloggers and others rightly criticize projects, they get piled on by comic writers and their reviewer buddies. Remember the now-deleted Newsarama article that smeared Doug, the one written by Slott’s close personal friend Graeme MacMillian, for instance?
Imagine a snake in hipster glasses and a kaffiyeh eating itself alive, yelling “WOW, JUST WOW” all the while. The SJW ourobouros.
Ye gad … all one can do is laugh his ass off. Never again do I want to hear the self-righteous indignation of pea brains like Dan Slott regarding sexism, racism, any other “-ism,” and homophobia. While I could care a rat’s ass about this (sexy) cover, guys like Slott — who routinely go off on social media diatribes about the politically correct topic du jour — simply come off as the biggest f***ing hypocrites of all time for defending it!
Haha. I was waiting to hear your response, Hube. Poor Dan spends his days setting politically correct landmines like a squirrel buries nuts, and then acts surprised when he accidentally blows one up. He’ll survive though, because with the right political posture the left do whatever it can to make sure a career doesn’t die.
Marvel is really striking out with the feminists lately. Heh.
‘Welcome To The Gunn Show: How Nicole Perlman Is Being Written Out Of ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’’
Jill Pantozzi needs to ask Dan Slott what he thinks of this one. 😉
Now I want to see her version of the script, just to see how it compares to Gunn’s. Can’t be that bad…
A friend of mine sent this along: Milo Manara speaks…and I’m sure The Mary Sue will be thrilled.
Jill Pantozzi is apparently being influenced by the Islamic State, according to the artist.
Is this worth another post? Hmmm… So many things to say.
Hat tip: Mark.
That would be an interesting post indeed…
This came out:
Now Dan continues to try to spin the truth:
Dan needs to give it up.
Here’s very telling exchange on Dan Slott:
Everyone here has made similar points about Dan Slott and he has dismissed us as “conservative bloggers.” This is a yet another instance where he shows just how inept he is at using social media and acting like a professional. You do not tell fans or potential costumers not to buy your book. You don’t insult them by saying you’d “sleep better at night” if they kept their money in their pocket. You either shut up or tactfully address the issue.
Dan Slott may not care if he makes a complete fool out of himself online, but his employer should. Unfortunately, these days Marvel’s top brass in the comics division seems to hire a lot of men of the Slottian mold.
Recall Mark Waid telling a (conservative) the same thing, just because the guy had the audacity to disagree with the writer. I mean, really???
My blog’s byline couldn’t be more accurate (thanks to whoever came up with it … can’t recall now!): “Years ago, comicbooks were produced by adults, and were bought and read by kids. Today, it’s almost completely the other way around.”
“Years ago, comicbooks were produced by adults, and were bought and read by kids. Today, it’s almost completely the other way around.”
Love that byline, 🙂
Maybe as they continue to underperform they will learn that they should change their view on how the people they employ behave. The market is down as a whole, could one of the reasons be that they behavior is driving people away. My wife and I were big supporters of Marvel in the past, we had 10 subscriptions and we watched all of the movies. Now we are down to 3 subscriptions and that may drop to 2 soon and we wait until the movies are out on DVD except for the latest Captain America movie.
I’m kind of in a similar situation. From around 8 Marvel titles three years ago to just 2 now.
In my 20’s I was buying around 15 Marvel titles a month. Now that I’m 50 I have more disposable income than I’ve ever had in the past, but I spending hardly any of that on Marvel comics.
I don’t even bother with the Fox & Sony adaptations at the cinema anymore, just the Marvel Studio films. I should probably get DOFP on DVD since Doug gave it a good review. 🙂
You’ll notice that I didn’t review Amazing Spider-Man 2, Magnetic Eye. 🙂 I couldn’t do it. It just looked so bad…and then when the reviews came out I just said to myself, “I’m not wasting my money on this. I’d like to review it, but I just can’t.”
I totally agree with you that Fox and Sony have turned out some seriously inferior products. However, I did enjoy DOFP. I was pleasantly surprised with that one.
OK, it looks like it might be a Father’s Day gift coming up next month. Now to drop a subtle hint to the wife and kids. 🙂 I’ve already gifted myself with “Unbroken” Hopefully that will arrive tomorrow.
Nice. You’ll have to circle back and let me know what you thought after you finish the book.
I am the same way, when I was in my 20’s I would buy around 15+ issues a month and the majority was from Marvel. Now I seldom buy a book from DC and I buy very few from Marvel. If they keep up with the trend of hiring writers that write stories insulting me I will be forced to stop buying any of their products. I also will not support writers that belittle the very fans that support them. I find it crazy how they always play victim but on many occasions they have started it with a rude response to a question or a statement. Marvel and DC are both exploiting diversity and it is rather easy to see through, if they really cared they would work on the characters they have or create new ones rather than temporary publicity stunts. This whole cover situation is starting to show the true color that Marvel really cares about and that color is green.
It doesn’t seem Marvel are hiring too many Masterclass writers soon. They prefer reckless cowboy writers unable to pursue proper character development or good quality stories; who then abrasively scour the internet challenging fans unimpressed with their work.
In all seriousness, I only buy “Batman” & “Detective” from DC. I have always enjoyed those 2 titles and really like what Snyder is doing with “Batman”, what Layman did and now Manapul & Buccellato are doing on “Detective”.
Also really getting into James Robinson’s “Fantastic Four” at the moment. He’s a great writer injecting some fresh ideas, building character development without compromising the book’s integrity and original appeal.
The way some of their scribes behave, I wonder if Marvel run internal PR workshops. I guess not. 🙂