Recently, Marvel released a new cover for their Riri Williams/Iron Heart comic run. The basis of this comic series is that Riri Williams *an intelligent 15 year old who was admitted to MIT* is collaborating with Tony Stark’s Iron Man. Plus she’s an African American character with a great range of diversity in the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, J Scott Campbell released the cover and fans including myself are less than pleased.
Riri doesn’t look like a teenager. She is very voluptuous and her body is drawn in an over sexualized way. I personally am not a fan of this cover because I think Riri could be drawn to look more like a teenager. However, I do realize that some teenagers go through puberty earlier and so they have mature bodies at that age. I wasn’t that person, but I would say that a majority of teenagers do not look like this.
Marvel hired J Scott Campbell to draw the original cover. Campbell is easily not the best choice because he’s used to drawing pin up art. Pin up art is perhaps not appropriate to incorporate into drawing a teenager. So I will give Campbell some credit that he’s drawing what he is used to drawing. Campbell reacted somewhat over the top to these accusations. He instead called out the “social justice warriors”and said we should get over it. I can understand getting defensive over something that you’re passionate about, but maybe try and see why so many people are questioning this cover.
So the big question is how could this be improved? There’s an article I read about different artists drawing Riri as a realistic teenager and these drawings are truly amazing. I will link the article down below, but here is a sample picture of a realistic drawing that I would have loved to see.
So some of you may say, it’s just a comic book what’s the big deal? Well the big deal is that women read comic books too. I don’t want to see female characters constantly being drawn with big breasts and pants that go too far down on the hips. Especially if the character is a 15 year old. Now whether or not the cover should have been pulled is a different story. It can be considered a form of censorship, but I’m not going to discuss it here. What do you think of the original cover? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.