Newsarama: How about the Heroes for Hire #13? This has caused some controversy of its own, with some people likening it to a very unsavory recurring element in some more adult-themed manga?
Joe Quesada: This one I can answer to. First, I think people are reading way too much into that cover than was ever intended. I heard terms such as “tentacle rape” being thrown around when that in no way is what’s happening, nor does it happen in the book. Those tentacles are the arms of the Brood who appears in the issue and is a major story point, the Brood have tentacles, sorry about that.
Secondly, the concept for that cover, soup to nuts came from a female artist.
Also, HFH is a book that features two strong, lead female protagonist who kick major ass; somehow folks have forgotten to focus on that.
Deflecting blame onto artist.
Deflecting criticism by pointing out the artist is a woman. A typical dodge when art is demeaning and done by a woman is to blame her for the published content, or to say it makes it all right.
Ignoring the criticism that the characters are NOT depicted as strong on the cover, but hurt and passive. Black Cat is having her right breast fondled. She has what looks like semen on her cleavage. They're not fighting the brood, Joe.
Not taking the heat, as you should, for approving the cover.
I call b.s. on you not about knowing about tentacle rape. Even my 14-year-old daughter knows about tentacle rape, and she didn't learn about it from this cover.
Even if you didn't, Joe, someone at Marvel did (for example, the artist also does a book with C.B. Cebulski at Image, and I guarantee you Cebulski did, he's worked with Japanese creators for some time. Sana sure knew about it). If you're not lying, you sure knew after.
Come on, Joe, you really telling me you didn't look at the fluid on Black Cat's breasts and go, "Sana...? That kinda looks like spooge. We should probably get rid of the spooge."
Can you imagine someone at Marvel not going, "Uh, hey, Chief...?"
Last, Joe, this book is rated as being appropriate for 9 and up. Do you really believe this is appropriate for a nine-year-old?
Was it really so hard to say, "We went over the line. It was a bad call. We're pulling the cover."
Joe, you didn't answer to anything. Marvel deserves its shrinking market, and its constituency, you've made it what it is.
For the rest of you, here's screen caps of the current rating of Heroes for Hire #13, and Marvel's explanation of same: