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Marvel Editor in Chief on 'Spider-Woman' Cover: "I Apologize for the Mixed Messaging"

"We would not have published this as the main cover to the book," says Axel Alonso

Spider Woman Manara - P 2014
Milo Manara/Marvel Entertainment

It was a cover that saw Marvel Entertainment widely condemned — and now Marvel’s editor-in-chief has apologized publicly for Milo Manara’s alternate cover for its new Spider-Woman launch. Or, at least, he's apologized for the way in which people have perceived the cover.

“We want everyone — the widest breadth of fans — to feel welcome to read Spider-Woman,” Axel Alonso told Comic Book Resources, the site that originally posted the controversial cover, adding, “We apologize — I apologize — for the mixed messaging that this variant caused.”

Alonso described the Manara cover as “a limited edition variant … aimed at collectors,” and added that Marvel “would not have published this as the main cover to the book.” He went on to characterize the cover as “a collector's item that is set aside or special ordered by completists — and it doesn't reflect the sensibility or tone of the series any more than the Skottie Young variant [which portrays the character as a child] or Rocket and Groot Spider-Woman variants.”

Addressing wider charges of sexism, Alonso admitted that Marvel was “far from perfect, but we’re trying,” pointing to the company’s “industry high of around 30 percent female in editorial group, about 20 percent of our line is comics starring women, and our Senior Manager of Talent, Jeanine Schaefer, actively looks to bring more female writers and artists into the fold each month.”

“We always listen to fans’ concerns so we can do better by them,” Alonso said. “If you open up the book, you'll see that this series has everything in common with recent launches we've done, like Black Widow and Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk and Captain Marvel. It's about the adventures of two women that have complete agency over their lives, and that are defined by what they do, not how they look.”