It was the cover art that launched a thousand headlines. A variant cover to Spider-Woman #1 about three relaunches ago, by Italian artist Milo Manara famed for his portrayal of women. First highlighted by Bleeding Cool as being something of note on the 19th of August 2014, it exploded across all known media.
On the 20th of August, Slate ran with "This Week In Butts". io9 reported "Check Out Spider-Woman #1, Starring Spider-Woman's Ass", Vox led with "Spider-Woman isn't good for women when she looks like this" and followed up on the 25th of August with "Why Marvel gave us a sexualized Spider-Woman no one asked for", Heavy Metal followed up with 13 parodies of the cover. While on November 19th, Time Magazine added "Marvel Is Actually Going to Publish That Sexist Spider-Woman Cover".
When eventually published, it was a little more muted, with a strategically placed logo, but it received a huge amount of commentary, replication and parody, and became a focal point regarding the portrayal of women in comic books. And the original artwork is now up for auction from Heritage Auctions.
Here's what the listing has to say.
Milo Manara Spider-Woman # 1 Original Variant Cover (Marvel, 2014).We present to you THE variant cover of the master Milo Manara who created the controversy and caused so much ink to flow when it was released, this Spider-Woman cannot go unnoticed. A past master in the representation of feminine sensuality, the artist gives us a painting of an aesthetic with perfect curves. Playing with the brush, this virtuoso succeeds in light and dark areas in varying the intensity of the light over the entire painting. Enjoy the smoothness of the face, the colors and details of the hair, all doing the character justice. A piece by "the man with perfect women" who has definitely made its entry into Pop Culture. Watercolor and India ink on Bristol paper with an image area of 56 x 76 cm. In Perfect Condition.
It currently has bids of $3000 with 22 days to go, ending on the 30th of September, part of the 2020 October 3 – 4 European Comic Art Also Featuring Comics and Animation Signature Auction – Dallas # 7237 auction listing.