Super Bad Breasts

Look, I like a full-figured gal as much as any red-blooded heterosexual American male, but super-hero breasts are just too ridiculous for words. You're flying around at high rates of speed without benefit of an airplane. The wind gusts are incredible. And all you have between your quadruple-D cups and two bloody black eyes is spandex. Not a good design.

The latest example that got me irritated is from the pages of Marvel's execrable "Ultimates 3, Issue 1". Out of nowhere a teenage Valkyrie leaps from her flying horse, sword held high, to slash at Venom. Look at this photo and see if there's anything amiss here:

Valkyrie’s Gravity Defying Breasts

I ask you, outside of horribly botched enhancement surgery, have any nipples in history ever been located on that part of the breast? Breasts just don't do this, boys and girls. Then, of course, you have to ask yourself why there are nipples in this illustration at all. Besides being anatomically ridiculous, they're completely gratuitous -- who in their right mind wades into battle wearing nothing but a cut-off white t-shirt which has, apparently, just been drenched in water by the producers of "Girls Gone Wild"?

There's so much wrong with "Ultimates 3" I hesitate to even mention Nipple-Gate, but the abuse of the female figure in the comics industry is one of those things that really bugs me. Not that the males in this issue fare any better; there are so many guys with forearms the same girth as their biceps I thought I was at a Popeye convention. And every page looks like it was dipped in a black India ink wash. I'd criticize the dialog, but even calling it "dialog" is giving it more credit than it deserves. Bad plotting, bad art, bad writing, bad layouts, bad characters, bad concept, bad expressions, bad everything, this comic book is just bad bad bad bad bad bad bad.


Well, maybe it's not that bad, but Lord it isn't good.

(Image and characters ©2007 Marvel Characters, Inc.)

16 Responses to Super Bad Breasts

  1. Carrie says:

    Didn’t Sequential Tart used to have a column about stuff like this, back in the day? a ‘bizarre breasts’ column or somesuch?

    I seem to recall them harping on the issue routinely. It was a while back though. 😉

  2. thegrayhoodie says:

    GOOD GOD YOU CAN PISS AND MOAN WITH THE BEST OF THEM, HUH? Also, the gratuitous use of the word “bad” in your review really helped drive the point home. Hammering that word in over and over was really a good way to show what a competant writer you are.

  3. Jar-el says:

    uh, I think the reason for the up-turned nipples is the effect of gravity. I think that they were going for the “leaping attack” breast mode. when certain breast types get airborne they tend to have a “popping back and up at the same time” action. If you look at the whole panel, you will see what I mean. I am sure this is a stupid question, but, have you ever seen a woman attack someone and her boobs stay perfectly stationary? I didn’t think so. Welcome to the world of reality action comic book boobs.

  4. Jeff Hebert says:

    I’ve made a lifelong study of breasts, so yes, I am familiar with their performance characteristics in a variety of conditions. My intense study continues to this day. Which is what bugs me about this particular illustration — the nipples are in the wrong place given what they’re doing. They’re way too high up, leaving way too much breast tissue beneath them. Unless Valkyrie has retractable robo-breasts (which I wouldn’t put past Jeph Loeb), there ought to be much more mass mounded up behind the nipples as well, if they’re being flung so radically.

    The reason I hate it so much isn’t because I don’t know anything about anatomy, it’s because I know enough that when it’s egregiously wrong, as it is here, it just jumps out at me. This usage is both gratuitous and anatomically incorrect. Leaping from a flying horse and wielding a broadsword doesn’t make your nipples float to the top of the breast, no matter what the gravity field is.

  5. -Anonymous.- says:

    THANK FRIGGIN’ GOD, SOMEONE FINALLY SAID IT. I’m sick and tired of how most people nowadays complain about women not having large enough breasts. Listen. Being a female, LARGE BREASTS AREN’T ALL THAT GREAT. I don’t know what the hell there is to look at honestly, and yeah, sure I’m proud of them. But they AREN’T at all comfortable and most women could agree.
    I’m finally proud that a MAN out of all of those BOYS could stand up and say that big breasts just aren’t a good superhero attribute. It’s true. If people expect the superhero to be so damn athletic and sporty, bounding off rooftops… well, it isn’t going to be easy with F-sized cups. Sorry.

    You have points in my book. Regardless of what other people say, I think it was an EXCELLENT point. Very well stated.

  6. Redd Fox says:

    Hearing a gunshot, Our heroine’s rushes into action! One look at her and men are entranced! It’s Bigbustia (crappy name, I know, shuddup about it)! She leaps into action, running towards the gunshot! She takes a mighty jump up on the rooftops to reach the other side! Suddenly, her chest swings upward, there’s an ungodly -WHUMPF- noise and then blackness… Our Heroine comes to a few hours later, unharmed except for a few bruises. She looks around to see what happened… then she looks down. Muttering to herself something about jumping too hard, our Bigbustia leaps into fighting crime once again…

    Case Closed…

  7. meganerd 2.0 says:

    wats wrong with large breasts?

    sex sells is the principal that almost all our media runs on so why stop now? i have no problem with big breasts and big hammers

  8. Jingizu says:

    As an artist I see your points very well. Those buggers up there just aint right. Not that they are to small or big, just very very very wrong. If she was doing a leaping downwards slash, the bottom of her breasts would be flatter (as mass is moved upwards inside) her nipples is to far to the side and perhaps a wee bit to high too.

  9. maximus says:

    Come on. Lighten up. If you think people would rather see small breasted women, then draw them. Don’t rip on someone else’s work and not produce something better or at least to the contrary. This is all fantasy. You criticize someone for nipples being placed too high? What? And you follow up by saying if she was leaping off a winged horse wielding a broad sword it wouldn’t make her nipples appear high on her breasts? Has anyone ever tried it? Art is very subjective. I see nothing wrong with it. You draw your nipples where you think they look best and let overs do the same.

  10. Jeff Hebert says:

    Maximus, I DO draw breasts smaller than that. Not that there’s anything wrong with big breast. Just big breasts with the nipples ripped off and slapped back higher than they should be.

    And last I checked I wasn’t holding a gun to anyone’s head until my demands that everyone draw just like me are met. It’s called having an opinion, and everyone’s entitled to theirs.

    Even you!

  11. maximus says:

    Jeff, I don’t think I expressed my opinion except to say we should be a little less critical on others work without presenting our own to be judged in the same manner. And that this is all based in fantasy so if someone prefers to think superhuman beings have large breasts with nipples placed higher than the norm, what’s the harm? Being vigilant of where people place their nipples is one thing. Sure, I can see the benefit of having a “nipple police.” Citing people when their nipples creep too high. But let’s not become “nipple nazis.”

  12. Jeff Hebert says:

    I bet the phrase “Nipple Nazis” dramatically increases the search rank of this page. And the referring search terms should be comedy gold. Gold, Jerry, GOLD!

  13. About the breasts: My dad showed me some pictures of ugly people doing nude skydiving.(Or semi-nude if you count the jump gear.) To bear looking at them I covered the heads and other parts, so what the point was that he was trying to make. The women’s breasts were not maintaining their usual shape. Instead they were… distorted in a funny way. Like an “inside out” contact lens, or a deflated ball. Anyway, is that the image Jeff Hebert wants us to imagine? As for me, ever since I saw Supergirl wondering what Lucy’s bra was for, I’ve taken it for granted that superbreasts are immune to the effects of gravity, et cetera, compared to mortal breasts like say, Batgirl’s. As for the character used as an example, I don’t know which category she falls under as I don’t have those comics. But she looks sexy enough to me and I don’t see her nipples and aerolas as being off center, because of the angle, et al. As for breast preferences, I prefer perky over sagging ones that can hold a pencil under them, so in turn ones that are large due to implant enhancments have more appeal to me that ones that are large due ot obesity, et al, and that’s just a visual aesthetic, and not about how they feel.
    Two: I chose Batman, because I have the issue in which Batman defeated the Hulk without a long drown out slugfest.

  14. Bob says:

    Didn’t she just get out of bed when VEnom attacks?

  15. DemonCat says:

    *epic facepalm* Articles like this make me sad. The fact the fantasizing in any form is to be scrutinized and mocked for being “unrealistic”. Shall we badger Superman for being alien, too muscular, and sometimes sporting nipples too? How about Batman for having devices that currently cannot be created in real life, being too muscular, and (gasp!) nipples too? No. It ALWAYS is about women’s breasts.
    Imagination and fantasy are no longer sacred. I read pathetic, drama-filled “reviews” like this and I have to ask: Why the hell do you even bother reading comics in the first place?

  16. Intentsly says:

    Ok ok, we get it. You don’t like it.
    I agree the nipples are misplaced a bit, but then again she is a mythical being. Are not these comics targeted towards hormone crazed teens? Of course they’re going to draw nipples on them, it sells comics. Just as women’s magazines have the occasional overly developed male in advertisements. Market targeting always goes in a bad direction when it comes to focusing on sex to make money. Change it and we all may have an earth worth living in for years to come. Until then, complain to the artist who is drawing these gratuitous things and see if you can dissuade them from making money on projects like this. The teenage mind (the targeted market) will time and time again go for the more attractive busty heroines or over the top developed male heroes and characters. Anyone ugly is evil and evil is always angry and vengeful and never forgiving and and… it smells like teen spirit