Spider-Woman variant cover
Erotic artist Milo Manara's variant cover of Spider-Woman #1 has met with fierce reactions from fans. colebrax/twitter

Marvel Comics provoked outrage recently by revealing a variant cover of Spider-Woman drawn by a renowned erotic artist Milo Manara.

The image received heavy criticism from fans and comic book enthusiasts.

"The (physically impossible?) pose – bottom up – is familiar to anyone who has read erotic comic books," wrote Time magazine. "I get it: superheroes wear spandex and a lot of excitable teenage boys read these comic books. But this cover takes the sex-factor to a new extreme… A male hero would never be placed in the same physical position."

Here's what fans tweeted about the cover:

Writing on Tumblr, Tom Brevoort, the senior vice president of publishing for Marvel Comics, responded to a fan question about the uproar.

Brevoort said that "the people who are upset about that cover have a point, at least in how the image relates to them".

However, he added that Manara has been "working as a cartoonist since 1969, and what he does hasn't materially changed in all that time. So when we say 'Manara cover', his body of work indicates what sort of thing he's going to do."