• Coronavirus badge

This Artist Created A Flipbook Reimagining Essential Workers As Marvel Superheroes, And It’s So Captivating To Watch

“Superheroes are real. They walk among us.”

The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus. To help keep this news free, become a member and sign up for our newsletter, Outbreak Today.

From thousands of people taking a minute out of their day every week to applaud health care workers to performing individual acts of everyday kindness, people across the country are finding ways to show their appreciation for NHS staff as they help the UK battle the coronavirus outbreak.

Boughton Water Tower 💙 #NHSheroes @ShitChester

To show his thanks, 36-year-old artist Howard Lee got creative and reimagined essential workers as Marvel superheroes in this extremely captivating flipbook art.

Spider-Man, Captain America, and Wolverine all make appearances as a doctor, paramedic, and other essential workers. The attention to detail is honestly *chef's kiss*.


People who saw it online were absolutely living for it and were encouraged to tag their own real-life superheroes.


Lee, who's from Gateshead, has been creating art on Instagram since 2015 and makes flipbooks to re-create famous scenes and characters from popular culture.

He told BuzzFeed News that the pandemic has inspired much of his latest work.

“In recent weeks, the flipbooks have become about the experience of the pandemic but still using well-known character references,” he said.

Courtesy of Howard Lee

Artist Howard Lee

The flipbook pays homage to the many ways in which superheroes have become a symbol of hope for people during the outbreak.

Howard said: “Though the idea of essential workers being compared to superheroes is not one I can claim credit for, the piece really just echoes the incredible respect we all have for those on the front line, taking risks to keep society going in many different ways.”

With flipbooks typically taking him around five days to complete, Howard said creating them can be “intense and laboursome”, but the feedback he has received on his latest work has been particularly rewarding.

“My inbox has been very busy this week, lots of messages from people who work in health care that have loved seeing the artwork.

“I was even contacted by an ambulance worker who recognized herself as the photo reference for the second scene! That was very special.”

With all of us living in such uncertain times, Howard also touched upon how important art is in lifting up people’s spirits.

“I’ve heard it said recently that in times of crisis we turn to art. Some people will be helped through this situation with music or film; for others it may be drawing, painting, or writing.

“The medium doesn’t matter, but creativity in itself is helping a lot of people keep it together right now.”

Georgia Chambers is a news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Georgia Chambers at georgia.chambers@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here