View Poll Results: Which Super physique do you prefer?

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  • BULKY: Old School Circus Strongman

    5 11.36%
  • DAD-BOD: 40 year old man with six pack drawn on his stomach

    5 11.36%
  • LEAN & TONED: Menís Fitness Cover Model with a cape

    28 63.64%
  • As long as his underwear is outside his tights, I donít care!

    6 13.64%
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  1. #1
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Default How bulky do you like your Superman?

    The earliest Superman was very much in the bulky circus strongman mold. As he aged, he developed a much more, shall we say, middle aged physique until Neal Adams slimmed him down considerably to the more lean muscular frame that emphasized beauty more than power.

    Currently, Ivan Reis seems to favor the Neal Adams style while Patrick Gleason tends to go for the circus strongman look. The pleas of hardcore Dad-Bod fans remain ignored by those heartless jackals running DC.

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    Whatever you consider this to be... I'd call it 'lean'.





    My preference is a Superman who is physically... perfect. Not too large and bulky like the Hulk, not too skinny... but an ideal body that could actually put on a suit and hide his physique as Clark Kent.


    So Ed Mcguiness' version is RIGHT out... as is Tim Sales'...

  3. #3
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post

    So Ed Mcguiness' version is RIGHT out... as is Tim Sales'...
    Yeah, McGuiness and Sale are definitely fans of the bulky look.

    That Jose Garcia Lopez art is closer to lean than bulky, I'd say.

  4. #4
    Incredible Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Ummh... this is the bulkiest I'll give him
    ACTION-SPECIAL-1-1.jpg

    This is too lean
    SUPERMAN-SPECIAL-1-1.jpg

    I lean more towards Will Conrad than Jorge Jimenez.
    A V-shape body is a must. I want some arms, a bit a bulk in his legs. So Jim Lee, Jose Luis, John Byrne type. Maybe Ivan Reis.

    I first want to say farmer type, but farmers have thin stringy muscle, and then I remember that Clark's alien physiology means his muscle isn't from natural farming. So next I want to say circus strongman,since that's the inspiration. I guess that's what he should look like, but it doesn't appeal to me. So fitness model it is.
    Last edited by Restingvoice; 06-08-2018 at 03:15 AM.

  5. #5
    Incredible Member Darkseid Is's Avatar
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    I'd say John Byrne's is pretty perfect. I guess that's lean but maybe it's somewhere in the middle.

  6. #6
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    I think there has to be another category for whatever the original Joe Shuster design is considered--

    In my mind, the Garcia-Lopez lean and toned look already has much more muscle definition and looks like a body builder. Whereas, in the early part of the 20th century, strong men didn't need to have such impressive physiques to look strong to the common people. And comic artists (especially inkers) didn't have the need to over-do the anatomical components.

    Wayne Boring redefined Superman and gave him that bulky look (but again Stan Kaye didn't have to ink every ripple on the body).

    But Curt Swan's Superman evolved so he had more definition than Shuster's but still wasn't cut from marble like Garcia-Lopez.

    While I like JLGL's Superman, it's too angular for me and I prefer the more rounded, softer dimensions of the Swan Superman.
    "I am a part of all that I have met"

  7. #7
    Incredible Member Darkseid Is's Avatar
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    For some reason, I like Batman to look like a tank and Superman to be more like Curt Swan's or John Byrne's. Maybe it's because Batman has to be intimidating.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    I like him lean but appreciate the aspects of all his physiques.

    When I was younger I used to prefer a slimmer look for him. Like Dean Cain or Reeve where the muscles are subtle and not bulging in your face. It somehow makes him seem more powerful because it’s more obvious that his strength isn’t coming from muscle mass but rather supernatural ability. That might be what I prefer now, though the broad chested farmhand look makes the shield look great.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member Jadeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Not too large and bulky like the Hulk, not too skinny... but an ideal body that could actually put on a suit and hide his physique as Clark Kent.
    This is the key thing for me. He should be able to pass for a normal guy as Clark. In costume, he should look more Greek statue than modern professional bodybuilder. It should be a physique obtainable, or almost obtainable, by a very dedicated guy without steroids. Idealized but not caricatured. As such, I like JLG-L and Swan. Steve Rude's version is pretty great, too. (I like Doc Shaner's as well, so MoS 2 was a treat.)

    I don't mind when artists draw him bulkier, but I don't like when they make him both huge and absurdly ripped. Big and stocky is OK, though not my preferred take.

    As a kid, I thought Christopher Reeve was too skinny. Even now, the George Reeves dadbod version looks more "Superman" to me. Cavill, on the other hand, looks good in the costume but is bigger than what I'd consider ideal for Clark.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeb View Post
    This is the key thing for me. He should be able to pass for a normal guy as Clark. In costume, he should look more Greek statue than modern professional bodybuilder. It should be a physique obtainable, or almost obtainable, by a very dedicated guy without steroids. Idealized but not caricatured. As such, I like JLG-L and Swan. Steve Rude's version is pretty great, too. (I like Doc Shaner's as well, so MoS 2 was a treat.)

    I don't mind when artists draw him bulkier, but I don't like when they make him both huge and absurdly ripped. Big and stocky is OK, though not my preferred take.

    As a kid, I thought Christopher Reeve was too skinny. Even now, the George Reeves dadbod version looks more "Superman" to me. Cavill, on the other hand, looks good in the costume but is bigger than what I'd consider ideal for Clark.
    Reeve, IMO, perfected his physique (and perhaps even his performance) in the third movie. Like a Swan image come to life in that one.

    My preferred physique for Superman varies. A good artist can make most physiques work for him. But, I guess I prefer burly without being TOO ripped. I don't need a visible six pack on him... But I'm fine when he does.

  11. #11
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Generally speaking I think Ordway pulled off the best looking Superman. A decent height but not so tall that his heavy frame looks unusual, weightlifter, old school heavyweight boxer, or football player type with very large and strong hands. Gives the impression that he's strong but in plain clothes just comes off as a normal guy who takes care of himself.

    But so much of that is style. Which changes by whim of the artist. Like Garcia Lopez has drawn Superman to look taller and leaner than that piece above.


    I love what Ed McGuinness does and think it suits Superman better than most (unlike for Batman, his size doesn't compromise stamina or maneuvering, giving him a free edge in physical threats) but really, it seems like he draws everyone the same.

    Tim Sale doesn't. I quite like massive, barrel necked Superman he does. That's a textbook big farmboy and probably the closest impression of what George Reeves brought to the table.

    Stuart Immonen brings very different looks whenever he chooses, but this is my favorite of his Superman depictions physique wise.


  12. #12
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    If Brian Bolland hadn't ended up restricting his work to just covers and if his Superman art wasn't mainly tributes to other artists like Swan, he probably would have emerged as one of the greatest Superman artists of all time.

    "I am a part of all that I have met"

  13. #13
    Mighty Member Jackalope89's Avatar
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    Needs Broly level muscles.



    (He's the really big guy holding up Goku)

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Dispenser Of Truth's Avatar
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    I went with dad bod in the model of Boring and Quitely - I'll never complain about a traditionally bulky Superman, but that feels to me more like Batman's territory, whereas Superman is just BIG. Though I'm definitely also good with lean in the way Routh was lean, to contrast the scale of his strength.
    You can follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, if more of my opinions sounds like something you'd like.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkseid Is View Post
    I'd say John Byrne's is pretty perfect. I guess that's lean but maybe it's somewhere in the middle.
    I agree. Byrne made him a little bigger but he just looked more like a muscular farm boy than a pro bodybuilder.


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