As you may remember, last week a Nebraska mom complained to her six-year-old son’s elementary school library about a Spider-Man comic he had unwittingly checked out that had, she felt, overtly sexual imagery. At the time, it wasn’t clear which Spider-Man comic she was complaining about, but ICv2 put their best detective on the case and managed to figure it out:
The book in question, which can be seen in the KETV report, but is not identified in the newscast, is J. Michael Straczynski’s Amazing Spider-Man Vol.2: Revelations, which was published in 2002 and rated “PG, Ages 12+” by Marvel. During its report KETV showed panels featuring John Romita Jr.’s art depicting Mary Jane in a bikini and a short skirt (the graphic novel includes Amazing Spider-Man #39, the adventurous “silent” issue).
ICv2 also notes how a book like this underscores a lot of the problems school and other libraries face in attempting to provide age-appropriate material to a wide variety of age groups. I certainly know I can’t keep track of all the different Spider-Man titles, let alone figure out what’s appropriate for my kids. I imagine it must be equally tough if not more so for your average school librarian.
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