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The Male Pin-Up

Why Is Nightwing Hot? A Comics Alliance Investigation

DCUOnline production art
DCUOnline production art

Nightwing is comics' hottest male superhero. His superior hotness is a fact so indisputable that, when we compiled our list of the 50 Sexiest Guys In Comics a while back, there was never any serious doubt that he would come out on top. His appeal is not only recognized by fans, but also by creators and even by publisher DC, which has been known to pander to his fans on several occasions. In an industry that doesn't generally make time for the female gaze, Dick Grayson has emerged as one of the medium's few male sex symbols.

But what is it about Dick Grayson that sets him apart among the macho mannequins of superhero comics? Is it his personality? His history? His character design? His butt? ComicsAlliance spoke to Dick Grayson experts Tim Seeley and Devin Grayson, and several of the character's fans, and undertook an intense study of the source material, to get to the lovely bottom of this great question.

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BOOOO: Mean Old Marvel Says No To Hunks And Babes; Anka & Wada Drop ‘Swimsuit Special’ Plans

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The world needs a new Marvel Swimsuit Special. Not because the old ones were great works, and not because there's any shortage of cheesecake in the pages of superhero comics today, but because a new Swimsuit Special has the potential to be something wonderful. From a smart publisher, a book of pin-ups could celebrate the diversity of superhero sex appeal for a broad audience in a non-exploitative way, breaking down the old cliches about the genre. The world is ready for fun, positive, equal opportunity cheesecake and beefcake -- and Marvel has the artists to do it.

Indeed, two of those artists were already doing it. Anyone following Kris Anka or Kevin Wada on Tumblr will have noticed of late that they were working on a "secret" project that plainly featured Marvel heroes in swimsuits. Today, Anka took to Tumblr to confirm that he and Wada had indeed been working on a new Marvel swimsuit book -- but that they have stopped production after failing to reach an agreement with Marvel. The Swimsuit Special the world deserves is not going to happen. This is terrible news.

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Magic Clark: A Moment Of Appreciation For Emanuela Lupacchino’s Hunkstice League of Absmerica

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We already praised DC's movie-themed variant covers last week, and it feels safe to say there's plenty of great work on show here from Dave Johnson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Marco D'Alphonso et al; this is a variant month that justifies its existence through excellence.

But I want to draw particular attention to just one cover, which I think deserves special recognition for oustanding achievement in its field. I refer, of course, to Emanuela Lupacchino's cover for Justice League #40 in the style of a poster for the 2010 Steven Soderbergh movie Magic Mike, which re-imagines the Justice League boys as oiled-up strippers.

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Best Abs Ever (This Week): An Appreciation Of Male Comic Book Eye Candy

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In the process of writing my article about muscles vs curves, and how the big dudes of superhero comics typically fail to represent the tastes of most androphile women, I gathered a collection of images and recommended artists from my correspondents that illustrate the sort of art they'd love to see more of -- but which there's sadly very little of compared to all the T&A fan-service targeted at straight men.

I had far too many recommendations to put in the article, so I've compiled the collection (and a few personal favorites) into a very special one-off post. The collection includes pin-ups, fan art, sketches, and some traditional superhero art from artists who aren't afraid to put a little male eye candy in their work!

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Why Big Superhero Muscles Aren’t ‘The Same Thing’ As Sexy Curves

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As a man who reads superhero comics, I confess that I share a commonly-held prurient interest in big-chested, long-legged heroes in skin-baring costumes that barely cover their naughty bits -- or as I like to call him, Namor.

Sadly, Namor is pretty much alone in his category. Contrary to the perception that male heroes in comics are frequently sexually objectified, it's my experience that even Namor is only rarely presented as someone to lust over. Yet I'm fortunate that my tastes run towards the Hemsworth end of the scale. Like many straight men, I admire the kind of buff dudes that are the staple of superhero comics, even though they are rarely sexualized. If I shared the tastes of most of the women I know, I think I'd find superhero comics an even more frustratingly sexless wasteland.

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The Jack Kirby Of Porn: Celebrating The Happy Hunks Of Tom Of Finland

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The Finnish postal service launched its most successful limited edition stamps of all time last week -- featuring a pair of pertly muscular buttocks and a naked man being straddled by a biker. Advance orders for the stamp came in from 178 countries worldwide, and people lined up on launch day like the stamps had an Apple logo on them.

The reason for the stamps' appeal -- beyond the objective appeal of buttocks -- was the artist responsible, one of the nation's most successful comic book creators: the legendary homoerotic artist Tom of Finland. As part of very important series of articles about men as comic book pin-ups, ComicsAlliance explores the work and legacy of Tom.

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The Naughty Knot: Unpacking Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso’s Comments On Sex Appeal And Diversity

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In an interview with The Telegraph's Radhika Sanghani, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso offered some insights into how he regards the superhero comic industry's treatment of female characters -- and his own intentions towards diversity.

The interview is chiefly noteworthy for confirming what already seems apparent from recent changes in Marvel's line-up, namely that Marvel understands and is responding to demographic changes in the marketplace. "We believe there's an audience of women out there who are hungry for this [product] and we want to make sure they get it," said Alonso. "This is affirmative action. This is capitalism.”

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Noh-Varr No More: Saying Goodbye To Marvel’s First Male Pin-Up

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Young Avengers has gone away again. It's a state of affairs that fans of the book are used to. Series writer Kieron Gillen and artist Jamie McKelvie have set off to create a new book about super-teens, The Wicked & The Divine, and Young Avengers fans are left hoping someone else will pick up the baton.

Pending any announcements this convention season, that means a lot of fan favorite characters now go back into mothballs, including Marvel's premier gay teen couple, Wiccan and Hulkling, and breakout fashion icon Miss America. But the one I'll miss the most? Marvel's first male pin-up; Marvel Boy.

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Super-Handsome Man: A Henry Cavill Primer

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Superman is not a role they give to movie stars. Christopher Reeve was unknown when he took the part. The same was true for Dean Cain, Tom Welling and Brandon Routh; the best any of them could claim is a multi-episode guest spot on a TV show or, in Routh's case, a supporting role on a daytime soap. Though some bigger names have been considered for the role (Nicolas Cage being the most bizarre among them), filmmakers seem to understand that when audiences look at Superman they should see only Superman, and not the actor who plays the part.

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ComicsAlliance Presents The 50 Sexiest Male Characters in Comics

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Comics provide such a rich vein of female objectification that female character's ranks on the Comic Buyer's Guide's 100 Sexiest Women in Comics list is treated as important information on Wikipedia. So we're providing a little balance.

We've consulted with friends and experts, with readers on Twitter and Tumblr, and we've put together our own list of the sexiest male characters in comics. If you want a list of sexy ladies, some other site will probably have one for you soon. We're not going to do that. We're here to check out some dudes.

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