Fox News thinks comic books are too sexy by far

Wonder Woman

Finally some breaking news! Fox News is reporting that comic books contain sex and violence. Can we get Stan Lee on the phone? The old maestro deserves a chance to defend his profession against these wild allegations.

The piece's title makes the shocking claim that "Relaunched comics use sex and violence to sell," which makes you wonder what a medium that largely targets teenage boys was doing before. As anyone who's picked up a comic book in the past thirty years can tell you, sex and violence are near constant staples of the medium. It's a bit like saying food uses taste to get eaten.

The story focuses on DC Comics, which has apparently tried to out-punch and out-sex its rival Marvel recently with darker, more graphic story lines. But you have to reach pretty far back to find a time when comics weren't sexualized (Wonder Woman's been lasso'n since 1941), and they've always had high levels of bone-crunching violence. The report quotes a psychologist who refers to the sexual imagery in comics as a "misrepresentation of reality," essentially reiterating what a comic book is. Thanks for that. The good doctor also thinks today's offerings are akin to "fictionalized Playboy for kids," which seems to imply that Playboy is non-fiction, but I digress.

For the Mother Geese at Fox, the basic lament is how gosh darn gritty everything has gotten since the era of Adam West. They yearn for a simpler time of more loose-fitting tights, of chaste KAPOWs and demure BAMs and other outdated onomatopoeia. In other words, mature content is fine as long as it's obscured. (Their best example for the good old days is Archie, that ginger lothario who had a different girl for each day of the week.) Indeed, for most comics, the violence was always there (what do you think happens when Superman punches someone? A mild concussion?), and there's always been a lot of sex, albeit sex thinly veiled by spandex jumpsuits.

Commentarium (8 Comments)

Jan 19 12 - 11:20pm

I came of age in the early Vertigo era, and even back before then racy content was nothing new. Let's not forget Phantom Lady, long before I was even a twinkle in dad's eye:
Not to mention, where exactly do they think the idea of Catwoman came from? A woman in a leather catsuit with a whip? Hmm...

Jan 20 12 - 1:19pm


Jan 20 12 - 9:50am

Look up 'Seduction of the Innocent'. It's the same knee-jerk reaction that killed EC Comics and created the dreadful Comics Code Authority.

Jan 20 12 - 11:00am

Comics now days are actually targeting people in their 20's. If teens read them great, but there not the target audience.

Jan 20 12 - 12:42pm

Okay, porn targets adults, but we attempt top keep it away from children.

Comics are still thought of as childs fare.

Maybe parents need a reminder that that is no longer the case and the content might not be suitable for their children.

Jan 20 12 - 1:45pm

Depends on the comic. There is a really wide range of comics being made today across the spectrum of sophistication. Saying "comics are targeting people in their 20's" is as silly as saying "movies are for middle-aged people" or "books are for kids." They are just a medium, they can tell whatever story you want.

Jan 20 12 - 1:48pm

Fox News is like the creepiest guy at the bar -- the kind that leers at women and then ridicules them later to their friends for dressing like skanks. (If you've ever seen their Pic of the Day feature you will know what I'm talking about.)

Jan 20 12 - 4:07pm
You know

Do you guys just monitor Fox for something that re-inforces your preconceived notions? Try CNN. They have these Chicken Little stories on nonstop, too.