Earlier this week, we brought you a look at a pieces by popular cover artist Greg Horn, in which a ridiculously cleavage-y Catwoman lapped up milk from a bowl in an alley on her hands and knees while making constant, genuinely disturbing eye contact with the viewer, no matter where you were in the room. Reactions among the staff were pretty mixed -- assuming you consider eyebrow-raising disapproval and jaw-dropping disbelief to be different feelings -- but really, it's not really anything new. Over the course of his career in comics, Horn's done enough pieces that fall squarely in the realm of the bizarre that we could fill up an entire article with 'em.
And today, that's exactly what we're doing, with a look back at 7 of Greg Horn's Most Dubious Drawings!
Before we go any further, I do want to point out that I don't actually think Horn is necessarily a bad artist. His work tends to look a little too photo-referenced and plastic for my taste, but more often than not, he turns in perfectly fine work. And then sometimes he drops something on the world that just boggles the mind.
Case in point:
#7: Emma Frost, Draw Back Your Bow
At first glance, this is about as baseline as you're going to get from a Greg Horn cover. Sure, it certainly depicts a woman who would actually have to put on more clothes to be considered scantily clad and she's pushing her rack together for ultimate cleavage potential, but to be fair, it's Emma Frost. Considering that her first costume consisted solely of panties, a corset, a cape and boots, I'm going to go ahead and say that exploitative sexuality is part and parcel of her character at this point.
The problem was that this cover wasn't for a book about the current version of the character, it was for a book that was focused on Emma Frost as a teenager dealing with first getting her powers and dealing with family problems that was ostensibly marketed to a younger female audience. And yet, here we are, with a woman in thigh-high vinyl boots with her legs spread so wide that you expect a Thighmaster to be flying straight at you.
Again, in all fairness, that's not exactly Horn's fault -- he didn't sneak into the Marvel offices and swap out this piece for what was originally intended to be there -- but it doesn't help matters that this is pretty much what every cover looks like for the book's first seven issues.
#6. She-Hulk And The Unnameable Horror From Beyond
While that last one might not be Horn's fault, there's no getting around it on this one. Horn tends to be at his best when he's doing fun, old-school pin-up style stuff, and that's the tactic he takes with most of his She-Hulk covers, highlighting the "sensational" aspect of Oh my God what is going on with that horse?!
Holy Cats, that thing should be the mascot for the Uncanny Valley. I think we've all learned a lesson here today, and that is that if you're drawing, say, Donald Duck, you can have a horse checking out a sexy green lady with absolutely no problem. If, however, you're drawing a shiny, super-photo-realistic pinup, however, you're going to end up with the creepiest thing on the planet Earth.
#5. The One Time Photo-Referencing Porn Stars In Comics Is Acceptable
I'm just going to come right out and say it: Jenna Jameson's Shadow Hunter, the comic published by the short-lived Virgin Comics that starred a character based on "creator" and adult film star Jenna Jameson named -- I kid you not -- "Jezzerie Jaden," was the comic Greg Horn was born to draw.
The image of Jameson -- excuse me, Jezzerie -- plays right to Horn's pin-up strengths, although I have to say, when you have a comic with the words "Jenna Jameson" on the cover and she's drawn unzipping her top, you're setting your audience up for some major disappointment once they get to the inside of your PG-13 comic. Then again, maybe being the one place where you couldn't see Jenna Jameson naked actually gave it some novelty value.
But that's beside the point, which is that the two "demons" in the background are somehow drawn more realistically than the shiny character based on an actual, real person in the foreground. And even their horns and claws look like cheap props from the Halloween store.
#4. Nylon is Extremely Flammable
If you've never read any of the fine comics produced by Zenescope, then just look at the image above again, from the cover of Salem's Daughter. Congratulations: You have now seen pretty much everything they have to offer.
Anyway, it's been quite a few years since I had to read The Crucible in high school, but I'm reasonably certain that the practice of burning women at the stake for witchcraft went out of favor well before the advent of the black lace thong. Either way, the expression on this young lady's face isn't exactly what you'd expect from someone being set on fire. It's more like "Yay, this rollercoaster is FUN!" or "Somebody scream real loud if you want free shots here at Ladies Night!"
And here we have the picture that started us all off, in which Catwoman -- or "She-Cat" as she is mysteriously referred to in the newspaper in the background -- is lapping up a dish of milk in an alleyway, and it is the picture that just keeps on giving.
The more we look at it, the more questions we have. That's clearly supposed to be Batman in the background, but as David Brothers pointed out, he's black. But if it's not supposed to be Bruce Wayne, then why go so specific as to draw him in his current Batman Inc.-era costume? And if he is Batman, then why doesn't Catwoman look anything at all like Catwoman or wear Catwoman's actual costumes? Is "She-Cat" meant to be someone other than Catwoman, and if so, why is Batman trapping her with a dish of milk? Why does the whole page have the perspective of a fisheye lens skateboard video from 1994? Why is there a water tower on top of a garden shed? Why is She-Cat balancing on her hands and nipples, with her knee just straight up hanging in mid-air? Why is her torso impossibly long to allow for her butt to be that high in the air? [Editor's note: Why are her armpits inexplicably sparkling?] Just... just... why?
And then there's the obvious exploitation and the fact that it looks for all the world like Batman has lured her into position so that he can have his vigilante way with her right there in the gutter.
The only possible explanation I can think of is that this is meant to be a reference to a scene from Chris Rock and Louis CK's extremely underrated, 2001 film Pootie Tang:
I mean, it's a long shot, but it's the only thing that could possibly explain the saucer, the positioning and the characters, and it has the added bonus of letting me imagine a finer world in which Lance Crouther played Batman. The perspective and anatomy, however... you're on your own trying to figure that one out.
#2. Elektra and Scarlett In: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name
For a second I wasn't sure if the editors here at ComicsAlliance were going to let me put up a picture of two women orgasmically scissoring, but apparently this was originally done for -- surprise! -- Wizard Magazine, and they're actually supposed to be fighting.
Yeah, I know. I'm not buying it either.
#1. Boot Camp Power Girl
And finally, we have another one of Horn's new prints, and at first, it just seems like a pretty simple joke: Power Girl can't do a push-up because her ridiculously enormous breasts are in the way. And to his credit, Horn gives Power Girl a much more expressive face than the usual slack-jawed porn-star throes-of-passion looks he gives everyone else (see above) which helps add some character to it.
And then you start thinking about it -- unless you're the kind of person who just goes "boobs" and moves on, in which case you're already done with this article -- and then come the questions. Why is Power Girl doing push-ups in the mud while being yelled at by a drill sergeant whose hat seems to exist somewhere near but not quite on his head? Was Horn doing a tribute to those old Silver Age Superman stories where Superman had to join the army for eight pages, or was it the far more likely scenario that some dude commissioned him to draw "Power Girl laying down in the mud" and Horn had to wrap his own head around just why that could happen?
And then you hit the background guys.
Once again we are sailing for the Uncanny Valley as a photorealistic creep is aroused to the point of both tears and having his hat literally blow off his head by the sight of muddy pushups. I'll admit that the other guy's growing on me, though. It's nice to see someone that excited, even if he's that super-stoked about seeing a woman being yelled at as she's made to writhe in the dirt.
As for the other guy -- hey, wait a second. I've seen that anatomy somewhere before!
Oh snap, Horn included The Rob Liefeld's version of Private Steve Rogers in the background! Well, there's one thing you can say for this thing: Horn knows exactly how to make his work look better by comparison.
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