Friday, November 16, 2007

Is This Gratuitous? She Hulk 2 #23


She Hulk 2 #23
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
In this week's candidate for "gratuitous" glory, I went outside the box a bit. Normally I have stayed away from Mike Deodato pencilled art because of his sexy portrayal of women making art a bit naughtier then the average bear. Like my buddy Frank Cho, Deodato has a stylized method that makes his female characters have incredibly long legs, tiny waists, and perky, large breasts. I liken his women to barbies, so I have tried to stay away from him in this feature as it may seem like an easy target.

Then I saw the cover for She-Hulk Volume #2 Number #23. What made me wonder about this was the dichotomy of the portrayal of She-Hulk. On one hand, she has a fierce facial expression that gives the impression that she would like nothing better then to kick your ass. On the other hand, she is soaking wet on her hands and knees.

Hmmm...

I have got to tell you- I am really torn about this cover. I love how strong Jennifer's arms look. The muscle definitio is killer. Also, she looks pissed to be sure. My confusion is in if it is sexy anger or pure rage. Also, I am wondering why she is crawling and wet? The title being made of water droplets does score points with me in originality.

I am confused here. Part of me loves this cover and the other part of me is a bit taken aback.

I need your help here. Is this gratuitous?

14 comments:

Vaklam said...

The pose could push this into gratuitous territory but since she's pulled herself out of the water onto a pier and she's obviously pissed off I think this is one Deodato piece that I wouldn't classify as gratuitous.

Also, none of the T&A areas are highlighted. Despite the pose she appears to be in a position of strength. I love what he did with the water spelling out the title.

This is a candidate for Awesome Cover Friday, in fact.

David said...

Isn' this an homage to a splash page from the Kree-Skrull War with She-Hulk in the Triton pose?

(Nice connection to last week; this is a non-gratuitous homage.)

I'm afraid, not aroused. Not gratuitous.

Elayne said...

Not gratuitous. Deodato isn't always gratuitous, it often depends on what his editor wants him to do.

Fox in the Stars said...

Gratuitous; a close inspection of the facial expression kills it, with the soft, slightly-open mouth and stuff. If they'd let her look grimly-set and disheveled (ie, as ugly as someone should be after dragging themselves out of the bay in a rage), I would totally take it as staying low to sneak up on someone before having at them, but no, the polish on it is just too "come hither," IMO.

mordicai said...

Not. Or well; I happen to be of the school that says not all sexuality is automatically exploitative.

Tamora Pierce said...

I very firmly vote, not at all gratuitous. The first thing I saw was those wonderfully blazing eyes. Then I went to that powerful arm, straight down to the clawed hand. She's went because she's coming out of the clearly shown river, and she's mad as hell.

The open mouth doesn't look passive or tempting to me, but like she's catching her breath to snarl. You see teeth.

She's not sexy danger; she's mad as hell. I think she's beautiful, in a powerful hero way.

Saranga said...

I'd say no. She doesn't look submissive, or powerless and you aren't focused on tits or ass, you can barely see her chest.
She's looks very angry and like she's gonna rip your throat out. She's soaking because she's just got out of the harbour, so it makes sense as part of the story.
I really like this cover.

Carl said...

My first thought is that it's a direct theft or homage to Will Eisner's The Spirit, the look, the emotions and of course, the book's title spelled out by the water, very much like his style. And I'm not seeing very much that I'd call sexual, like I'm turned on by this picture, more like, I don't want to be the person that made her that mad...

zhinxy said...

I vote: Not Gratuitous! (In big, Hollywood Sign letters, lit up like Vegas!)

The blazing eyes, the well-defined arms, that beautifully clawlike hand... In fact, this is Exhibit Number One for the case that there's no need to highlight T&A or sacrifice any of a woman's strength or presence to make an aesthetically pleasing cover!

If this is what Deodato can do, I hope this marks a turning point in the man's work. I've called him a hack in the past, but if he keeps up like this?

Nothing would make me happier than to eat THAT plate of crow, I tell you...

M. said...

I vote not. She's obviously just pulled herself out of the river. And she's just as obviously pissed off about whatever wound her up in the river.

Nick said...

She looks like she's about to rip my arms off and beat me with them...so I am gonna say not gratuitous. Scary...maybe...gratuitous...naw.

Ford MF said...

I totally don't get everyone who's saying "I'm afraid, not aroused" because that's clearly a sexualized pose, not a 'get ready to die' pose. Or if it is, it's 'get ready to die in a sexy manner'.

But this is a She-Hulk cover, which for the last couple years has meant striking, and often rather smart, cheesecake (I got suckered into buying at least six or seven issues of this entirely mediocre series on the strength of the incredible covers alone). And this is actually one of the blandest covers I've seen for this series yet.

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Mark said...

the cover show us an ideology different than the other, at the same time that show a sexy girl, with prefect curves, however I stayed disillusioned with the content,in my opinion it is the worst of the last couple of years. i prefer spend my money buying viagra online than in comics like this that don't share anything new.