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  1. #16
    BAMF!!!!! KurtW95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    I do think the trend towards more normal body types is a really good one, and for several reasons. For one, the superhero body types as they had developed were essentially caricatures. Partly because of idealised body types, partly because almost everyone looked the same, but also because my impression was that a lot of artists had honed their skills by imitating prior superhero art, not by drawing real bodies in a studio.
    Disagree. This trend (especially at Marvel) has led to formerly masculine men losing their masculine traits and formerly feminine women losing their feminine traits. In concert with a lot the current portrayals which paint the male characters as whiney cowards and the female characters as snide braggarts.

    Last edited by KurtW95; 08-12-2018 at 02:57 AM.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Another fundamental factor is who we are taught to relate to, and that's fundamentally a question of privilege and power. Being able to relate to or empathise with someone of less status and power than yourself is often lauded as a virtue, but it can be a question of life and death for those with less power, or no power at all. The CEO who can empathise with their secretary is deemed considerate, but the secretary is literally unable to do their job without their ability to empathise with the CEO.

    So when public figures—either real or imagined—are predominantly white heterosexual men, what does it teach? Both those who are white heterosexual men, and those who are not?
    How is it a question of life or death exactly? Predominant in America, I assume? Predominant? If you were to add up all the public figures, actors, media personalities and talk show hosts, sports figures, authors and renown academics and weigh it against the population statistics of America, are 6.5 percent of them black men? It's likely higher, actually.

    Hispanic and Asian representation most definitely lower, though in economic terms, on average, Asians tend to do better than White people. This idea you need a lot of money and a bunch of popular people with the same skin color as yourself to latch onto to boost your self esteem in order to have empathy sounds like an Alt Right train of thought, at first glance. But you asked a question, what does it teach? That some families are more wealthy than others and wealth is important to someone's quality of life? And that a country where 63.7 percent of the population is non-Hispanic white people (and that number rises when incorporating Hispanic whites) that that population will be overrepresented in many regards as they are a larger percentage of the population. Much like, Baltimore, which has a 63.7 percent black population, last I checked, is going to have black people overrepresented in many industries as that is the majority population in that area. Neither situation is inherently bad and people should be encouraging and fostering empathy and understanding, rather than trying to find justifications for a lack of empathy, which sounds more like the job of a lawyer with a psychopath for a client, from my view
    Last edited by Raefe Mahadeo; 08-12-2018 at 03:42 AM.

  3. #18
    Fantastic Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KurtW95 View Post
    Disagree. This trend (especially at Marvel) has led to formerly masculine men losing their masculine traits and formerly feminine women losing their feminine traits. In concert with a lot the current portrayals which paint the male characters as whiney cowards and the female characters as snide braggarts.
    So previously the women were whiney cowards and the men were snide braggarts?

    Cheap shot aside, good characterisation means, among other things showing different types and personalities of people, and realising that the person is different from the groups they are assigned to or associated with. Sure, they are influenced by the stereotypes and role models for said group, but few of us are truly and fully only of our groups.

    Your image provides at best cherrypicked examples, given the different situations the characters face and the wildly different art styles used. All four bodies are idealised, though in different ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raefe Mahadeo View Post
    How is it a question of life or death exactly? Predominant in America, I assume? Predominant? If you were to add up all the public figures, actors, media personalities and talk show hosts, sports figures, authors and renown academics and weigh it against the population statistics of America, are 6.5 percent of them black men? It's likely higher, actually.
    For a secretary, empathy with the boss is needed to keep their job. For a slave in historical society, empathy with the owner was a necessity, lest one be deemed a troublemaker and punished, tortured, or killed. For a black person in the USA today, they might at any time depend on their ability to read the mood of a white person or a police officer in order to stay alive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raefe Mahadeo View Post
    Hispanic and Asian representation most definitely lower, though in economic terms, on average, Asians tend to do better than White people. This idea you need a lot of money and a bunch of popular people with the same skin color as yourself to latch onto to boost your self esteem in order to have empathy sounds like an Alt Right train of thought, at first glance. But you asked a question, what does it teach?
    Rather that white people in the US are taught that they never need empathy with black people, and that black people are taught that empathy with white people is more important than empathy with black people.

  4. #19
    Spectacular Member catbellysqueezer's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't care what my superheroes look like. They could be a little heavier too.

    I buy my comics for the story, not the sex appeal.
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post



    For a secretary, empathy with the boss is needed to keep their job. For a slave in historical society, empathy with the owner was a necessity, lest one be deemed a troublemaker and punished, tortured, or killed. For a black person in the USA today, they might at any time depend on their ability to read the mood of a white person or a police officer in order to stay alive.



    Rather that white people in the US are taught that they never need empathy with black people, and that black people are taught that empathy with white people is more important than empathy with black people.
    Those examples are ignoring gang and gun related violence in cities with majority black populations outweighing unjustified police shootings and the Dylan Roofs of the world, the homicide rates in Chicago alone eclipsing the number of causalities sustained in the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/ 11, but the lower body count issue is also a problem, sure.

    White people being taught not to feel empathy for black people, does that happen to occur during black history month? Maybe they squeeze it in between Trig and Gym classes? It sounds like you're only ascribing agency to one race. I'd rather that weren't the case, so when I say fostering empathy and understanding between all people is a good thing, I'm gonna pretend you just agreed instead of trying to further a caste system that is quite frankly, being presented in a simplistic way predicated heavily on confirmation bias. As to not derail the thread with an overlong back and forth, I'm just going to leave it there. If you want to discuss this further, create a thread, I'll jump in.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by catbellysqueezer View Post
    Personally, I don't care what my superheroes look like. They could be a little heavier too.

    I buy my comics for the story, not the sex appeal.
    This is one where I diverge slightly. I like a good amount of inking, shading, cross-hatching, greek god and goddess physiques, particularly with characters meant to be constantly engaged in hand to hand combat. There's space for characters like Druid from Secret Warriors or the original version of Marrow, but a lot of these characters should be analogous with real world athletes, the Lennox Lewis' and Rhonda Rouseys of the world. That's just my preference, however, and there's room for a broad range of body types so long as it makes sense in story, as I previously mentioned the approach in the current Wildstorm reboot does

  7. #22
    BAMF!!!!! KurtW95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    So previously the women were whiney cowards and the men were snide braggarts?

    Cheap shot aside, good characterisation means, among other things showing different types and personalities of people, and realising that the person is different from the groups they are assigned to or associated with. Sure, they are influenced by the stereotypes and role models for said group, but few of us are truly and fully only of our groups.

    Your image provides at best cherrypicked examples, given the different situations the characters face and the wildly different art styles used. All four bodies are idealised, though in different ways.
    Well, no. That’s not what I said. Male and female characters used to have ranges of emotions. Now, the men aren’t allowed to be ,asculine and the women aren’t allowed to be feminine.

    Also, there are many other examples of other characters like those, so I wouldn’t call it cherry picking. And I don’t see anything idealized about the two on the right. They’re absolutely terrible.
    Good Marvel characters- Bring Them Back!!!

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by KurtW95 View Post
    Disagree. This trend (especially at Marvel) has led to formerly masculine men losing their masculine traits and formerly feminine women losing their feminine traits. In concert with a lot the current portrayals which paint the male characters as whiney cowards and the female characters as snide braggarts.

    Tch. The Hawkeye on the right was drawn by a much better artist. God, look at the one on the left. He looks like he's about to go slam some brews in a Southie bar, then go play some street hockey and yell: "No H*MO!" everytime he makes a shoulder check. The David Aja illustration has disernable body language and a facial expression. You can even see his eyes! Jeez, look at that Tony Stark. He's wearing Khakis, but his thighs are so damn thick they could break through at any second. That's some dedicated "I eat four pounds of protein everyday with one cup of veggies and do one thousand free squats before I go to sleep and after I wake up everyday," nonsense right there!

    As for Captain Marvel, opinions will vary, but I don't think there's anything particularly feminine about having your breasts and thighs highlighted like that. I always did like her blue costume, but towards the end of her run with it, artists basically depicted the lower end of it as a g-string. That leotard used to cover her ass, not disapear into it, dude.
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  9. #24
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    Wolverine and Punisher are among the most popular comic book characters in America. How many readers would relate to Wolverine and Punisher, both of whom judge and execute bad guys instead of bothering to turn them over to the law?

  10. #25
    Spectacular Member catbellysqueezer's Avatar
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    To be honest it doesn't even make sense to have every superhero in perfect shape because most of them were just regular people who gained powers through accidents or mutations in genetics or technology.

    For example, does Scott Lang (my favorite character) need to look like a body-builder? He is a guy who stole a suit. He is supposed to be strong because ants can lift more weight relative to their size.

    And why would every X-Man be jacked when most of them have powers that have nothing to do with strength, like freezing stuff or shooting lasers out of their eyes.

    And then there are superheros who are kids, like Nadia Van Dyne. She is only 15 so there is no reason she should have an adult woman's body, it's just weird.
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  11. #26
    Mighty Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catbellysqueezer View Post
    To be honest it doesn't even make sense to have every superhero in perfect shape because most of them were just regular people who gained powers through accidents or mutations in genetics or technology.

    For example, does Scott Lang (my favorite character) need to look like a body-builder? He is a guy who stole a suit. He is supposed to be strong because ants can lift more weight relative to their size.

    And why would every X-Man be jacked when most of them have powers that have nothing to do with strength, like freezing stuff or shooting lasers out of their eyes.

    And then there are superheros who are kids, like Nadia Van Dyne. She is only 15 so there is no reason she should have an adult woman's body, it's just weird.
    Their are even certain powers that actively work against you being in shape. For example telekinesis. Why would you work out when everything could be done mentally? Building muscle involves breaking down muscle tissue and then letting it grow back stronger. Try doing that if your nearly invulnerable.

  12. #27
    Take Me Higher The Negative Zone's Avatar
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    Superheroes don't need to be relatable, they just need to be interesting. Being relatable however makes it easier to care about the character. Spider-Man's popularity is based around being relatable.

  13. #28
    Boisterously Confused
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    Their are even certain powers that actively work against you being in shape. For example telekinesis. Why would you work out when everything could be done mentally? Building muscle involves breaking down muscle tissue and then letting it grow back stronger. Try doing that if your nearly invulnerable.
    I always wondered about Superman being drawn as absurdly cut.

  14. #29
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    Others have said it, but what is needed is characters you can connect with on a personal level. Its hard to really relate to a guy like Superman, but if you see him torn about whether or not to reveal his big secret to Lois Lane (something Christopher Reeve did incredibly well) - thats something you can connect with. Whether or not to keep a big secret from someone you have feelings for.

    Or someone like Thanos, who was given Hobson's Choice at the planet with the Soul Stone. To get the stone, it would cost him dearly.

    Its the same with most fictional characters, you have to see something of yourself there or have some kind of relateable experience portrayed.
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