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.
Whatcha folks think? I'm always eager to take criticism and suggestions, and I'd love to hear what you have to say. Also, if you have you own story you'd like me to check out, edit, or critique, let me know!
Some people can pull it off, (Sam Jackson's Fury didn't phase me at all) but I think that it generally just works better all-around to have actors that are the same race as the character they portray, especially with well-established characters such as GL.