That superhero landing pose

You know the one. Superhero leaps and lands, with: flat back. One hand directly beneath him/her, one arm extended. One leg tucked under, one leg out at an awkward 45 degree angle.

Where did this come from? I never read comic books much as a kid, and I’m not into Marvel movies…I can picture it in The Matrix, though. So who did it first?
Is there a mash-up of every usage – like the Wilhelm Scream?

TV Trope - Three-Point Landing

Perfect. Thanks.

Didn’t Arnold materialize from the future in that pose in the first Terminator movie (1984)?

I think that was more of a 4-point, full crouch.

Nope. He was nekkid, there would have been some, er, dangling.

It’s not just a hero pose, anymore. The bad guys in The Mitchells vs the Machines do it (probably as a satire of Iron Man.)

So based on your link, it originated in Asian martial arts cinema and anime, and was brought to the West by The Matrix, eventually becoming associated with superhero movies.

In my opinion, reading someone’s mind and deliberately posting threads right before the rightful and original owner of the thread idea gets a chance to do so should be a bannable offence.

It’s not my fault you forgot your tinfoil hat.


I bothered less by the pose then that the hero always falls too fast into it. It looks fake. It’s like the teleported into the pose, not that they flew or fell.

According to this article it was illustrator Adi Granov who came up with the pose for the cover of The Invincible Iron Man #76 in 1998.

However, Granov himself says

“The inspiration behind this pose came from Japanese mech, where anime and manga characters do such poses. It’s great to be remembered for this,”

I’ve done the superhero landing. Unfortunately, I was falling out of bed at the time, which severely limited the coolness factor.

Squirrels are natural masters of the technique:

It looks cool, but because it’s a kind of “ready to pounce” pose, not because it makes sense as a landing.
If there was realistic looking physics and gravity of 9.8ms-1, the hero’s knee and hand is going to hit the ground in a way that will look painful.
What they should do is have the hero roll, or take the fall on feet and then hands, and transition into the superhero pose. Not gonna happen now though.

Kyle Hill explains the science. (Youtube.)

Thanks. It seems my WAG that this pose would be awful for landing was on point, but looking at the clips in the video, I was a bit wrong about the “ready to pounce” thing.

Basically, it’s a bad landing by design; it’s smashing the ground as hard as you can, and showing just how hard your body is. I think I was thrown off a bit by the pictures of the squirrels and black widow, which are a slightly different pose.