Sexualized 'Powerpuff Girls' comic book variant cover gets pulled: Was it too racy?

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Did a new IDW Publishing variant cover for "The Powerpuff Girls #6" oversexualize its three leading ladies? According to some critics in the comics world, yes.

The Mimi Yoon illustration for an issue set to ship in February shows Blossom, Buttercup and Bubbles in skimpy, tight variations of their outfits that show off their buxom chests. Buttercup in particular is quite a far cry from her "Powerpuff Girls" Cartoon Network counterpart. After a negative reaction from fans, ICv2 (via Comic Book Resources) learned that the variant version won't be distributed in stores.

According to the licensing arm of Cartoon Network, the cover was meant to be a special edition for comic shop regulars instead of the regular public. "This particular variant cover for 'The Powerpuff Girls #6' from IDW was done in the artist's signature style and was intended to be released as a collectible item for comic book fans," Cartoon Network Enterprises explains. "We recognize some fans' reaction to the cover and, as such, will no longer be releasing it at comic book shops."

IDW's Vice President of Marketing, Dirk Wood, blamed Cartoon Network for the call for the sexy Puffs. "That was actually a Cartoon Network mandated cover, by an artist of their choosing," Wood writes in a Facebook comment. "I think they were thinking of it more along the lines of 'female empowerment' than the kind of thing you guys are talking about, but certainly, we're sensitive to the issues here."

For her own part, Yoon wasn't too taken with the backlash. "One opinionated dog barks (i'm fine with that)... and the rest of the pack barks 'pretending' to know what they're barking about (hate those idiots)... tsk tsk tsk," she writes on her Facebook.

Meanwhile, the Powerpuff Girls recently returned to Cartoon Network in a special called "Dance Pantsed," which featured Ringo Starr. The episode, which aired on Jan. 20, was the first time a new "Powerpuff Girls" premiered on Cartoon Network since 2005.

Photo/Video credit: Cartoon Network/IDW