So I was re-reading Gail Simone’s run on Birds of Prey the other day when I came across this cover and had to pause for a second. WTF is Barbara Gordon wearing in this? Is that a vest? Why is she wearing a vest without a top/shirt? I know Ed Benes is known for his cheesecake art (and to be fair, his layouts are pretty fantastic) but this just seems like a bizarre choice for sexualizing a character whose greatest skill/talent was her brain. Let’s just put it this way: You know something’s off when Black Canary has more skin covered than Oracle.
I went back and looked at some of the early BOP recently and it IS more cheesecake-y than I remembered. I think the standards have changed some. I still love most of it, Ed is a gifted artist who cared deeply about the characters, but there are some bits that gave me pause. And he toned it way down for BOP compared to some of his other books, even JLA.
I think the longer we worked together, the more we moved away from that kind of art. But this above always did bother me…it’s a lovely composition but it really does skirt, or cross, that line…Barbara would never wear that. I have a feeling someone asked him to sex it up a little.
It’s a shame, it’s close to being a great cover and it really does show their strength, I think.
02 MARCUS TO | Top Ten Favourite Huntress Artists of All Time
Undoubtedly one of the best talents to surface in recent times, Canada’s very own Marcus To is a well known name in DC Comics fandom for his work on Red Robin, and more recently the Huntress miniseries, Batwing, and Cyborg 009.