Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stop with the Damn Goggles

Remember how all heroes wore leather jackets back in the 90's?

I think we can all agree that was a fashion trend run amok. And while it still shows up in X-men (or Wonder Woman) I'm inclined to let it slide because there is another trend that I think overshadows it now: Goggles.

Yesterday, I flipped through three comics and this is what I saw.

A Vampire Terrorist from X-men: Curse of the Mutants

A house ad from the same comic:

An unnamed character from Action Comics 890 (the comic I suspect that made Mark Waid give up on Superhero comics recently*...)

Another unnamed character from the same comic (and this instance is less annoying than the others because the goggles are smaller)

And finally, this example from Green Arrow 1 - I can't decide if this is a truly horrible character design or a truly brilliant one. And I mean brilliant like the Styx Mister Roboto album brilliant.

That's 3 comics and 5 sets of goggles - and I really did just pick these up in random order. My luck of the draw would have probably run out if I picked up a few other comics, but the point remains - people are using goggles as short-hand to imply the character is interesting when we all know damn well, they're not.

Here's a tip for today's creators - if your character doesn't really *need* goggles, you probably shouldn't use 'em.

Alas, horrible design choices started in the Golden Age, and perhaps the best example of this is another hero with unfortunate fashion sense: Dr. Diamond a man who got his powers from a mysterious black diamond given to him by a Tibetan Monk who lives on an uncharted island who found the diamond after it been lost for a thousand years in egypt. Once given the diamond, our hero gains the strength of 50 men, but loses his shirt.

In his defense, Dr. Diamond didn't start life as a shirtless wonder. In his first appearance, the top part of his costume was red.

But somewhere down the line he lost his shirt and just never went back. We all know someone like that, don't we?

Anyway, he appeared in the first 4 issues of Catman Comics, of which the first two are today's Free Comics...

[ Catman 01 ]

[ Catman 02 ]

- Enjoy!

*btw - I think it was the appearance by Mister Mind that made Mark Waid flip out, but that's just a guess.


Reno said...

I cab understand the vampire terrorist's need for goggles, but that throwaway character in Action Comics really didn't need them.

But what about...? :)

MattComix said...

I allow goggles if it's Jiro from Kikaider or a Digimon protagonist because that's a tradition influenced by Jiro from Kikaider.

..and as anybody who has seen they latest goings-on with Wonder Woman knows, 90's jackets have sadly made a comeback.

Jim Shelley said...

@Reno, sorry to be late replying here - it's been a rough week for electronics in my house!

Yeah, I know what you are thinking - if/when we get around to that we may lose those goggles. Adam Strange didn't need them. :)

Jim Shelley said...

@MattComix - I blame the X-men movie for *reinventing* 90's jackets. :\

Britt Reid said...

The Golden Age had a number of shirtless wonders, including Phantasmo.
Like Dr. Diamond, Phantasmo ran around without a shirt.
Unlike the good Doctor, Phantasmo sometimes ended up without pants!
As I point out at http://heroheroinehistory.blogspot.com/2010/06/phantasmo-master-of-world.html
"Phantasmo wore yellow with gold highlights.
This had the unfortunate side-effect of making him look like he wasn't wearing anything at all if the Magenta printing plate got screwed up, which happened from time to time!
For example: http://www.lambiek.net/artists/s/stoner_ec/stoner_ec_phantasmo.jpg


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