Comic book superheroes and bodybuilders have always had one thing in common - implausibly muscular bodies. Super men and wonderful women with well-defined abs, toned muscles and incredible strength. In this current golden age of all things comic book related like popular movies, fitness and supplement company Shredz paired two of their sponsored athletes, Paige Hathaway and Joey Swoll, in a promotional video inspired by the upcoming feature film adaptation of DC Comics' 'Sucide Squad.'
Set to a dramatic electro-synth soundtrack, Hathaway in Harley Quinn's signature pigtails and white makeup and Swoll in the Joker's iconic permawhite face and red smile stalk around a gym, playing to the camera while pumping some iron. It's a crazily edited montage of two of the fittest people on the planet working out while having fun as comic's notorious duo.
The homage may not extend beyond the makeup but it is an example of comic book culture's influence on the world of fitness. Comic books and fitness have influenced each other since the early days when young artists found inspiration from strongmen and bodybuilders of their day in designing superheroes. When a former Mr. Universe, Lou Ferrigno, was cast as the Incredible Hulk, Hollywood looked to bodybuilders to try and fill the shoes of classic, larger-than-life figures found in comics. Even in this crowded comic book TV/movie landscape, actors from Hugh Jackman to Henry Cavill to Chris Hemsworth have to adhere to strict fitness regimens to get as close as possible to the physique of Wolverine, Superman or Thor.
Competive fitness pros themselves have used Joker makeup, for example, during their routines and many participate in cosplay, dressed in their favorite superhero costume for conventions or photo shoots. These absurdly muscular and fit characters are beginning to take shape and come to reality in the form of fit athletes. It's like the heroes have walked right off the page.
Some fanboys may balk at the video for not being "authentic" enough but they forget some of these muscle-bound fitness pros are fanboys and fangirls too. I'm ready to see more bodybuilders embrace their inner geek.