Welcome to Cover Girl. Each month, we gather a team of WWAC contributors to analyze a new and notable comic book cover featuring one or more women. This month, Nola, Claire, Wendy, and Emma examine Humberto Ramos’s cover of The Amazing Mary Jane #1.
What is your initial reaction to this cover as a piece of comics art?
Claire Napier: She’s wearing flatforms, and I don’t know what to do with this feeling. Comics guys know those exist??
Nola Pfau: All I know is my 6’1” frame would pull a move like this out of sheer insecurity regarding heels, so thank you for letting me feel seen.
Emma Snape: It almost reminds me of a MCU Spider-Man poster with so many characters all seemingly drawn with a different perspectives, but I think MJ draws the eye really effectively.
What do you think the artist is trying to achieve?
Wendy: I keep begging comic artists to give me more fashionable clothes outside of superhero costumes so, given MJ’s actual status as a fashion model, I do appreciate that Ramos is trying here and succeeding fairly well. “A” for effort, even if I am not entirely loving the way that leg seems to be a separate entity because of the how the bottom of the dress fades into the background.
Nola: I think this is a better presentation than we normally see for women! I don’t really feel like the leg is a separate entity; it follows the lines of the body, it doesn’t look out of place. I appreciate that she’s allowed to look feminine and confident without it being a cheesecakey kind of thing.
Emma: I definitely get the sense that Ramos wants to remind people viewing this cover of MJ’s long legacy in Spider-Man comics by filling the background with so many classic Spidey villains, but the sunny avenue lined with palm trees behind her and MJ’s presentation give a good sense of this as a book about MJ in Hollywood. And with MJ specifically, I agree with what you’re saying, Nola. I think her leg certainly stands out, but not unnecessarily unnaturally, it feels in line with how Ramos has drawn her anatomy. And I like her posture, she has a pose that seems confident and poised.
Is MJ working that outfit or what?
Wendy: Both MJ and the demon insects on That Leg are indeed working that outfit and I adore the confident look on her face. She’s aware the Spidey and all those bad guys are behind her, angling for the spotlight, but this is her spotlight and she is owning it.
Nola: MJ’s a supermodel, of course she’s working that outfit. That’s literally her professional training.
Emma: Absolutely. She looks like she’s going somewhere and knows she’ll look good when she arrives. I don’t necessarily love the outfit—the straps of her shoes look spiny like sea urchins to me, which sounds like it could feel uncomfortable on the go—but I’d never tell MJ that. She’s making it work.
Mary Jane’s story continues with the third issue out this month.