Superhero Illustrations with a New Wave Twist

With the continued success of Comic-Con and the various DC Comics and Marvel franchise blockbusters, it’s safe to say that our fascination with superheroes may be at an all-time high. So it is a little surprising when a superhero-themed design really stops us in our tracks, but alas, designer Butcher Billy has accomplished this feat with his “Post-Punk/New Wave Super Friends.”

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In these designs, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Firestorm, Aquaman and Plastic Man are reimagined as music pop culture icons. While Flash as D.E.V.O. (cool red hat and all) with the line “It’s not too late to whip it! Whip it good” is probably my favorite, Billy Idol as Aquaman riding a seahorse with the line “Hey little sister whose your Superman? Hey little sister shot gun!” is a close second. My top choices can likely be attributed to my affinity for always cutting a rug to the “Safety Dance” and the hilarious cameo Billy Idol makes in “The Wedding Singer,” but each of the drawings is well executed, mixing strong design work with a playful concept.

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The bright colors and classic comic book typography may lead you to believe this project is simplistic or just for fun, but below the surface, Butcher Billy is really exploring the idea of what makes someone a pop icon:

As a child of the 80’s I was heavily influenced by everything from Saturday morning cartoons on TV to the music coming from the radio. Ian Curtis or Johnny Rotten are as iconic to me as Superman or Batman. Real people or imaginary characters, the incorruptible ideals of perfect superheroes or the human flaws and desires sometimes so desperately depicted in song lyrics—all of those influences affect us to the point of defining our character and personality, career paths and life choices.

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To see all the images, check out Butcher Billy’s Behance page.


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