To paraphrase Brody from Mallrats : “The Thing, is his dork made from orange rock like the rest of his body?” Comic book nerds care about many things which impact storylines in no way whatsoever, and that includes superhero penises. Though debates over a hero's power levels and morality pertain very much to their plotlines, debates over the best superhero wangs pertain specifically to the curiousities and insecurities of readers. Superhero penises entered the mainstream in the '80s when Alan Moore thrust one of the most bizarre comic book penises on the world in The Watchmen . From then on out fans began to openly pontificate about which of their favorite characters were cock of the walk. Discussions about superhero sex facts, and which heroes would be good in bed have come to dominate online discussions about comic books .
P eople want answers to the hard questions: is Wolverine circumcised? Does Mr. Fantastic's wang stretch? Is the Thing's member made of rock? More importantly, how did comic book culture get to a place where characters became idolized for having big muscles and bigger dicks? Though you never realize it, the male superhero body looks just as unrealistic as any woman superhero's, if not more so. What follows is an attempt to make sense of the obsession with superhero wangs.
Anyone who went to film school knows of the the male gaze, the lens with which a male artist both views and conveys a fictional world. This perspective places women to a passive role, essentially relegating them to sexual end wallpaper. It’s not hard to find the sexualized comic book characters, all you need to do is Google the names Cat Woman, Emma Frost, or Psylocke to see artists creating unrealistic depictions of the female body.
Does this happen with male characters? Absolutely, because the male gaze makes everyone feel inferior. Note the way their costumes hug their nether regions. Let your eyes drift down from your favorite hero’s six (or eight or 12) pack to their lovingly illustrated groin, and you see just how the male gaze creates a comic book world of oversized superhero genitals.
The Watchmen was a groundbreaking comic book, and not only because it took a look at what it means to simply be a superhero. In creating Doctor Manhattan, a character who no longer felt connected to humanity, Dave Gibbons posed the question of why a superhero would even wear clothes. Truly if you’re a superior being then why would you care about people looking at your body? The most interesting thing about the design of Doctor Manhattan – specifically his junk – is that he appears with what looks like a kind of normal package.
Many artists would be tempted to draw a hulking mass onto this all-powerful character, but Gibbons shows incredibly artistic restraint in the design of Doctor Manhattan. If only some of the other artists detailed here would have taken a page from his book.
Is it important to comic book fans for their characters to be well endowed, or even endowed at all? Does it make a comic more enjoyable if you know the Punisher packs heat? Despite the perception of comics as a male-centered form of entertainment, male superheroes look just as hyper-sexualized as the women if not more so. Sometimes, the only place lacking any visible swelling is the groin, which looks a little strange when the hero's spandex clings to his abs and a** tighter than a cat clinging to a life raft.
Maybe writers think a hero will move faster than a speeding bullet without balls to provide wind resistance. Does Superman need a yellow sun to activate his powers, or a raging hard on?
Artist Rob Liefeld takes the blame for the overly bulging body parts that overtook comic book art of the '90s. Although comics obviously portray a world different from the one you live in, Liefeld's proportions come from a completely different dimension. Biceps ripple like basketballs, chests require yardsticks to measure, and the bulges look… bulky. '90s comic book art in general puts an emphasis on big muscles rivaled only by professional bodybuilders and people with next-level body mods.
It makes you wonder what the artists from this era saw when they looked at another person, or what they studied to create their art. Every drawing gets drenched in a layer of unrealistic expectations which cause you to look at yourself and wonder if perhaps you're the one with the "weird body."