Artists Target Comic Sexism By Tarting Up A Male Icon

"The Hawkeye Initiative" calls out comic book inequality, showing how male superheroes would look if dressed and posed like their female counterparts.

In the poster for The Avengers, inescapable this past spring, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow was the only superhero whose assets were displayed as perhaps they would be on the poster for a porno parody version of the movie. Everyone else got to look like ass-kicking saviors ready for battle; she looked like Cirque Du Soleil: After Hours. The poster was sent up in a widely Reddit-circulated image of all the Avengers posed in a likewise fashion, ridiculing this disparity. Now a new project called The Hawkeye Initiative is drawing even more attention to it… with drawings.

During The Avengers, Jeremy Renner’s arrow-happy Hawkeye spends some screen time topless, showing way more skin than Black Widow ever does, and yet the poster doesn’t represent as much. When the two shared a comic book cover in 2011, their poses provided a similar contrast. Now, graphic artists Blue and Ginger Haze have apparently decided that perhaps Hawkeye should be the one striking sultry poses. The two got the ball rolling with a call for other artists to re-envision Hawkeye in the ass-hugging outfits and stripper twirls of not just Black Widow, but all of the comic book universe’s so-called "Strong Female Characters." If the resulting images look a little ridiculous on Hawkeye, well, perhaps they’re a little ridiculous on them too.

Look through some of the best side-by-side comparison images from The Hawkeye Initiative in the slide show above.

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  • I don't like comics, at least the those like Marvel. They're basically soap-operas meets bad kung-fu movies meets terribly written romance fanfic.

    I don't really find the portrayals of any gender to be particularly realistic or hyperbolic. The men are stoic, tough and everyone is built like Olympic athletes as well but no one complains about negative male body image.

    Stop reading them if you don't like it. I don't, so I don't read them. I prefer more nuanced and thoughtful media and at no point did Superhero/Marvel ever satisfy that. Maybe it's not your cup of tea.

    It seems like the increasingly prevalent and pervasive SJW on the internet take great pains and get their kicks from a willful ignorance as great as those they lambaste from their desk chairs. Some products have target audiences who like to escape reality, comics are that escape and different people like to occasionally engage in different fantastical version of reality. Don't like it? Not the target audience.