13 Black & White War Photos Repopulated With Superheroes

Teasing out the uneasy relationship between memory and color, illlustrator Butcher Billy juxtaposes iconic images against retro comic book elements to powerful, disturbing, and unexpected effect. Graphic images ahead (no pun intended).


Original by Joe Rosenthal, 1945, Iwo Jima.

Notes the artist:

The visual experiment ended up bringing different results to each piece — from giving a whole new meaning to the picture by modifying the original concept, to reinforcing the same idea by making clear just how the elements were influenced by the history depicted in the photos, or even saying a lot about the psychology behind fiction and reality.

While we see the contrast between the black and white photos and the colorful vintage comic books elements, it’s interesting to notice how the superheroes and supervillains world was actually “black and white” in a metaphoric way, while the grotesque war scenes are established in the real world, where the grey line between good and evil isn’t always clear.


Original: “Tank Man”, Beijing, 1989, by Jeff Widener.


Original: “General Nguyen Ngoc Loan Executing A Viet Cong prisoner”, Vietnam, 1968, by Eddie Adams.


Original by W. Eugene Smith, Iwo Jima, 1945.


Original: “Napalm Girl”, Vietnam, 1972, by Nick Ut.


WWII, photographer unknown.


Original by Max Alpert, depicting WWII Battalion Commander A. Yeremenko leading his soldiers to the assault.


WWI, photographer unknown.


Original: “Falling Soldier”, Spanish Civil War, 1936, by Robert Capa.


Vietnam War protest in Philadelphia, back in the 70’s. Photographer unknown.


Dr. Fritz Klein standing in a mass grave in Belsen, German, 1945, by Oakes, H (Sgt) No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit.


Adolf Hitler, Nazi German, photographer unknown.


Original: “Raising A Flag Over The Reichstag”, World War II Battle of Berlin, 1945, by Yevgeny Khaldei.

Also by Butcher Billy:

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