It’s International Women’s Day, and many people recognize it as a celebration of women throughout history and their individual accomplishments. Comic book legend Stan Lee contributed to the popular Twitter hashtag commemorating the occasion with artwork of some of his female superhero creations.
Stan Lee pioneered the field of comic books, not only with his creation of Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Hulk, but with women like Jean Grey, Susan Storm, and She-Hulk.
He shared the cover of “The Superhero Women by Stan Lee,” a 1977 special issue comic featuring a few of Marvel’s female superheroes, with artwork by John Romita.
The tweet quickly went viral, attracting thousands of retweets and likes within hours of posting—but it wasn’t without numerous detractors who found myriad ways to take offense to the piece of classic comic book art.
Many among the complainers expressed their outrage over the characters’ figures.
A user named John Harrison asked, “Did you make any flat chested women?”
“All hourglass-figures. Diversity would be great,” wrote another reply.
Another offended person inquired: “Why are they all at least a C-cup?”
@Ginger_Stout echoed the complaint, stating: “Thanks for the sentiment. However, this photo shows how far we have left to go.”
The picture Stan Lee shared, as previously noted, is artwork from 1977.
“I would have gone with a more recent image too, we’ve come a long way in 40 years,” she continued.
“Nice thoughts, but THEY ALL LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME, only with different hair and ‘clothes’ (?),” wrote another user.
More recent comic book artists are free to do just that by sharing images of superheroines they illustrated. Stan Lee was only sharing his creations—as a creator is wont to do.
Stan Lee spent much of his career promoting gender equality by being an active champion for female representation in the comic book medium—introducing numerous female superheroes in a time when women were not always treated with the respect they deserved. It’s disgraceful to treat him as anything less than a pioneer for equal rights.