SANI SATYA PRATIWI, 2013 Women’s Portrayals in the Comic Books Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia | |


5.1 Conclusions

The study is conducted to investigate how heroines are portrayed in the superhero comic books published by DC Comics and Marvel. This study is also geared toward answering the meaning of the portrayals found in the comics. In analyzing the comics, this study uses two approaches; visual analysis and verbal text analysis. The visual analysis applies the theory of reading images visual grammar, proposed by van Leeuwen 2006 as the primary frame work and the visual analysis coding sheet proposed by van Domelen 1998 as the secondary framework. While in analyzing the verbal text, systemic functional linguistics proposed by Halliday 2004 has been employed. Based on the analysis of the visual texts, the study finds that heroines in the superhero comic books are portrayed as erotic women. Their erotism is revealed by the pose they make; displaying breasts gratuitously, displaying butt shots and spread- legs crotch shots. The erotism is also portrayed by revealing breasts that are larger than waist, the width of each breast that is wider than head and thigh that is longer than total torso plus head height. Leather and spandex are cloth material mostly worn by the heroines because this material can reveal the outline of the heroines’ bodies. In SANI SATYA PRATIWI, 2013 Women’s Portrayals in the Comic Books Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia | | several images, these two kinds of cloth material make each breast of the heroines less covered. The visual texts analysis also reveals the tragic and mysterious lives of the heroines, which are represented through the black outfit they always wear. The narrative processes used by the heroines in the comics are actor, reacter and phenomena. While the sizes of frame used are long shot and close shot. The analysis of verbal texts finds that the heroines are also portrayed as confident, smart, impressive, brave, sexy, fragile, humiliating and greedy ones. Those portrayals mentioned above reveal that the proportion of the women’s body especially the heroines’, are not realistic. Those ‘fictitious’ erotic bodies and poses are built to attract men’s attention, which means that women in the comics are presented as sex symbols. On the other hand, the black colors of their superhero outfits symbolize their tragic and mysterious lives. While the soft colors of their alter ego’s outfits reveal that they can have more peaceful lives when they become ordinary women. The women in the comics are also portrayed as the strong ones. This is revealed by the role of reacter they play. This role presents the women who are able to do ‘impossible’ things, such as flying and fighting woman or even man villains with their own super power. However, the role of phenomena is rarely played. This role is mostly played when the women play the character as the alter ego. When a woman acts as the alter ego, they tend to be weaker and more fragile. The portrayals above reveal that no matter how powerful women are depicted in the comic books, they are actually still ‘oppressed’. The ‘oppression’ is in the form SANI SATYA PRATIWI, 2013 Women’s Portrayals in the Comic Books Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia | | of they being described as having gratuitous breasts, tiny waist, gratuitous butt, the skintight outfits they wear, etc. Hence this becomes the object of men’s fantasy. To sum up, heroines in comics are portrayed in two ways; negative and positive ways. The negative ways of portraying the heroines can be seen from how they become sex symbols, how they humiliate the villains and how greedy they are. While the positive ways can be seen from how brave and impressive they are in doing something, such as doing their job in the office or fighting the villain.

5.2 Suggestions