Here's a project for someone more tolerant of Alex Ross than I am. I've read several arguments that Ross painted Colonel Steel with a bulge only because his model had one. I have no idea if this is true, because I really don't pay much attention to Ross' art. (I mean, at the risk of undermining my credibility I will admit to owning a copy of Kingdom Come, but I don't feel like spending Saturday afternoon looking at Ross' drearily realistic depictions of intellectual properties who have no place in reality.) But for those of you who do pay attention to Ross' art (or who are willing to do so), I have formulated a rough plan for a study of his phallic leanings (does that count as a pun?):
1. Does Ross have a habit of painting men with realistic genitalia, or was the current painting in question an aberration?
2. Is there any pattern to his depiction of bulges?
3. If there is a pattern, does it reflect the genitalistic diversity of his models, or does it reflect Ross' perception of which characters should be well-endowed? If my suspicion is correct, I'm guessing that a certain Green Lantern is putting this Steel fellow to shame.
(I suppose it's also possible that Ross has simply become more comfortable with the male body over time, or perhaps has developed a sense of humor, or has become sympathetic to those of us who are annoyed with the depiction of women in comics, or maybe he's just looking to bait some fanboys. But I'm betting on the Hal Jordan Hypothesis)
Let me know if any of you are interested! I'll send my copy of Kingdom Come as a reward for the first person who produces a study that meets my approval.