Saturday, October 4, 2008

Super Dancer

ToLinkday's Bizarro is sponsored by Unfortunate Fashions. "Let us make you the talk of the town."

I've visited this theme before but can't seem to get enough. I don't know enough about the history of comic book superheroes to know how this got started, but I assume that at some point someone decided to dress these guys this way and the whole thing just got out of hand.

I can imagine coming up with a hero like Superman (was he the first of this sort?) and designing his powers (flying, strength, x-ray vision) constructing his past (alien planet on verge of collapse, father sends baby into space to save him) creating his life on Earth (newspaper reporter, mild-mannered do-gooder). But when it comes time to decide how he will dress, what in the galaxy of possibilities makes you then decide to go with what is essentially a ballet costume with curtains?

Once the trend starts, other artists build on the concept and before you know it, you've got a gay pride parade. I have long suspected there was quite a lot of thinly disguised homosexuality going on with comic book heroes (not that there's anything wrong with that), and I was not the first to think so. I am amused any time someone can sneak "subversiveness" past censors and trot it out for the unsuspecting mainstream.

18 comments:

diablo said...

The first union-suited comic book character was probably The Phantom. He first appeared in 1936. Superman appeared in 1938, followed by Batman in 1939. I suspect the idea was to create a fully clothed hero that, while complying with the morals of the day, was able to also show off his physique. But hey, I'm just making educated guesses.

Lorie said...

Kind of like you sneaked your subliminal labial rabbit into the papers?

I agree with you about comic book heroes and homosexuality. How else do we explain Batman and Robin? Did Bruce and Dick (Bruce and Dick!) live together in stately Wayne Manor? That was never clear on the original TV show. They have toned B&R down considerably since, but I am sure they were pulling a fast one on the censors back then. Still the best B&R ever.

Jym said...

=v= I always figured the superhero costume was based on trapeze artists, but I may have been influenced by the origin story of Dick Grayson.

There was a big stink back in the 1950s about a suspected gay subtext between Batman and Robin, but I think Michael Chabon hit the nail on the head in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: the man/boy superhero teams were never about that, they were about boys who'd lost their fathers in WWII

isee3dtoo said...

I go with Jym on this.

My great-grand father own a circus in the 1890-1910 time frame and was a high wire performer.

I have a photo of him in costume and I would say he was wearing a superhero costume. I just never thought about it before.

Hmmm... I guess I am part superhero. I shall be "The Professorman" since "The Professor" was taken already.

Eben said...

Jym is, in fact, correct. Jerry Siegel and Joe Schusster based Superman's costume on that of a circus strongman.

Penny said...

I SO want to hear that Faith Tones song!!!! Thank you for the laugh!

And what jym says makes sense to me, too. I'd never thought of that before, but it's pretty logical.

I studied ballet until I was in my early 20's. Not all male ballet dancers are gay. There are three straight ones.

isee3dtoo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
isee3dtoo said...

Only three straight male ballet dancers?

Is there a survey they fill out when they get their pointe shoes or Penny did you survey each one individually?

P.S. I am convinced that male ballet dancers stuff a sock down the tights as well. Chicken leg dancers with a third leg bigger than a little league baseball bat just doesn't add up.

doug nicodemus said...

do you think there was something going on between the green hornet and kato? does that mean bruce lee died of aids? wow what an eye opener.

marin_explorer said...

What Diablo wrote rings true...I'm sure cartoonists would rather draw muscles under spandex than superheros in slacks.

isee3dtoo said...

Doug, that is the strangest jump to conclusion I have ever seen.

jym: Costume based on trapeze suit.
isee3dtoo: Great-grand-pa was circus performer in circa 1900 wore same type of costume.
eben: superman based on circus strongman.
penny: jym makes sense but not all ballet dancers are gay.
isee3dtoo: ballet dance stuff tights with socks.
doug: bruce lee died of aids.

The jump penny made was big but your leap is incredible.

Shortcake said...

doug is only trying to hide his own true identity... a leap that large in a single blog comment can only be made by a hero in disguise. i won't tell anyone, doug...

anonymous said...

Humor is more than a little flat. But what else is new.

shipping troll said...

Isee3dtoo,
any male ballet dancer needs a huge set of clackers just to deal with all the crap he will get from his friends. i got/get the works just because i took/take piano lessons, imagine what it's like for a guy especially a straight guy doing ballet? of course it's a stereotype, but it has a basis in fact, and if a straight guy really thought about it what better way to get with HOT babes than in a ballet class. the odds are all stacked in his favor.

isee3dtoo said...

troll:

so evolution has determined that large gonads are required for men who dance or play "girlie" musical instruments. i wonder how large the nads must be if they wrote rhyming poetry as well?

shipping troll said...

I guess it depends on if that poetry goes well with a guitar or not. What more is a song than poetry set to music. There have been many a cowboy poet and they weren't looked down on even in their own time. Rhyming or not it is the content of the poetry that would cause the teasing or not. If you believe the marketers of today ( and FAR too many people do) no guy wants his buddies to find out he write love poems to his lady. However, if he is writing dirty limericks, he'll share them with everyone he can.

isee3dtoo said...

There once was a cartoonist named Dan,
Whose artistry alone said he was "the man",
He was a hit with the chixs
He had a magic big bic,
And for all of this we each became a fan.

DeepField said...

Probably you have already seen this (I don't know how to insert it here myself):

http://www.alternateversion.com/home/uploads/Comics/Batman_panel_-_Robin_what_have_I_done_to_you.jpg

As a child it never occurred to me there was anything strange about Batman and Robin, but now it seem obviuos.