Has any Marvel or DC comic ever shown graphic nudity?

  • The release of the Deadpool movie marks the first R-rated movie based off a "mainstream" comic character in more than a decade. Although it has been wildly successful, initially there was a lot of skepticism about releasing an adult-targeted movie adapted from what are typically PG-rated comics. To get an R rating a movie must include things that are just not seen in mainstream comics: intense violence, vulgar language, and graphic nudity.

    I know that Marvel has, in the past, experimented with R-rated comics via their MAX line, of which I have only read Alias. In included a generous helping of vulgar language and very strong sexual content, but stopped just short of showing e.g. Jessica Jones' nude body. This has me curious if that was a line that Marvel (and DC, for that matter) has ever crossed before. Unfortunately, none of the MAX imprint is available on Marvel Unlimited, so I can't easily check.

    Has Marvel or DC ever published a comic (under any of their imprints -- MAX or Vertigo count) that included graphic nudity of any kind?

    Since this question is inspired by an R-rated movie I'll define "graphic nudity" the same way it's generally defined by movie and TV ratings systems, as:

    • Female character with visibly and fully exposed breasts, or
    • Any character with visibly exposed genitals.
    • The nudity must be of a "sexual nature" (the MPAA permits "brief nudity" of a "non-sexual nature" in a PG-13 film.) IMO this rules out the obvious Dr. Manhatten full-frontal scene.

    (In particular, exposed buttocks do not count, as those are apparently tame enough for network television.)

    Note that I'm not talking about characters that are obviously naked in-universe, but where the artist has used shadow/environment/etc to maintain modesty. I'm aware of quite a few of those (e.g. the famous recalled Elektra issue, the "naked Thor" panel, etc.) Rather, I'm asking about panels where a character's nudity is clearly and unambiguously shown in the panel.


    true, but *that* scene doesn't have frontal nudity, while the scene with frontal nudity is non-sexual. That's exactly the kind of "skirting the edge" that comics do all the time without *quite* crossing the line.

    Howard the Duck came close once or twice, IIRC.

    Supreme Power on the MAX imprint. I can't exactly remember the specifics though. Someone can take it for their answer.

    Uh, if memory serves, you see Laurie's naked breasts while she is having sex with Dreiberg for the first time on the couch. Later in Archie its in shadow I think.

    I don't remember whether it actually showed nudity or if certain body parts were obscured, but I seem to remember a fairly graphic "encounter" between Tony Stark and Black Widow at one point

    Curse your name and avatar change! I JUST NOW REALIZED who asked this question. Come back to chat, dammit. I miss you.

    Pervs. Total pervs.

  • Batman: The Killing Joke (DC)

    In Alan Moore's graphic novel, Batman: The Killing Joke, Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl) is paralyzed when the Joker shoots her. He then strips her naked, photographs her, and tortures her father Jim Gordon by forcing him to look at the photos.

    On one page, we see a number of the photos, including one in which her breasts are visible (NSFW link to the page in question, along with the original, more graphic version, which the book's artist, Brian Bolland, was forced to tone down).

    Censored version:

    enter image description here

    Since the book was published, there has been some debate over whether the Joker merely photographed Barbara, or whether he also sexually assaulted her. Either way, the graphic novel is brilliantly written - among the best Batman stories ever told - but it is also very disturbing.

    Watchmen (Vertigo/DC)

    Another Alan Moore masterpiece, which has a number of scenes that might qualify:

    • Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II nude, just after a sex scene (NSFW link)

      Censored version:

    enter image description here

    • Dr. Manhattan nude, presumably having sex with Silk Spectre II (NSFW link)

    • The Comedian and a partially undressed Silk Spectre I - the Comedian is about to rape Spectre when Hooded Justice walks in and beats the snot out of the Comedian (possibly NSFW link 1, 2)

    The Spectre, #9 (DC)

    There are a couple of panels of a nude woman in a clearly sexual context (NSFW links 1, 2)

    Censored version:

    enter image description here


    enter image description here

    Hyperion/Supreme Power (MAX/Marvel)

    Various issues contain nudity and sexual content, including this issue of Supreme Power (NSFW link). Thanks to Radhil for mentioning this in comments.

    Censored version:

    enter image description here


    You said that Deadpool was the first R-rated movie based on a mainstream comic book character you are aware of; other such movies include most adaptations of Punisher, as well as Blade, and an R-rated director's cut of Daredevil (not to mention the upcoming Wolverine 3, and - in light of the success of Deadpool, probably a slew of other movies in the near future). Less mainstream comic book movies with an R-rating include The Crow, Kick Ass, Watchmen, Spawn, a couple of adaptations of Judge Dredd, Tank Girl, 300, Sin City, V for Vendetta, and From Hell, to name a few. Of these, you may have noticed, several (Watchmen, 300, V for Vendetta, and From Hell) are based on Alan Moore comics.

    Yeah, I didn't look all that hard at the *Watchmen* panel at first, it looked like the shadows were there to maintain modesty, but apparently not. Though the *Killing Joke* panel is the one that most surprises me -- Batman's a pretty mainstream character to have something like that show up.

    @Mike - I was like 9-10 when I read it. I was NOT expecting to see that in a Batman comic. :)

    I honestly didn't realize *Blade* was rated R, I don't remember them being particularly vulgar or graphic or even glaringly violent, though I guess there was a lot of blood.

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