Comic media is currently experiencing a renaissance. Things like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and films like Wonder Woman have managed to introduce famous comic characters to people that would otherwise never known about these characters. And, of course, we have more comic adaptations on TV than you can shake a bow or a cape at. Hopefully, this will translate to more new fans checking out the comics that these characters come from. Typically, comes are a family-friendly form of entertainment. This is why so many longtime comic fans eventually pass their collections off to younger brothers and sisters.
However, there are some comics out there that you're not going to be able to easily pass on to younger siblings simply because your parents won't let you. One look at some of these covers and they won't just keep you from passing your stash... they'll start questioning just what the hell kind of filth you've been reading all these years. Obviously, you don't want to get on mom and dad's bad side. Fortunately, there's an easy guide to the comics you need to keep away from your parents' prying eyes. Just keep scrolling to check out these 15 comic covers you hope your parents nevr see!
15 QUINN IN THE MIDDLE
Harley Quinn's transformation into a desirable icon was relatively slow. In fact, her original costume was downright modest. But years of Arkham Asylum game appearances as well as the Suicide Squad movie have ensured that she is always drawn scantily-clad. However, this cover in particular is one that you'll want to jam under your bed (but only to keep it from your parents, of course).
In this cover, our centerpiece is Harley, whose “costume” is basically just her underwear. She's joined by a Poison Ivy who is practically bursting out of her leaves and a leather-clad Catwoman about to crack her whip. Even for the most pure-hearted reader, it's tough to not look at this cover and imagine that any “BANG! POW!” action in here won't be involving Batman or Robin!
14 THE LOVE WHO SPIED ME
Black Widow's default mode is “steamy.” After all, she's an exotic assassin turned hero who saves the world in skintight leather. However, there are both subtle and not-so-subtle elements to this cover that make it even steamier than most of her appearances.
First, there's her costume itself. The shiny sheen of it makes it look more like skintight latex than her typical leather, which is already likely to rev some readers' motors. But we also get a fun lesson in contrasts: Black Widow is fierce and firing her guns in front of a billboard of a sexy, demure woman. This cover underscores that Black Widow's sexiness comes in part from how different she is from stereotypical comic women, which is emphasized by the billboard text: “now that's what I call a woman!”
13 LEAVES WITH NO DRESSING
Every artist approaches Poison Ivy differently. Some opt for a more conservative appearance for this villain. For instance, in Batman: The Animated Series, she clearly has a proper costume, and it's simply colored green. In other appearances, things get more skimpy: in the Arkham games, she gets a tight shirt and underwear as her only clothing. For this cover, though, she has leaves and...well...nothing else!
As something intended to be tantalizing, the art keeps things rather tasteful. Everything is hidden by her hair, leaves, or simply the position of her legs. However, none of this leaves much to the imagination of the reader, and all it takes is one look at this cover to understand how easily Ivy is able to ensnare her victims into her trap.
12 FIFTY SHADES OF THEMYSCIRA
The things that can make a comic book cover naughty are often the little details. For instance, there's nothing all that weird about Wonder Woman being restrained. Somewhere between our culture decades ago and the kinks of Wonder Woman creator William Marston, Wonder Woman being tied up by her enemies pretty much became a running gag.
In this volume, comic icon Grant Morrison is setting out to redefine Wonder Woman. And while it may seem like putting her in chains is old hat, the cover certainly makes it look like Wonder Woman is enjoying the experience. In our post-Fifty Shades of Gray world, it looks like Wonder Woman is about to let us know of her unconventional desires... which is reason enough to keep this one away from your parents!
11 A REAL BUTTON-MASHER
Many of the covers on this list were intentionally drawn to be eye-raising and provocative. The artists know what they are doing, the readers know what they are getting, and so on. However, this issue of Street Fighter Legends: Sakura is weird simply because of how incongruous it is! It's a cover that is simultaneously making no effort to be sexy but nonetheless will make your folks squirm.
There's nothing overly prurient about the fighters' poses or anything that provocative about how the two are framed. Nonetheless, it's clear that Sakura's head and hands are in danger of getting crushed by the bosom of her teammate. In fact, that bosom takes up about a quarter of the cover... and even in the world of comics, that's pretty damn excessive!
10 CAPTAIN OUT OF UNIFORM
Much has been made of the redesign of Ms. Marvel into Captain Marvel. Some fans felt there was no need to mess with a classic design while others felt that it was tough to take a hero with so little clothes very seriously. Unfortunately, this is the kind of cover that really proves the second group is correct!
We get the predictable amount of skin, including lots of leg and thigh. The centerpiece, though, is clearly meant to be Ms. Marvel's chest, which seems to be as wide across as her upper body is tall. Additionally, her left leg looks to be about as thick as her entire torso! Overall, the weird proportions would have made anyone look on this cover, but the weird proportions in an effort to look provocative really push this over the top (and under the bed).
9 STARRY NIGHT
Carol Ferris is a character who is a study in contrasts. In her day-to-day portrayal, she often comes across as one of DC's most progressive female characters: she's a take-charge businesswoman, a capable leader, and someone who can effortlessly put Green Lantern in his place. And then there's the times that she's Star Sapphire.
Wonder Woman is portrayed as more of a throwback here under the guise of Ferris' alter ego of Star Sapphire: she's obsessed with love and drawn in a very provocative way. And that's exactly what we get on this cover: the position of her hands pretty much guarantees you'll focus on her chest, and the fingers on her left hand help carry your eyes to her midriff. Good luck explaining to your parents (or girlfriend, for that matter) how progressive Wonder Woman really is!
8 THE (FAN) KILLING JOKE
Controversy is a relative thing. For instance, the provocative nature of many of these covers didn't keep thousands of fans from buying the comics. Every now and then, though, an artist pushes things too far, and that's exactly what happened with this variant Batgirl cover.
The cover is meant to be a throwback to The Killing Joke...specifically, to when Joker shoots and cripples Barbara Gordon before stripping her and taking pictures of her. Writers like Gail Simone spent years rehabilitating her into a popular superhero again, so this cover ended up seeming like a throwback in all the wrong ways. DC ended up not selling this variant to the masses, though some cover copies still leaked out onto venues such as eBay.
7 TRY HER ON FOR SAIS
Depending on who is writing the character, we see varying amounts of Catholic guilt from our hero Daredevil. Part of him wants to be pious and meek, and part of him likes to fight thugs and romance dangerous women like Elektra. However, this is a cover that makes us all feel a little guilty by focusing on Daredevil's dangerous, doomed, and very easy on the eyes lover.
Elektra has her arms crossed while holding her sais, but this does nothing to cover her chest. In fact, the pose and position help to emphasize her assets, while the downward facing sais draw your eyes in that direction like arrows. Throw in the fact that she's literally dripping wet, and this looks more like it belongs on the cover of a particular kind of magazine rather than a comic cover.
6 BAD GIRLS DO IT WELL
As mentioned earlier, we see a lot of Harley Quinn covers. The reason for this is usually tied to the character having very little clothing on. By those standards, the corested Quinn here is practically overdressed. However, there's more to her look than skimpy clothing.
First, we DO still get tasteful amounts of skin, including her midriff, legs, and back. Quinn is handcuffed and being led away by a police officer, but as she winks at the reader, we are meant to understand that she is completely in control here and seems to enjoy being handcuffed. This either tells you a lot about Harley Quinn's fighting abilities or about her bedroom preferences. Either way, your folks will likely think this is some kind of women in prison comic, so we'd recommend hiding it.
5 THE PETER PARKER SECRET COLLECTION
People are used to seeing very tight clothing in a Spider-Man comic. However, that clothing is usually on Spidey himself, with the webhead wearing head-to-toe skintight spandex. This cover puts the focus on Mary Jane instead of Spider-Man, and it's enough to remind everyone why she's a freakin' supermodel!
In fact, the cover puts a literal spotlight on her in the form of Spider-Man's Spidey-signal. It helps us to see that she is basically wearing Spider-Man themed underwear, so we get a great deal of focus on her midriff, bare arms, and skin above her knee-high socks. It's basically a juxtaposition of a superhero comic and an old cheesecake pin-up, which is adorable... but not the kind of adorable that is fun to explain to anyone else.
4 THE COMFY CATWOMAN
Catwoman has always been a very sensual character. In fact, if you count Batman bending telling her “quiet or papa spank,” she has been weirdly exploited since her very first appearance. However, this is the kind of cover that sends everyone running to their room (for one reason or another).
First, the cover leaves us with no doubt that Catwoman is getting undressed: she has removed her cowl and goggles, taken off her shoes, and seems to have started unzipping her catsuit. The entire pose draws attention to how she is bursting out of her suit, and in case you weren't already looking, she is pouring diamonds out in a way that draws your eyes to her chest. Throw in her sultry smile, and this is a cover that you'll want to keep for your eyes only!
3 THAT'S NOT FRANCES
Deadpool comics usually have predictable covers. They involve the Merc with a Mouth engaging in bizarre comedy, surreal violence, or sometimes both at the same time. In this case, though, we get an unexpectedly sexy cover that Deadpool manages to ALMOST stay completely out of.
In fact, Deadpool only appears on this cover as a tattoo on our mysterious woman. She is drawn in an ultra-realistic style and in profile, letting us get a good glimpse of both sets of big guns. Ultimately, her face sells the cover: she is sexy, confident, and dangerous, all at the same time. This basically looks like the cover to one of those raunchier motorcycle magazines your folks wouldn't let you buy when you were young, so you probably shouldn't show this to them.
2 THE NAKED SHE-HULK
When it comes to vintage She-Hulk comics, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. That's because the creative team liked to playfully poke fun at their reader's desire to see more green skin in every issue. Sure, it's funny and “meta,” but you still don't want your folks to find you with this book!
As the cheeky She-Hulk covers go, this one is particularly bad. Her writer's hand reaches in from off panel and demands that she hand over the newspaper (her only piece of remaining clothing) because “we've got twenty-two pages to fill,” all while She-Hulk nervously refuses. You can try to make an argument that this was all in good fun once upon a time, but now it's just gross to look at.
1 BACK IN BLACK
These particular comic covers usually have different varieties of subtlety. Sometimes, the provocative nature is understated, or maybe tied into the story in some meaningful way. This cover, however, is all about enticing readers with Black Cat's assets, and towards that end, it holds nothing back.
Black Cat's skin-tight clothing, much like Catwoman or Black Widow, is sexy on any given day. On this cover, though, she is bent over in a way meant to explicitly show off to any readers deciding whether to buy this volume or not. However, she is also bent at such an angle to make her behind jut out provocatively. Your eyes are essentially drawn from her hair and face to other areas before you've even read the title of the comic... which is a sure sign you should hide this away from your parents if they walk by!