Kansas City based illustrator and toy designer (and founder of MAD Toy Design, Inc.) Jeremy Madl has stumbled onto a unique form of protest art. He has turned five Superheroes and three villains into Death Heads. He has even changed their logos and uniforms to reflect the symbol of this corruption.
His artist statement explains the reason for the protest:
This is a series of new illustrations overlaying my “Modern Hero” character onto classic and iconic “Heroes” from my childhood. Growing up on a steady diet of cartoons, toys and video games in the 80’s and 90’s my love for these characters and stories runs deep. They’ve inspired my imagination for almost 40 years… but the “Heroes” of today are often motivated by profit rather than to inspire.
The “Modern Hero” character in my work is just a skeleton of what he was in his glory days. Forever doomed with the burden of chasing “Big Money” he’ll never be able to rest. Spawned during an age of creativity and imagination where he thrived, but now stuck living in an age of remakes and stagnation.
Whether you agree or disagree Madl's art (which had a solo exhibition in Kansas City in July) is creepily effective. Like all good protest art it is blatantly in your face obvious in the way it startles and shocks. The reason that comic books and superhero movies exists is for the sole purpose of making money. Let me know whether you think Madl's superhero/comic book beliefs are true or not in the comments. You can find more of Jeremy Madl's work athis Behance page.