Cocca, Carolyn: "The ‘Broke Back Test’. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of portrayals of women in mainstream superhero comics, 1993–2013." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 5.4 (2014), S. 411–428.
Added by: joachim (2015-07-30 17:29)
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Cocca2014b
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Keywords: Gender, Stereotypes, Superhero, USA
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Mainstream superhero comics have a reputation for portraying scantily-clad women with idealised bodies, posed in sexualised and sometimes physically impossible postures. This article explores whether such images are as pervasive as assumed, and whether their numbers have changed since the ‘Bad Girl’ heyday of the 1990s. I examine issues 1–6 of 12 current titles (two ensemble titles and four female-headed titles from DC; the same from Marvel), and then compare half of these to issues 1–6 of their previous incarnations in the mid-2000s and mid-1990s. In 24 titles/144 issues/14,599 panels, I find that almost every issue contains sexually objectifying portrayals of women, that women represent fewer characters even in female-headed titles, that women are objectified more often on covers than in panels and more often in ensemble titles than in female-headed titles, and that both ensemble and female-headed titles have less objectification in the 2010s than they did in the 1990s. I discuss the findings in terms of the politics of women’s portrayals as both subjects and objects.
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