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Posted by TypingKira

To look badass and hold your bullets and capes? 

Also -- first to post!!!!!
Edited by EdwardWindsor

I think the shoulder pads are there to try and intimidate people, and offer a tiny bit of added protection while doing so. Also Deathlok has shoulder pads/pad as shown in recent uncanny xforce,

As for bringing the pads back i hope not lol

Posted by Last_Guardian


Edited by Grim

i always imagined Cable in the future running and shooting and taking crazy dive-roles on rocky terrain.... but ive considered it pretty stupid on everyone else. The mans a freaking tank, and it makes sense for him.
 and certain armors make sense if you have shoulder mounting accessories or something. or solar panels. Thats healing the world and saving it.
  the only other proper use i see is the fear factor. Batman has worn the creepy shoulder spikes from time to time, and you know it works cuz.... well, he's batman.
 lol. i have that same Darkhawk issue, and a handful of New Universe comics. wow.

The Giant Boots are (hopefully) never coming back. But i'd love to see more fingerless gloves... and Ray-bans. It always cracked me up when someone showed up to a superhero fight to save the world in $100+ shades. What job do you have that allows you to fight crime and afford expensive glasses that are constantly being broken?

Posted by ZagZagovich

Norm has no idea about good ideas because this idea was great. Also if fashion is cyclical when were shoulder pads before the 80's?

Posted by matthuliz

I believe this shoulder pad originates from the military uniform with shoulder pads (The one usually seen on parades).

So my take is that shoulder pads are their for visual effect. Makes the wearer more muscular or bigger or look tougher.


Posted by Mucklefluga

Dilemma: Go see Thor in 3D today by myself or go se Fast 5 Today with my mates and Thor in 3D on Saturday?


Edited by Meritas

Yeah, we must see shoulder pads again. Characters wearing such look way more threatening, and even if Cable is my favorite character I still think there are other heroes/villains who looked badass wearing these. Yeah, like Stryfe. :D Just kidding, there are other too. Mr. Sinister - shoulder pads looks good on him.

Posted by Backflip

I'm surprised they didn't mention Power Girl

Posted by craigbo180
@Backflip: Her shoulder pad is to support her cape and also for stylish decoration.

I used to have a friend at school who we all called sergeant shoulder pads.
Posted by Ultimate_MiracleMan

ahh, shoulder pads, one of the greater threats to superhero's everywhere. Forget aliens, evil clones and rogue's galleries, these are what will truly test a hero.

Posted by BoOMbOoMpOw
 I think it`s clear that Power girl has a shoulder pad to hold her cape but yeah I was surprised too that they didn`t mention her :)

And that crotch on the cover looked weird O.o
Posted by doublezeroduck

Cable looks pretty bad ass with them 

Posted by Joe Venom

The bigger the Shoulder pads, the more of a badass that character is!

Posted by SC
AAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOHHHH WHAT A RUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Damn, I can't hear you guys now over the Legion of Doom theme song! lol

Tho' I am now imagining you three as Professional Wrestlers...
Posted by SC

Norm is actually right about artists and shoulders, but its not so much they couldn't draw shoulders, its a proportion and anatomy factor, shoulder pads are a short cut of sorts. Its no coincidence that Rob Liefeld was extremely found of designing characters with shoulder pads. Power generally, thats more of a stance, and build thing, shoulder pads add more of a diversity factor, way to distinguish a character ore, allow for more details, and lines, allows more stylization and personalization. Plus a lot of these characters looks, weren't designed to be viewed as should pads, but meant to invoke the look of knights, as in with shoulder plates. Like Iron Man and War Machine, I mean, details, but iron soldered shoulder plates >> shoulder pads. I mean same with action figures and dolls. lol

I don't think they really left either. So no come back, just to be used in moderation. Not every character can pull them off... 

I always though belts were over used in comic sense, I mean clothes are so tight, why would they need belts? Artistically I understand. 
Posted by Roxanne Starr

I can't post on your wall right now because your wall is flooded (?) I never heard of that before.

Oh, well...Easter was fine here. So was my birthday, which was Saturday.
Posted by GothamRed

I miss in the nineties when all new heroes had finger beams, but fashion wise, I think that comics should re-popularize the bowler hat, and maybe the handle bar moustache.

Posted by satanmode

 I think they started appearing in comics because shoulder pads make the hero's shoulders look even broader than they already are and because it was something new and different to draw at the time.
If anyone's to blame for keeping shoulder pads alive for the past 5 years it's World of Warcraft-esque games:

Edited by Arevish
@Backflip: You look at her shoulders? xD



" To look badass and hold your bullets and capes? "


Posted by Baddamdog

Can't believe Rob Liefield was only mentioned once!

Posted by Uncas007

The Askani probably just love epaulettes.  Nothing says "Apocalypse resistance" like neo-classical, pseudo-Victorian shoulder wear.  The Askani'Son with epaulettes just makes sense.  Domino wearing a bustle, likewise, could work.
Posted by No_Name_
@ZagZagovich said:
" Norm has no idea about good ideas because this idea was great. Also if fashion is cyclical when were shoulder pads before the 80's? "
Yeah! Look at military uniforms from every era all over the world. All have shoulder pads. 
Posted by InnerVenom123

Well damn, I dunnno, TO PROTECT YOUR SHOULDERS?????

Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

how to design a character in the 90's

1) 5 o clock shadow
2 ponytail
3 cybernetic implants
4 one glowing eye, preferably red in color
5 no matter your super powers, carry as many  insanely large futuristic firearms as possible at all times

Posted by PhoenixoftheTides

At 1:54, I think she was trying to say that women wore shoulder pads during the '80s to appropriate a trait that was often possessed by powerful, impressive men for themselves. There is a mental component to seeing broad shoulders - we connect this with being strong and impressive. In this case, the intimidation factor of having broad shoulders and a large frame could be borrowed in women's dress to compensate for general smaller body size. 

Posted by Doctor!!!!!

Shoulder pads are cool..... make you look tough.. sometimes.

Posted by satanmode
@Mrfuzzynutz:   I love that he has lots of multiple cybernetic arms but also has a phone cord hooked up to his earpiece.  I love the old future!
Posted by azza04

I think its definitely an intimidation thing, when someone is challenged or confronted they often square their shoulders to emphasize the fact that they are standing their ground. Shoulder pads would just enhance the effect. Should heroes and villians start wearing them again? NO. I think they look awful, plus we have thinner and better looking materials (kevlar) that offer just as much protection as massive pads.     

Posted by PhoenixoftheTides

Oh, and shoulder pads should not come back. 

I'm surprised they didn't show Storm, Psylocke's first outfit (when she was still brainwashed and made her first appearance in her Asian body), Kwannon or Revanche's 90s uniforms. Shoulder pads galore!
Posted by Herx

hey, so long as they dont need to turn their head left and right let them wear shoulderpads.

Posted by Video_Martian


Posted by kevin88wk

that topic kinda sucked .... a lot

Posted by Wattup

What an odd discussion topic. How about why superheroes wear underwear over tights? Or why so few heroes nowadays don't wear capes?

Posted by dewboy01

Posted by Soldier zero

Grated that the main point of having giant shoulder pads is the intimidation factor, shoulder width is one of the clearest indications of physical power and aggressiveness in body language. Aside from that I think that the main reasons to use shoulder pads are:

  1. Protection: joints are the most difficult part of the human body to properly armor, large shoulder pads do a decent work armoring the shoulders, proving also a little bit of protection to the neck and the torso
  2. Carrying: when carrying heavy equipment, like ammo and armor, 90% of the weight is hadled by the shoulders, padded shoulder pads are a decent way to reduce the discomfort

Aside from that it's one of those fashion things that are beyond my ability to comprehend, of all the 90s fashion statements pouches - in controlled numbers - are the only one that I usually support. Why?
Because I can't see any other way you can carry around your cell phoe while weaping tights.
Posted by Psycorvus


I would love to see more fingerless gloves again!


Oh and the whole shades thing, as a kid I thought it waqs wicked but as a twenty three year old man I can really see that only the douche bag guys go to fight crime or save the world with shades on... Booster Gold, Jubilee and Jonny Cage I am looking DIRECTLY at you.

Posted by Metatron_Da_Don
@InnerVenom123 said:
" Well damn, I dunnno, TO PROTECT YOUR SHOULDERS????? "
plus it looks cool to little kids and sells toys! $$$$
Edited by Metatron_Da_Don

Anime Cyclops with shoulder pads looks pretty bad though. Maybe it's the pads in addition to the cleavage cut (albeit with a shirt underneath) but he looks like a woman. Bad design.

Posted by Mr. Kamikaze

Norm wears that shirt a lot.... :P

Posted by Mbecks14

oh the 90s...

Posted by sladewilson30

it makes them look intimidating

Posted by Mr. Kamikaze

I am pretty sure shoulder pads are protective gear. Whether they are necessary or not, who knows, but the presence of shoulder pads probably serves to make the character look bigger and more intimidating, and/or give off some perception of defensiveness...

or maybe artists just didn't know how to draw shoulders.... *shrug*
Posted by Undeadpool

Not to defend this almost completely ridiculous fashion choice, but single shoulder pads actually DO serve a purpose: if you're a swordfighter, you'll often put one on your leading arm to protect it from a counter-attack. So yes, sadly, Shatterstar having a single pad is actually sensible.

Posted by ZagZagovich
True. Military gear in not exactly fashion though. It's more about being practical and shoulder pads were not a practical thing for quite a while now).
Posted by red_rover
@Backflip said:
" I'm surprised they didn't mention Power Girl
Look at that she has a shoulder pad.  And shoulders.  Huh.  I never looked that high before.
Posted by No_Name_
@Babs said:
" @ZagZagovich said:
" Norm has no idea about good ideas because this idea was great. Also if fashion is cyclical when were shoulder pads before the 80's? "
Yeah! Look at military uniforms from every era all over the world. All have shoulder pads.  "
Napoleon Bonaparte: So, how is this practical and not strictly for fashion? 

Posted by .Mistress Redhead.
@Babs said:
" @Babs said:
" @ZagZagovich said:
" Norm has no idea about good ideas because this idea was great. Also if fashion is cyclical when were shoulder pads before the 80's? "
Yeah! Look at military uniforms from every era all over the world. All have shoulder pads.  "
Napoleon Bonaparte: So, how is this practical and not strictly for fashion? 

Am I wrong... but did the shoulder thingymabobs not represent something in the military?.... *research needed! on my part* lol

Side note, damn he has intense eyes
Posted by .Mistress Redhead.

I love this video, your all just chit chatting about it, I love it! MORE MORE

and shoulder pads are huge at my work.. but then I sell clothing for 60 year old women...

Great stuff guys, thanks for this!
Edited by Roter_Sand

Shoulder pads, in a stylistic sense, probably originated from the Roman gladiator (which is why the concept of the single shoulder pad exists). Shoulder pads can make a character look intimidating, militant, and just plain cool. That being said, shoulder pads in the 90's, like many other artistic tropes, were blown totally out of proportion. 

Additionally, the concept of shoulder armor is not really as ridiculous as it sounds. Aside from the helmet and shield, a pauldron is easily the most important piece of protective armor one can wear. 
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