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Male Gaze / Comic Books

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Mm? They were saying something? Sorry, got distracted
  • Comic artists who draw this way will often show a female character facing away from the camera, but twisting her back (sometimes improbably) towards the 'camera' so that the viewer can get a good look at her breasts as well as her behind.
    • Rob Liefeld is probably the most infamous artist here; see, for instance, here.
    • Ed Benes has a reputation for this too, though his knowledge of human anatomy at least allows him to make them look human when they do such unlikely poses.
    • Artist Mike Choi drew a cover that showed a character in this pose. He got called out for this in a review that was so critical and apparently so painful to read that Choi has stopped reading reviews about his work, period. Even the good ones. Interestingly, he stated nothing about whether or not he stopped drawing women in the Boobs-and-Butt Pose.
    • Near anything by Frank Cho. It's actually led to some burnt bridges between him and both Marvel and DC, due to the studio's attempts to appeal to a female demographic and his refusal to compromise.
      • Frank Cho's solo work, "Liberty Meadows", amps up his tendency towards this trope but also includes a fair number of fourth-wall-breaking and highly self-deprecating remarks about the pervy, sexually frustrated artist.
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    • There's everyone's favorite, J. Scott Campbell.
    • Hilariously subverted with the phenomenon called The Hawkeye Initiative where the sexy poses of female comic book characters are redrawn featuring Hawkeye.
  • She-Hulk got this a lot of through the years especially during her fourth wall breaking days in the 80s. However it can be inappropriate at times e.g Civil War where an entire panel is focused on She Hulk’s fine buttocks. This normally wouldn’t be a big issue, but the scene in question is a serious discussion about superhero ethics, not a peep show, therefore the fanservice is unnecessary as well as artistically off-tone.
  • Black Widow gets this all the time, her solo comics in particular tend to have increasingly racey covers. Only relatively recent comics have toned this down with Natasha.
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  • If Carol Danvers is in a book wearing her "Ms. Marvel" leotard, chances are the artist will find some way to get a rear shot, regardless of what she may be doing at the time. Artists have been known to draw her with a rather sizable backside. Later comics have toned this down immensely with Carol when she's Captain Marvel... well most of the time.
  • Mary Jane Watson while not in the 60s (the comics code would not allow it) definitely was subject to this the decades that followed most notably under Todd McFarlane's pen. It's also lampshaded multiple of times in-universe like one time MJ explained to Peter "Every woman knows there are ways to be make sure nobody pays attention to your face" and in another comic Peter went to talk to MJ while she was in the middle of a Bedroom Farce and got distracted by his wife's lingerie.
  • Pre-Crisis adult Supergirl got this a lot, depending on the artist. In Krypton No More, drawn by José Luis García-López, many panels prominently featured her cleavage or her long legs. One time even Superboy got distracted by her bosom.
    • Supergirl's updated origin from Superman/Batman is pretty (in)famous for this as not only does Supergirl emerge from her rocket in her birthday suit with only a coat and later Superman's cape to cover her naughty bits and later trains with Amazons in full detail.
      • After enough complaints from people about sexualising a teenager girl DC eventually toned down the Male Gaze with Kara.
  • Elektra's body is prominently featured during fight scenes. When she dodges, artists usually draw her from behind to emphasize her ass. Flying kicks are drawn from the front, effectively becoming full-page crotch shots.
  • Psylocke gets this a LOT. It is a rare issue that she does not show her butt to the reader. She's regarded as the Trope Codifier for Boobs-and-Butt Pose.
  • Rogue gets this as much as Psylocke if not even more so especially when Jim Lee drew her. One time Rogue was fighting Mojo and a good percentage of the panel is her shapely rear.
  • Storm has a long of history of the being the subject of Male Gaze even in her earliest comics where she often go naked thanks to her culture being less fussy about clothes, also Chris Claremont had a massive crush on her. Lampshaded In-Universe as Gambit's students kept trying to peek on Storm sunbathing topless.
  • Jean Grey also got her fair share amount of the Male Gaze from the 80s to the 90s and beyond. Whether it be her green Marvel Girl dress, her Phoenix outfits or her yellow Sensual Spandex Jean's curvaceous body rarely doesn't get special focus.
  • Emma Frost, she has "the best body money can buy" and proudly shows it off. Many panel are dedicated to her breasts and buttocks.
  • X-23 while not initially, would eventually be subjected to Male Gaze quite frequently in her comics. Although she does get it less than aforementioned female X-Men.
  • All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder features an issue in which Vicki Vale spends a scene standing around posing in lacy pink underwear for absolutely no reason. The script for the scene (included in the trade paperback) contains a blatant admission from Frank Miller as to what he was doing: "Okay, I'm shameless, let's go with an ass shot."
  • Black Canary: Frequently. As strongly written as she was in Birds of Prey, she also spent the entirety of the run pretty much constantly with a wedgie so that her ass popped out of her leotard better.
  • In The Loners the team debate whether the villainess's getup is a costume or a tattoo.
  • Atom Eve from Invincible isn't the only female character who gets the Male Gaze she's just the one who gets it the most. Lampshaded at one point after using her powers to recreate her body, her boyfriend the protagonist Mark notices her breasts are slightly bigger.
  • Courier from the Gambit X-Men spinoff. Interestingly, Courier was a male shapeshifter who was Mode Locked in this form by Mr. Sinister.
  • Power Girl frequently, lampshaded herself at one point when she saves a kid but he's too focused on her magnificent bosom to even say thank you. Power Girl kindly suggests he should find himself a girlfriend.
  • When the final issues of Ultimate Wolverine VS. Hulk FINALLY came out, there's a scene with Betty Ross injecting herself with a drug in her buttocks, which are front-and-center in the panel.
  • In Hulk's 2011 series the character Amanda Von Doom (no relation to Victor) gets a good amount of this. The same series also has Betty Ross walking around in skimpy bikini and only improving the situation by turning into Red She-Hulk.
  • One of the first things we see of Starfire in Red Hood and the Outlaws is her buttocks. And only her buttocks, since the panel cuts off her body from the waist up. To say nothing of the fact that the swimsuit scene in the first issue was supposed to have her in a semi transparent bikini, though the editorial shot that one down.
  • Also in the New 52, the first issue of the Catwoman solo title was criticised for opening with an action scene that spent two full pages on close-up images of different parts of Selina's anatomy before bothering to show her face.
  • Averted in one issue of Identity Crisis where Wonder Woman is interrogating a prisoner about who tried to kill Ray Palmer's wife. The prisoner is said to be smart because he's focusing on Wonder Woman's lasso, not her cleavage.
    • Diana in general has gotten tons of this over the years, every artist does their best to make her as voluptuous. Hell it goes back to Wonder Woman's earliest appearances where she'd often be Bound and Gagged in questionable positions, her creator William Moulton Marston was a known bondage fetishist.
  • For generations, even after the Comics Code, there have been a lot of fanservice-y drawings of the teenage Betty and Veronica, their friends, Katy Keene, and other women in Archie Comics. There have been a lot of jokes using the gaze whenever Archie is gazing at pretty girls and commenting on their figures while another friend is waxing lyrically about nature or math.
  • Sin City, Frank Miller's love letter to the pulp/noir genre. Any female characters who aren't gun-toting self-regulating prostitutes tend to fall at either extreme end of the Innocent Angel-Cold-Hearted Femme Fatale spectrum, and in striking contrast to Miller's diverse, interesting and strikingly designed male characters, are virtually identical from the neck down and drawn with sex appeal as forethought
  • A lot of it in Empowered, which is parodying the entire concept. One example, Emp comes home from a successful mission still wearing the Hot Librarian outfit she was using. Thug Boy's POV panels focus on Emp so much that they are forcing her talk bubbles out of the frame.
  • In the Blacksad album Arctic Nation, Blacksad takes a good look at Dinah through his left-side mirror when she walks away from his car at the drive-in theater. Later she changes her clothes in front of him and he notices that she has a patch of white fur on her chest, which actually becomes a plot point later on.
  • Italian comic (eventually imported to America) Route de Maisons Rouge. This page says it all. Though since the comic is about feuding brothels, it is perhaps to be expected.
  • Druuna by Italian artist Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri is all over this trope with the titular heroine being voluptuous Mediterranean woman whose breasts, buttocks, vulva and curves are given loving attention and detail. It's often lampshaded In-Universe (note that even page is one of the tamer ones).
  • Green Lantern: Red Lantern Bleez. It's often been pointed out that she's frequently drawn in ways that emphasize her curvaceous rear end (though it's worth noting that this was most prominent when Ed Benes was drawing her).
  • Harley Quinn, especially in the New 52 solo series. Special mention to Issue 13 where she use this to distract a mugger and a scene in Issue 26 that has Harley and a leering guy with a metal detector who makes an unwelcome comment about her butt as she walks by.
  • Smasher, a minor heroine from Jonathan Hickman's Avengers got massive display of this in one panel where he buttocks are ludicrously enlarged.
  • Satan's Hollow: Sandra is rather easy on the eyes, with panels often surreptitiously focusing on her figure.
  • Ultimate Wolverine: When she first shows up, we can see Magda's back up close.
  • Marvel took a lot of criticism for a 2014 cover image of Spider-Woman drawn by Italian erotica artist Milo Manara which showed her with somewhat oversized buttocks in an odd squatting position. Marvel later apologized for it.
  • DC took even worse criticism for the leaked, unfinalized cover of Tom King’s Heroes in Crisis #7 by artist Clay Mann which depicting a dying Poison Ivy in a sexual manner. As fans on Twitter noted it’s bad enough killing off a beloved character (or threatening to at least) but the fact that in even death Ivy isn’t free from the Male Gaze is undignified and insulting. DC acknowledged this and the cover wasn’t used nor has Ivy been killed off... for now at least.


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