Superheroes I Kinda Dug As A Kid Because They Looked Cool, Part 1

By | Monday, February 16, 2009 1 comment
I'm going to start an experiment here. Since I'm pretty swamped at the moment, and look to be even moreso for the rest of the month, I'm going to trying posting a fairly-low-thought-process-initially series of entries here citing superheroes that I liked as a child, primarily because I was responding to their costume designs.

I recognized, even as a teenager, that my earlier draws to particular characters had more to do with their visual appearance than their powers or characterization or anything. So the next several posts will highlight those heroes. And, hopefully, after several of them, I'll be able to look back and elaborate on some visual themes that might or might not carry through.

As a character, Aquaman's often given a lot of flack, but I've always really liked his classic green and orange outfit from the Silver Age. And the reason I like it is primarily the color scheme. The green and orange compliment each other very well, and the yellow belt pops nices off the spotted black of his lower torso. Originally, he had yellow gloves, which is a bit much, I think; and the GA and later cartoon versions left his trunks the same, unshadowed green as his leggings -- which made the visual very flat from the waist down. I also think guys like Nick Cardy, Jim Aparo and Carmine Infantino had a great knack for suggesting the scales on his shirt without overdoing it. They provided just enough texture to make it interesting visually.

Further, the low neck line and leg fins made him stand out that much more from the rest of the superhero set. The gloves nicely mirrored the fin theme, but the lack of actual boots or shoes always struck me as pretty novel.

Turns out that I kind of like his backstory and character to boot, but it was really just the costume that drew my attention to him originally.
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Richard said...

You might also mention how the orange shirt and blond hair make his figure pop out against ocean backgrounds...something the ill-considered blue and white "camoflage" outfit never took into consideration. (And when Aquaman went through his bare-chested look, the caucasian flesh tone substituted for the orange shirt.)