Power Girl’s always a source of conversation in the blogosphere. In this case, an upcoming JLA cover by Michael Turner is the catalyst, prompting comparisons with other cheesecake artist Adam Hughes.
At feminist_fandom, lj-er lies_d explains her issues with images of Power Girl as drawn by Michael Turner and Adam Hughes.
One of the special magic of reading comics (reading books, watching movies), is that for a little while you can experience the world of the story through the characters that you see – for a while, you inhabit those characters. Even if you don’t identify with them per se, you can still ‘be’ them. They’re strong, intelligent, honourable, attractive, and even if they have flaws they’re somehow heroic ones. And yes, they have perfect, idealized bodies, even the male characters.It’s be easy for guys to want to be Superman or Batman – their kind of idealized bodies are the stuff of action movies. All women want perfect bodies too, but when I see Power Girl, you know what I see? A PORN STAR. Only porn stars have bodies like that. Yes, the male ideal can be harmful and/or impossible to attain, but the kind of ‘ideal’ in the above pictures is demeaning and ridiculous, and it clearly only exists for men to fetishize.
At Occasional Superheroine, Video Store Girl looks at the same Turner drawing and a different Hughes drawing and explains the different reactions she has to them.
I find Adam Hughes’s covers to be, for the most part, sexy but not sexist. Sexy but not sexist means that your subject has some glimmer of humanity in her and is not just a blow-up doll. Sexy but not sexist means that you can see that the artist has a genuine love and understanding for the subject. Sexy but not sexist encompasses, at least for me, not only Hughes but the work of Rags Morales, Frank Cho, Darwyn Cooke, Alex Toth, Will Eisner, and many more.
What do you think?