I wanted to submit something in light of the recent argument about who comic books were “for.” Were they porn for horny teenage boys, or action stories for everyone?
I found this book at the retail store I work in:
This is a real “early reader” book, for kids who are learning to read through the “level” system of books. Level 2 is Intermediate Readers. Kids in Kindergarten to maybe 1st grade (age range is obviously not fixed; older kids who struggle to read could need the level 2 books just as a preschooler might have advanced to level 2 before kindergarten. Just putting that disclaimer out there).
Look at all the Avengers. All the male characters are facing the camera. Black Widow, however, is not twisted as badly as your standard-fair Escher Girl. But, her body is in profile enough to show a boob and side-butt. The anatomy isn’t horrible - her head might be a little over-twisted, but she might have super assassin-swivel-neck.
Since I was working, I couldn’t thumb through it properly to see further treatment of BW in the book, but the cover made me think of this blog.
So, is that pose for yet-to-be-horny-teenage-boys, or dads reading along with their kids?
I think that pose just shows how women being posed with their butt to the action has become the way we think women should be posed in action stuff, and that the cover artist probably wasn’t thinking of her being fap material, but subconsciously thought of that pose because it seemed “right”.
I think this book (and the existence of tons of books aimed at young children) pretty much debunks the idea that superheroes are simply a 15 year old hetero boy’s sexual fantasy. If that were true, prepubescent boys should have no interest in superhero fantasies or wanting to be a superhero and we know that’s not true (to say nothing of hetero boys and men who don’t feel that way, or hetero women and girls, etc etc etc) and such fantasies would not be marketed to them.
Not that that idea needed debunking, and the history of comic books and who they were produced for and who was buying them in the past already debunks that, but I just wanted to segue into that since we were on the topic of superhero books aimed at young children. :)