Catwoman: Sexy or Hyper-Sexy? October 3, 2011 – Posted in: A Picture's Worth, Blog, Featured Columns – Tags: , , ,

There’s been a bit of a furor lately regarding the “reboot” of Catwoman. Some have seen just the cover of the first issue and asked if DC is “hyper-sexualizing” its female characters. Despite its rating of “T” for “Teen”, some feel it’s still marketed to kids (and women) and is inappropriate.

While I hear the contents of the issue are indeed eyebrow (and other body parts)-raising, I haven’t seen the issue so I’m only addressing visual portrayals–mainly covers–as those are what’s used more than anything to market a comic book to readers.


Sexual, oversexual or hyper-sexual? Let’s discuss. Art by Guillem March. (What’s in the pouch, anyway?)


My question:  Is there a noticeable demarcation between sexualizing, over-sexualizing and hyper-sexualizing?

I think each is as relative a term as there is. What’s “hyper-sexy” to some is “just sexy” to some, even ugly to others. What was she before this? When you look at Catwoman’s 71-year history (!), you could make the argument at almost any time, especially within the context of the respective time period. Let’s take a look:


From her first appearance (when called “The Cat”) from BATMAN #1, 1940. For kids? Check out those gams! And how about Bat’s line, “Quiet or Papa spank”?! (Try that line today and see what happens.)

Also from 1966: Catfight–literally! Ladies, ask your boyfriends or hubbies. Art by the wonderful Kurt Schaffenberger.


Nearly twenty years ago (that’s the 1990s, all you young ‘uns), my former Kubert School classmate Jim Balent made a nice name for himself with his unique and famous version of the character:


All above by Jim Balent. (Click for larger images.) Not hyper-sexualized? No rating on these covers. Marketed to kiddies and women?

As they say in the ad biz, “But wait! There’s more!”


Cover to CATWOMAN ANNUAL #4 lovingly painted by Doug Beekman. Little kids dig realism?

CATWOMAN #36 (next series) cover by the always-great Paul Gulacy. Yes, Santa Claus, there is a vag…oh, never mind! 


Finally, there’s some guy named Adam Hughes whom at least a few people think is good at drawin’ “sexy”…

Hyper-sexual Hughes? Or just Averagely Amorous Adam? Hmmm…


My answer?

You make the call on this one. I have to pick my tongue up off the historical floor.












P.S.: If you’d like a hyper-sexy or just plain sexy (or even non-sexy) Catwoman commission–or any other character, male OR female–I will gladly and gleefully oblige. Just ask Craig here!



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