Friday, September 23, 2011

The Beguiling Seductress: A "Must-Have" in Comics

The article "Top 10 Comic-Book Vixens" discusses how the sole purpose of an overwhelming amount of female characters is to torture men. Worst of all, this article basically sums up these women's powers as strictly sexual. Familiar faces from the list are: The White Queen, Mystique, Catwoman...and surprisingly Jean Grey [Dark Phoenix].

Noteworthy Excerpts:

#1 Dark Phoenix:"Each time Jean came back [Cyclops] fell for her hard. Then she would die and destroy him all over again...[making him] the unluckiest SOB in the Marvel Universe."

Note: By failing to mention the complexity of her powers, the author totally misleads the reader into thinking that this Dark Phoenix is synonymous to Jean Grey herself, not to mention that it totally plays off Jean's sacrifice of dying to save the world as unfair to Cyclops. (Hmm what's more important, Cyclops' feelings, or the fate of the universe?...) Jean Grey doesn't belong on this list, especially not at #1.

#4 Catwoman: "A prostitute, a bimbo, a seductress...truly gained greatness [when] the normally paranoid Batman let [her] into his bed and into his cave. You go, girl!"

Enough said...

#5 Mystique: "The shape-changing mutant can fulfill your every fantasy."

Note: This sounds like the author's trying to get someone to rent a prostitute. Also, in the picture of her is a gun with the barrel awkwardly shoved in the back of her pants (phallic symbol).

#6 The White Queen: "A cold, manipulative, power-mad seductress...has the confidence to wear lingerie while teaching a classroom full of 15-year-old boys."

Note: Is that really your definition of confidence? Also, in her picture the White Queen is in one of the most suggestive positions and the skimpiest outfits of the four listed here.

A motif of women in comics is having one of them cast as "the femme fatale." Overall, this article had outrageously sexist synopses for these women characters, but unfortunately, since the women in these comics are already over-sexualized, I can't really argue that these interpretations (save Jean Grey) are totally off-base. It's ridiculous that this seems to be a necessity in comics; female characters whose sole purpose is to be the conniving sexy villain who ensnares the virtuous male heroes into traps. I understand that to be a hero, you need a nemesis, but I don't see why it's necessary for (at least one of) the nemeses to always get this role. Another thing, why is it always the women's fault that men fall under their spell...I think the men deserve (at least) a little blame for being so hopelessly naive time and time again.


  1. I think the most interesting part of this article is that you can actually tell a man wrote this. It is so degrading. Something that catches my attention is the existence of the article itself, I haven't seen an article about the 10 hottest superheroes so why create one about the superheroine "vixens"? I completely agree with what you asked at the end of your post "Why is it always the women's fault that men fall under their spell?" Clearly it isn't, if men are so strong and smart to save the world and woman are just assets they should be strong enough not to fall. I also feel like they say that because their spell is actually their breasts and buttox.

  2. I agree that Jean Grey does not belong on this list. It is not her fault that the phoenix power took over her and she died pretty much everyone and everything. To say that Cyclops' feelings are more important than pretty much anything and everything else is ridiculous. Women can do things besides be sexual and all of the women on this list are capable of more then that, whether it be good or bad. This stereotype that female characters in comic books get is disappointing.

  3. This article actually has a very similar theme to the one I talked about in my blog post. While mine was a woman discussing how horrible this kind of sexualization is, yours embraces it. But, as my article's author said, this kind of sexuality is only in these comics to please the male readers, and not for any purpose to help along the story or characters. But unfortunately, the same types of suggestive costumes and poses, such as that of the White Queen, are being drawn in the New 52 comics.

  4. While I agree that the article is written in a demeaning fashion (but not for the reason's y'all listed, more that it only describes these women in the context of men, as if they wouldn't even be good villains if men weren't around), there is something y'all are missing. That something is IRONY and SARCASM.

    PS. For the 10 hottest superhero dudes, see here: And a gender neutral one here: And the original article one claimed that it created the list to balance out the male-heavy villains list, and in this case, listing specific instances where female characters acted as a foil to a male character through romance.


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