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Ross' strength is also his weakness: all his work is "photo-realistic," which means it has a cool realism to it, but also means it lacks the fluidity, dynamism and exaggeration that pretty much defines really great comic art. As long as you agree with his vision of what the characters should look like -- which pretty much means like Alex Ross' friends, family, dentist, etc -- then you're in luck, otherwise not so much. Ross' art answers the question, "What would it look like if superheroes were real," and the answer is very often, "They'd look ridiculous."
In this case, his models are actors we already know and love in the roles, so there's not much of a downside.
I love that this not only achieves the team-up I always wanted (but will never get) but also captures the feel of a vintage "World's Finest" comic cover.
Probably a commission we'll never see anywhere else, but if it was a poster or print I'd shell out the bucks for it, and hang it framed.
Some of the story. Ironically since they did a 77 WW, why not a '78 Superman
Totally agree with the sentiments and the line about his Dentist made me laugh. I've been arguing for years that total realism in comics only emphasizes how ridiculous these costumes are in real life. His Batman (Not the west one) with the tall boots looks like a cross dresser to me. That's no attack on Alex, the costume just is plain silly on a real person.
It also explains why Hollywood goes the rubber suit version.
But even then, the "realism" is ridiculous. I'd love to see two trained fighters, one dressed in loose fitting clothes and one wearing the Keaton or Affleck Batman suit (and I guarantee you said combat fighters would NOT be hugely muscled guys) and see how long the guy in the rubber suit lasts-- I'm guessing all of two minutes. You can't fight if you can't move and even worse if you can't see.
DC keeps on making Batman bigger and bigger, muscle on muscle, and it's ridiculous. He's supposed to be able to leap from building to building, if he was carrying that much heft he would be winded after the first leap.
Also a cape would be tough to fight in.
After watching Keaton Batman for the first time I thought " he can't turn his head, maybe no one comes at him from the side?"
However, that is the reason I love Alex's work. The realism. How would these people look walking down the street? Don't you occasionally see a guy at a Con and think" Oh, now that's Batman?", or something similar?
Isn't everyone constantly designing the suit he would wear, if he was Batman, in their heads? " This works, that doesn't..."
No, just me?
And finally, did we find out what these pieces are for? Covers? Prints?
I like when the Batmen mix it up--- so maybe you get an Gotham By Gaslight Batman, or a Silver Age Batman or even a full size adult Ben Cooper Batman costume.
The first time I ever saw Ross's work that was exactly my reaction Batrunner-- but when he got to Batman he used the rubber cowl and I was disappointed. As an artist I can also spot models, and when you use the same model for more than one character it's a letdown. I do like that he uses Fred MacMurray for his Captain Marvel, even though I'd go with Tom Tyler. I think he might be the single best live interpretation of a superhero in costume.