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  1. #1
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    Default Is Marvel Comics the new Barbie?

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/06/1...he-new-barbie/

    Honestly, I think the columnist was using Marvel comics as a catch-all for all superhero comics (because she later spoke about starting a campaign against DC comics).

    While I do agree that various body types should be reflected in comics (anyone can be bombarded by cosmic rays or get a Nova helmet), I don't agree with the assertion that people shouldn't aspire to look healthy. As someone that's had some ups and downs with their weight, I completely reject the argument that people attempting to find a healthy weight is in "vanity". That's complete rubbish considering the fact there's a direct correlation between health and weight.

    For my money, I don't see anything wrong with young men aspiring to look like Superman or Batman. I don't support people starving themselves or whatever but there are healthy ways for people to achieve a healthy height/weight balance.

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Raye's Avatar
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    I do think more body types should be represented, not just heavier people, but thin, tall, short, whatever. Variety in personal style, too, we should have characters representing different cultures and trends in their dress/hair/body mods. Just.... variety. I don't think there is any ill intent or anything. Artists tend to end up with a few body templates that they recycle, because they are on a deadline and it's just what comes out, most comic art also tends to be stylized, which leads to more exaggerated body types. But I think there should be more effort to represent a variety of body types. And to be fair, there have been moves in that direction, with like, Squirrel Girl being depicted a lot more curvy, they brought back Big Bertha (I know, the book failed, but they tried), and a few others like (ignoring just Marvel for a moment since this one is a fairly important one) the Faith books. However, superhero comics do, like action movies and similar do, have a built in excuse *to an extent* since the characters lead extremely active, athletic lives, and it will lead to the characters being naturally more fit. But, i mean, it's not like there is only one 'athletic' body type, either:



    *edited to add - also, as sometimes happens when this type of discussion comes up, I think we need to not paint people who are thin/fit and being an "unrealistic" body type. I am 105 lbs, give or take a couple pounds, have been since high school, it's just in my genes, same as being on the heavy side is in some other people's genes. I take after my dad, and his side of the family, with a couple exceptions, tends to be very thin and able to lose weight more easily than most. Genetics, that's all it is. And from my perspective, when this topic of discussion comes up, people often over react, and say that people like me, or people who go to the gym and get ripped just cus they want to for whatever reason, should be hidden, that we are not "realistic" ideals, because some people really would have no hope of achieving that body type without doing something dangerously unhealthy. (and yes, I do realize that some models in particular do starve themselves, and I am not saying that sort of thing should be encouraged) But being 105 lbs is perfectly realistic *for me*, I am healthy at that weight and it is what my body just naturally tends towards, and I should not be made to feel guilty for what I look like any more than a heavier person should.
    Last edited by Raye; 06-14-2017 at 08:51 AM.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Of Atlantis's Avatar
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    I personally don't feel it too outrageous to have the vast majority of superheroes possess superhuman looking bodies. They are fictional superheroes after all, and should in many cases look impossibly fit.

    I do however understand the arguments, especially in regards to how women are sometimes portrayed, that some portrayals go too far in regards to looking too sexual. Looking too fit though? I don't think holds as much weight.

    Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 11.21.33 AM.jpg

    Tell me honestly, that Gamora's title of "deadliest woman in the galaxy", a title based on her physical capabilities and skill based merits, would be believable if she looked like the doctored image to the right.
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  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Drops Of Venus's Avatar
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    There IS nothing wrong with aspiring to be fit or looking like a superhero, BUT she's not lying when she says that the standard of how a ''proper'' superhero looks like CAN be pretty harmful to some people who are psychologically inclined to have body issues, specially young people who are being bombed with those images on a daily basis. So I can see where the author's coming from...

    I'm just not sure what she means by starting a campaign against DC... if she meant like banning heroes like Superman and his action figures, then no, I don't think that's wise. But if she just means that there should be more body diversity created among superheroes and that those new superheroes with different body types should be pushed just as much as any other hero? Then yeah, I fully support that.

  5. #5
    DARKSEID LAUGHS... Crazy Diamond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Of Atlantis View Post
    I personally don't feel it too outrageous to have the vast majority of superheroes possess superhuman looking bodies. They are fictional superheroes after all, and should in many cases look impossibly fit.

    I do however understand the arguments, especially in regards to how women are sometimes portrayed, that some portrayals go too far in regards to looking too sexual. Looking too fit though? I don't think holds as much weight.

    Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 11.21.33 AM.jpg

    Tell me honestly, that Gamora's title of "deadliest woman in the galaxy", a title based on her physical capabilities and skill based merits, would be believable if she looked like the doctored image to the right.
    She's a space assassin. What would her looks have to do with her ability to kill you?

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Raye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Diamond View Post
    She's a space assassin. What would her looks have to do with her ability to kill you?
    Not her looks, but how fit she is. She is deadly in part *because* she is extremely fit and athletic, it's part of what makes her deadly in a close quarters fight, so she should be drawn that way. As Of Atlantis said, her being depicted as a sexual object can be seen as a problem, but she absolutely should still be drawn as fit and athletic. I get people wanting to see people like themselves on the page, but it has to be done with characters it makes sense for.
    Last edited by Raye; 06-14-2017 at 09:00 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raye View Post
    Raye's post
    I'm not an official on the matter or anything, but there's only one person in those 2 pictures that I would consider "obese" or "unhealthy looking" (maybe concern that the "Bodybuilder" is taking steroids, though).

  8. #8
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    So what you're telling me is that people who spend their days running around beating folks up, essentially doing gymnastics every single day are... fit & athletic? Mind = Blown... Hey, while we're at it. Iron Man's intelligence? Totally unrealistic. Maybe we should dumb him down. Limit his funds too. Same with other Super-Genius characters. Also, them being super-great at many things? Scratch that as well. Not realistic. Batman now shouldn't be able to handle more than 5 mooks. Their pain tolerance is a problem as well. You know what? Let's just write books about normal people. I say the new Hank Pym book is 80 issues of him spending all of his life to discover just one thing.

    I mean, fine, I get it, not everyone should have more muscles than they have cells. But super-hero books are just... fantasy. Everything about them is about being the "best of the best". Unless it's possible for people to perform magic, fly due to the sun's exposure, build flying machines of war, etc, etc. If this critcism was about indie books, which feature normal people in their books and not super-powered demigods I could see the argument. But as it stands, it's as unrealistic as asking myths to be remade so that Hercules is now an overweight "brick", Thor is 1.70 m and so on and so forth. It's silly. IMO at least.

    PS: As for my case, when I was youngling I was ripped and fit, due to practicing martial arts. Later in life I fell off the wagon and was deemed near-obese (thankfully I was tall so it kinda evened out). I'm still following a diet and doing exercises daily. So IMO, glorifying fatness shouldn't be a thing. Those were some of the worst years of my life. If anything, we should promote fitness and a clean way of life as much as possible.
    Last edited by Techno_Knight; 06-14-2017 at 09:58 AM.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Raye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star_Jammer View Post
    I'm not an official on the matter or anything, but there's only one person in those 2 pictures that I would consider "obese" or "unhealthy looking" (maybe concern that the "Bodybuilder" is taking steroids, though).
    Maybe should have clarified, that all of them are Olympic athletes. (photographer did male athletes too, just the women were the first that came up in an image search) My point being that there wasn't just one type of body that corresponded to 'athletic' but, as you point out, with the exception of like, some weightlifters, they do tend to not be overweight, due to the training and general level of activity involved.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raye View Post
    Maybe should have clarified, that all of them are Olympic athletes. (photographer did male athletes too, just the women were the first that came up in an image search) My point being that there wasn't just one type of body that corresponded to 'athletic' but, as you point out, with the exception of like, some weightlifters, they do tend to not be overweight, due to the training and general level of activity involved.
    Yes, the vast majority of them look fit, muscular, etc.

    It's also important to note that these are also bodies tailored to specific purposes. A weightlifter is going to focus on different muscles than a gymnast. Does a golfer need the leg muscle definition that a swimmer has?

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Raye's Avatar
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    Yeah, you could actually be kind of unfit LOOKING and still be a successful golfer, or archer, (though you'd have some killer muscles in your arms) or whatever. But I think that superheroes would fall into a more generally fit category that you'd see in, i guess a track and field athlete, or swimmer? kind of toned all over. But even there, some superheroes are more strength focused, and some are more speed focused and so on, so it would result in different body types. You wouldn't want Quicksilver to be as muscly as Colossus. But I think it is reasonable to expect both of them to be fit, because of the lives they lead.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raye View Post
    Yeah, you could actually be kind of unfit LOOKING and still be a successful golfer, or archer, (though you'd have some killer muscles in your arms) or whatever. But I think that superheroes would fall into a more generally fit category that you'd see in, i guess a track and field athlete, or swimmer? kind of toned all over. But even there, some superheroes are more strength focused, and some are more speed focused and so on, so it would result in different body types. You wouldn't want Quicksilver to be as muscly as Colossus. But I think it is reasonable to expect both of them to be fit, because of the lives they lead.
    Yes. That's why we see different body types in the pictures you posted (and none that I, personally, classify as being drastic, aside from the 2 I've already mentioned), because each of them is tailored to a different sport.

    Per your examples, it'd be a good idea to compare different body types between various swimmers, or track and field athletes, or whatever else...but specifically within those categories.

    Most super-heroes are "generally fit" because the range of physical activity they partake in is varied. You do, however, have some specification, such as She-Hulk (who, to my knowledge, is usually drawn as being very muscular).

    On the male side, the super-strong guys are usually drawn...you guessed it...very muscular.

  13. #13
    Take Me Higher The Negative Zone's Avatar
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    I think that at least by creative standards Marvel should represent the different athletic body types. To be fair though, won't the superheroes with more weight just work all their weight off anyway?

  14. #14
    Fantastic Member Beorg's Avatar
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    Ah yes the comics with aliens and magic demigod princesses need realistic body builds. And I guess as a chubby dude I should read about fat heroes only. I mean how can I ever sympathize with Superman if he doesn't have a beer belly? Oh the fatphobia
    Last edited by Beorg; 06-14-2017 at 10:21 AM.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member CrimsonEchidna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Negative Zone View Post
    I think that at least by creative standards Marvel should represent the different athletic body types. To be fair though, won't the superheroes with more weight just work all their weight off anyway?
    Quote Originally Posted by Beorg View Post
    Ah yes the comics with aliens and magic demigod princesses need realistic body builds. And I guess as a chubby dude I should read about fat heroes only. I mean how can I ever sympathize with Superman if he doesn't have a beer belly? Oh the fatphobia
    It's not even necessarily a matter of drawing someone with more body fat, just more actual variety in body frames. I feel like that is what's lacking in comic book character designs. As divisive as Frank Cho is, I've actually always appreciated the fact that he would draw women like She-Hulk with thicker body frames.
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