This week on the Major Spoilers Podcast, the crew tackles the subject of Sex in Comics – not sex on comics, because, well, we keep falling off (ba-dum-bum).

What do you think of the portrayal of sex in the funny books?  What should be allowed, what shouldn’t? How far is too far? What comics feature the best and the worst on the subject?  It’s a topic that is deep, and one we’ll attempt to tackle.

The Major Spoilers Podcast is nothing without comments from great readers and listeners like you.  You can use the comment section below, drop us a voice mail by calling (785) 727-1939, or record your comments and send it as an MP3 file in an email to

We record the new show Tuesday night, so make sure you have your contribution to us by 5:00 PM CST Tuesday evening.


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Sex in comics… I would have said “The Boys” almost went too far, but CSI will show a guy in BDSM gear with a bananna shoved up his butt. The two have a similar age range so in a comic like that, it is disgusting, but not absolutely terrible.

    However comics like Invincbile, because it is a more PG/PG-13 title, should keep the reigns in a little bit to at most we’ve had what? Atom Eve side boob?

  2. Some things are just put in for shock factor. If its necessary (which is rarely the case) then put it in. Otherwise, it’s just a way to make a buck.

    Beyond those just messed up things, age range is what matters the most, but even that is a tough call. Indie comics have the luxury of defining the target age of their comics, but with such big names as Batman, Superman, Spider-man, the X-men, and all other mainstream titles being targeted at all ages, what becomes your least common denominator: the kiddies, the adults, or one of the ages in between.

    On top of this is the problem inherent in an industry which pumps out monthly titles. Your audience grows up with these characters, and while they may have started as fun little good v. evil fights, the growing mind will desire more abstract and meaningful stories, and many times that will involve sex. Invincible is a perfect example. I have to give props to Kirkman for having Mark grow up and thus begin dealing with these more fundamental issues. Most other monthlies are trying to “grow up” but refuse to let go of their 10-year old market.

    So in a nut shell, age is what matters, but I’m not sure how to tackle that problem.

  3. As long as sex in comics is done tastefully, I tend to not see much of a problem with it. It’s when sex is done as a waythat you get the feeling that the creator has a much to wild imagination on what realistic women’s proportions trully are (one of the reasons I can’t stand most 90’s works).

    Sex also kinda bugs me if that’s all a book boils down to. If a writer and artist choose to make a book about eye candy before telling a descent story, then all the book is is soft core (or hard core, I guess) adult entertainment.

  4. Well It might not exactly be on topic but for me the thing I find annoying about Greg Land’s work is that he copies porn. I could live with his copying famous people, not one of his but Tommy Lee Jones as Osborn in Thunderbolts is ok, but it’s annoying to turn a page and find some woman with her mouth open or her legs up :(

  5. Sex in comics is imho just like any other topic, if it’s written well, it gels into the narrative. If it’s not written well… well, it stands out (in a bad way).

    Good examples for me would be Watchmen (the Nite Owl-Silk Spectre sex e.g. is handled very well and the costume fetish aspect of it fits well into Dreiberg’s character).
    Y: The Last Man also handled sex in a very grown-up way.

    A bad example would be the Ultimates. At around issue 11 or 12 or so, Black Widow thanks Iron Man for some pre-mission closet sex. The dialogue was written quite crude and made it feel like it was only there to make the comic a bit more “adult”. Didn’t work for me. It probably only served to fuel some geek fantasies.

  6. Later on in Ultimate X-Men the Fantastic Four wonder if they should get the Ultimates to help the X-Men. Sue Storm says they’re probably too busy making another sex tape. One of Tony and Natascha having leaked.

  7. This episode would be FAIL if there wouldn’t be a discussion of the “Greg Land Porn Face”. Check out any of his work on Ultimate Power, just about every females has the “I’m about to have a fake climax” expression.

  8. I suppose it’s all depends what you’re looking for. Some people may like dirty comics like they like dirty movies and magazines. However sex, sexuality, and nudity can serve a story well if it actually makes sense and isn’t done for mere shock value. I think a lot of the MAX titles Marvel puts out actually do a good job with this aspect. But you can’t have it all. I’ve seen too many comics straddle the line between adult vs. mature readers.

  9. Depends on who the target reader is, in something like Sin City you expect a sex scene or two. But anything main stream, or more to the point, anything that has or had a morning cartoon shouldn’t include sex scenes in it.

  10. I sometimes find random threads on the DC boards asking for suggestions of books that show a lot of violence, swearing, nudity, and of course, sex. I always wonder, “Why?” A story should stand on it’s own merits whether it’s filled with R rated material or not. My issue with sex for sex’s sake in comics is that it’s basically porn for the underaged crowd that can’t legally buy porn. It’s just another way to push unrealistic women into unrealistic sexual situations, that just create an unsatisfying expectation for real sex with real women in the real world.

    A series that could’ve been the epitome of T&A for the libido of teenaged boys is Y: the Last Man. Whenever I tell people the premise they automatically assume Yorick hooks up with every woman or that it’s filled with lesbian sex. But Vaughn really calculated the sexual encounters and they were meaningful when they happened. Yorick slept with something like 2-3 women in 4 years and those moments were very tender. It was either his need to feel intimacy and closeness with another person during some low points in his journey, or he was reuniting with the love of his life. And even the girl on girl sex came out of that desperation to feel love and closeness when all the men in one’s life are dead and gone. Furthermore, Pia’s artwork created a set of women that I felt were very realistic. They didn’t have the physique of someone like Power Girl. They really could’ve been women you encountered in your own life. That was refreshing to see.

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