Superman Question

How’s come Supes always flies with one leg bent and his arms ahead of him?
Curious minds wander. Uh, wonder.

It’s a more dynamic and interesting pose than everything just being straight.

It also blocks the super-groin watchers.

I think also the very, very first version of Supes had him able to leap tall buildings, but not actually fly. So it’s sort of an extended leaping pose, kind of like the way I was taught to use a diving board (throwing a leg upward helped with momentum and getting height or something, I was 11 and don’t remember).

And it looks less dorky when you draw it.

Two words: Wayne Boring (note second image)

Wayne Boring also happens to be the answer to the question, “Why does Superman’s torso resemble a refrigerator?”

Superman bends his leg while flying because otherwise wind resistance would yank his pants right off.

However, Supergirl never flies with one leg bent. She got tired of all the “Look! Up in the sky!” jokes.

Wow. He really can’t draw.

Oh, good, it’s not just me. I was going to ask if artists back then studied anatomy at all, because that’s just all kinds of wrong.

I don’t know if they did. Though the same could be argued for a lot of modern comic book artists.

I think what they do is look over at the new flavour-of-the-month artist, in this case apparently Jack Kirby (who worked for Marvel), and then find ‘artists’ who can sort of imitate them, in this case for DC.

More recently, artists like Jim Lee and Todd McFarlane were discoveries that spawned (ha) imitators like fungus.

<sigh>It’s really sad when people don’t recognize talent simply because they’re so used to seeing second-rate ripoffs of the pioneers.

Boring defined Superman and the superhero. Every single comic book artist is merely following the path he forged and will gladly acknowledge it. He was creating a style and one that’s still being used today.

Wayne Boring’s Superman work is phenomenal.

Does the way Superman looks have anything to do with actual human anatomy? Not really. It’s not supposed to.

Very, very few artists have ever been able to represent Superman as a figure of pure power like Boring did. His Superman looks like a Titan flying around a very well-defined Metropolis. His work has tons of detail and exhibits buckets of creativity and wit.

He could draw circles around most of his contemporaries and most modern cartoonists.

If you’re referring to Wayne Boring, he was working on Superman for many, many years before Kirby’s popular Marvel Silver Age Marvel work.

Are you guys being serious? Bad anatomy, no expression. How can you possibly say he’s any good? I admit his composition is pretty good, but that’s as far as I’ll go. He’s horrendous.

Now, I’m not a big fan of superhero comics, and I also don’t subscribe to the idea of honouring the classics just because they’re classics. They have to actually have something.

I’m a very average artist, but I know crappy work when I see it.

I’m sorry, but that’s not what I see at all. I see a being far too solid, heavy and lugubrious to be faster than a speeding bullet or leap tall buildings or fly or even deliver more than a simple stunning blow to the ear. That’s Andre the Giant as Fezzik in The Princess Bride, not The Man of Steel.

(That’s just the stylistic stuff, of course. There’s also the anatomy problems, like there being bands of muscle on his trunk that just don’t go anywhere.)

I don’t intend to change your mind, of course. You like what you like and I like what I like. Furthermore, I’m not “educated” in the subject, so I don’t know what are the classics that I’m supposed to like and what just looks good to me. I just don’t think groundbreaking (and yes, I grant you that he was groundbreaking and without his undoubtedly hard work there would be no Smallville today) is always the same as good.

Bulldozers are groundbreaking. They leave huge chunks of wreckage everywhere. It’s the later, more detailed and refined instruments that bring the real beauty to the scene, building on those first awkward groundbreaking experiments.

Just as a brief aside: in the SUPERMAN TV Series with George Reeves, he flew with both legs straight and both arms forward. It does, indeed, not look anywhere as dramatic as one leg bent.

I notice that Picasso’s style of drawing people doesn’t conform to anatomical structures very well. What’s that got to do with it being art?

Because it’d look dopey if he flew like he was sitting in an armchair.

Who said anything about art? I said I didn’t like it. There’s lots of art I don’t like.

And Picasso was a master of several forms of art, including realism. He chose more cubist and abstract methods to meet his stylistic goals, some of which I feel worked and some didn’t. But he knew his anatomy, without question.

In the same way, I don’t think Boring’s work met the goals I think Superman should encompass, but I’m not the boss of Superman. Maybe it did meet his goals. That’s cool.

But yeah, of course it’s art.

Two points:

1 - Picasso wasn’t a comic book artist, and had completely different goals.
2 - Even assuming the same goals, there’s a difference between ‘stylized’ and ‘wrong’.

Unfortunately, I can’t really articulate the line - it’s an ‘I know it when I see it’. At least, for the non-obvious cases. (Picasso is an obvious case.)

Wonder Woman in her invisible plane got that all the time.

Yeah, but at least Wonder Woman didn’t have to scrub bug guts out of the crotch of her outfit.

or wheelchair…