Women in Comics

Characterization of Women in Comics

By: Dave Clark

The topic came up a few weeks ago on Twitter and it's an ongoing concern for ladies that are fans of comic books, and just women in general. The question is, are women being exploited with their characterizations in comic books? Think for a moment about the women you see in the pages of your favorite books. How do they look? How are they dressed? How realistic do they appear? Should they appear realistic?

The argument can be said that men don't look realistic either. Their muscles being enormous, always having the chiseled jaws, and armed with wit and charm. With women, however, it seems they're more often than not overly sexualized in the art on the pages. The obvious answer is that sex sells. Making an attractive hero or heroine makes sense because that character is meant to draw you into the book before the story can hook you. Is it any different than the hunky actors or alluring actresses we see in our movies and television shows?

I'm neither for nor am I against the current state of women in comic books. I enjoy reading all the books I read, but I'm also noticing just how risqué things are getting with most female characters. When DC relaunched their books with the New 52 there was a big outcry with the portrayal of the character Starfire in the 'Red Hood and the Outlaws' series. They made her costume extremely adult, and also changed her personality in a way that made her over-sexualized in the first few issues. 

The image that recently provided the controversy was a cover of the new 'Teen Titans' series that will debut this summer. People were very upset in how Wonder Girl was being drawn, the biggest issue being that these are supposed to be teenagers. Should we be showing young boys, girls or even adults this characterization of teenage girls?

How do you guys feel about this "hot topic" that seems to be making the rounds on all the comic book sites? Do you think a change needs to be made? Or does the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' mentality apply here?

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