Fantasy Armor for a Comic Book World Part 1

 

In starting my comic I had to think long and hard about armor. An ancient fantasy culture with some hints of magic and mysticism, battle, weaponry and all that needs to have armor that fits the characters. ┬áIt got me thinking…

 

Why Armor?

You’re about to go into a dangerous situation. You know everyone will be out to stick you with something pointy or beat you into a pasty sludge. Since you generally consider death to be a net negative, not to mention dismemberment, laceration, or other bodily harm. Over the thousands upon thousands of years humans have been seeking to do just that to each other there have only be so many choices:

 

  1. Pray. A lot. Almost everyone did it, but the only option for most people who’ve joined battle over the millenia. Prayer might give you the confidence to face your foes, but the armor of faith never provided the protection of…
  2. skill. Ever seen someone swash a buckle? A truly skilled warrior can dance circles around an opponent without fear of getting skewered. They spend a lifetime honing their skills for dueling and the hopes of making a name for themselves by embarrassing countless foes one at a time. Inigo MontoyaBut no matter what skill you achieve, in a pitched battle, nothing will protect you from the unexpected attacks like…
  1. armor. Padded cloth, leather, metal plates, scales, or mail, armor is designed to deflect or lessen the effect of blows. It doesn’t take much skill to wear it and its protection is constant regardless of skill or strength of the person wearing it. Which isn’t to say that using armor effectively doesn’t take skill, but leather doesn’t cease to be leather just because you haven’t been trained for it. Armor is expensive, getting to be used by relatively few in the history of warfare. When you haven’t got the funds, but you have the hot bod, the best alternative is…
  2. sexy fantasy armor!! That’s right, armor for those who either want to turn away attacks by virtue of their eminent sexuality or otherwise want to make a very hot corpse. The protection is nearly flawless so long as you are female and your opponent is male. If your opponent is female… well, just hope they hit you in the boobs.
Jenny Poussin in fantasy armor

Image courtesy of the incomparable Jenny Poussin.

 

Fantasy armor? Really?

Yes, really! Apparently, it’s the most effective armor in the history of armor. I say this because it’s in almost every video game, comic book, manga, anime, etc. From the mail bikini to the overhuge plate armor with pauldrons the size of mac trucks, such armor has become the staple of fantasy for more than 40 years.

It’s really quite easy to explain. Fantasy as a genre was the realm of young men and boys for most of its somewhat notorious past. Teen males sitting around throwing dice on a saturday night work out certain fantasies by creating super brawny male characters or super sexualized females and playing them out. The paintings of Boris Vallejo and other fantasy artists, the depictions in early fantasy comics like Conan and its peers all recognized their market and influenced it.

Whatever the origins and influences, we now have some wonderful characters who are played completely straight in highly sexual outfits which can’t possibly give any real armor value.

Birdy

Birdy the Mighty: space cop extraordinaire and nearly invincible in her bathing suit. er.. armor.

Xena in fantasy armor

Xena showing fantasy plate armor gives amazing protection to roughly 5% of your body!

 

 

 

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