Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Do your own smalls, Spidey!

Nobody ever claimed American superhero comics were any kind of bastion for modern thinking or pro-feminist attitudes. You need only look at the heaving bosoms and skintight costumes [what there is of them] on most US superheroines to know the comics are aimed squarely at teenage boys with raging hormones, active fantasy lives and plenty of spare change. Getcha getcha ya-yas here, etc. But Marvel Comcis wasn't ready for the hoo-haa that's arisen over a new statue of Spiderman's girlfriend Mary Jane. Here's a picture:
Yes, she's bent over a bowl, washing his crimefighting costume by hand. Her jeans are falling off her arse. And she's grinning. How many people grin like that? Ever? Let alone while trying to erase the skidmarks from their boyfriend's smalls because he's just had a close encounter with Doctor Octopus or the Green Goblin? It's the subservient nature of her pose that's provoked no small amount of ire. She's not barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen [what an action figure that would make], but it all seems a bit... dubious to some people. Here's a front view of Mary Jane, just in case you're savouring the full wonder of this statue yet.
There's been no end of debate online about this, with Marvel bosses and the artist on whose sketch the statue's based declaring themselves non-plussed by the controversy. They're saying it was simply a bit of fun, not meant to suggest Mary-Jane is subjecting herself to the wishes of her boyfriend like some 1950s housewife. Perhaps they're right - how many 1950s housewives wore jeans or a t-shirt like that? Happily, some people have retained their sense of humour in the midst of all this, as evidenced by this cartoon by an artist called J-Bone. Wash your smalls, Spidey!

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