A new site is grossly sexualizing superheroes.
Source: The Hawkeye Initative
The comic book industry has faced a number of ugly controversies over the year, ranging from the disparity of minority characters to the overuse of rape and over the top violence to supporting female characters. Now, it's caught up in another scandal: the Hawkeye Initiative.
Founded on a sexual deviant's art site known as deviantart, the Hawkeye Initiative is a new website that grossly sexualizes Hawkeye for no reason. Although only a few days old, the website is filled with fanart showcasing the Marvel archer in an increasing number of overtly sexual poses. Many of the pictures depict Hawkeye half-naked, turning the character's toned abs and full, rounded rear into sexual items.
"Frankly, it's disgusting," said Hawkeyefan112, owner and proprietor of the fansite "Hawkeye, the Cleanest Archer". "I don't understand why a bunch of perverts would want to turn one of my favorite characters into their gross sex toy."
Despite the fact that sexualizing comic book characters has been fiercely opposed by many in the industry, that hasn't stopped dozens of aspiring artists from cutting their teeth on drawing Hawkeye in backbreaking, physically impossible poses, often showing off their lack of knowledge about basic human anatomy. Many of the pictures are focused around Hawkeye's crotch, which is often depicted as semi-erect and too large for the short shorts the character is found in.
The site has even received mainstream attention from blogs such as The Beat and Bleeding Cool. Comics Alliance is planning on weighing in later this month. We've even received reports that Anderson Cooper is planning on condemning the Hawkeye Initiative on his show this week. Cooper previously attacked the site reddit after it was discovered that some users were using the site to peddle child porn. "If they're sexualizing Hawkeye, who else might they be sexualizing behind closed doors?" said Cooper, a known comic book fan and follower of comic news. "Franklin Richards? Leech? Those fish kids from FF?"
Retailers aren't pleased by the development either. "They're alienating a large part of their fanbase," said store owner Jerry Sienfield as he ripped covers off a stack of Hawkeye comics. "I don't see how I'm expected to sell these comics when there's an entire website dedicated to turning Hawkeye into some sexy nincompoop. It's a real shame that there's fans out there who only see him as a piece of meat."
Sienfield and Hawkeyefan112 are just two of the many fans upset by this latest gross sexualization of characters. Sienfield has even started up a blog called Marvel Men Kicking Butt, which he plans on dedicating to fighting the evils of male sexualization in comic books. "It's simply getting out of hand," he said. "Someone needs to speak out so that my boys will be able to read comic books without thinking that all they are are sex toys for all the women and gay men out there. That's no life worth living."