Friday, February 5, 2010

What a Specimen!

My favorite Superman: the 1930's muscleman version from the early comics.

Here are the hallmarks, as I see them:

1. Very wide torso and slightly pudgy physique
2. Weathered, mildly aged look to face
3. Square, hard, manly chin
4. Very neat, greased down hairstyle
5. Details on outfit suggest sweatsuit-like material
6. Stiff, uncomfortable stance as a result of the briefs being worn outside the pants
7. Flat, un-dynamic look to the cape
8. Heartless attitude toward criminals:

(I couldn't find a direct example of this just now, so this is my own interpretation)

In 1938, Superman was supposed to be just that- a "Super Man"- the ideal of manly macho manliness all men would aspire to be, who would kick sand in the face of weaklings and walk off with the hottest girl. It wasn't until later when the creators added the backstory about Ma and Pa Kent, and his moral obligation to protect man.

Look at that Physical Marvel!

I enjoy this earlier version mostly because he's so of his time- a time when men were gruff and aggressive and worked out with medicine balls and punching bags. Anything less would be an utter disgrace:

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