Some might say all art is a reflection of the times we live in.
If back in the day comics and movies were pretty naive and faced only as pure escapism, today's fiction has to evoke reality to create something truly meaningful... and frightening.
This series is an experiment where a dictator, a psycho, a murderer (sometimes they are the whole package) or even a suspicious figure from real life is mashed with a comics bad guy - strangely related some way or the other with his counterpart.
The depressing thing? Realising that if the comic book supervillains were actually the ones threatening real life, the world wouldn't be such a bad place.
One of my first inspirations for the concept of this series was the artist and creator Jack Kirby, who once said, back in the 70's, that he modeled the alien dictator Darkseid on Hitler, and his planet Apokolips on Nazi Germany. But since the very beginning I had a different idea for Adolf. So, as most of the amalgamations were at first based in the visual, I thought about Mao because Darkseid has a face that appears to be made of stone, he almost never changes it. As The Chairman also appeared to be a man of only one expression, I chose him. I think that is the appeal because even if you don't know much about Darkseid you see Mao's face in him and it simply "matches".
If you have a lot of weird imagination, you can think Bin Laden creepy looks is very similar to Green Goblin's mask, but if you don't, just check the mash-up and you can confirm that. Plus the fact the archnemesis of Spiderman flies around in a glider throwing bombs, so I saw a connection there.
The twisted version of Superman from the parallel universe known as The Bizarro World has a creepy square-shaped face, and I couldn't think of another man that matches him more than the truly "bizarre" former ruler of Libya.
Galactus is a cosmic entity from Marvel Comics known as The Word Eater, or The World Devourer. Hitler wanted to establish a New Order in continental Europe, but I bet if he was not stopped he would sure try to make that a New World Order. And with all the heavy propaganda, charismatic oratory and firepower, I can see he was the only dictator that actually could "eat the world". Plus I needed someone that could be easily recognizable inside the Galactus Helmet. It's interesting how you can totally see it's him just by his eyes and moustache. But the real appeal for this one is sure the detail in Galactus helmet, a simple reshape in the original and it turned into a swastika.
This one was another inspiration for the original concept of the series. I was watching an interview with Manson set in the 70's and I was completely amazed of how he reminded me The Joker as played by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. Not just phisically, but the expressions, the way he moves, the way he talks, the voice tone, everything. I'm absolutely sure Manson was the biggest influence for the actor to create that version of the character. And I bet that is why the result was so brilliant and realistically terrifying. So this amalgamation was very exciting to make.
They do look alike, because they're both obese and use glasses, but there's something a bit deeper about them. As Chapman had an obsession with John Lennon to the point of killing him, Doctor Octopus has shown recently in the comics that he is actually so obsessed with Spiderman that he even found a way of oddly swap bodies with the hero in a whole saga of stories called "Superior Spiderman". So he actually wants to be Spiderman, not killl him. While in the real world you can't do things like body swap, Chapman saw only one solution to his obsession.
This mash-up was so perfect that it is probably the funniest of them all. They look so alike that it is hard to believe the character was not based on the dictator. I don't know if he was, but when you learn that Kraven is supposed to be Russian, there's only one thing to say: case closed.
I've been getting a lot of criticism because of that choice, but let's not forget that when you mash real people with comic books characters from the 60's, it's supposed to be silly and humourous. I'm not trying to be political by choosing sides or parties here, and I wasn't the first one to portray Bush as a villain for a laugh. My first choice for him would be Lex Luthor, because the character actually became the president of the United States modeled by Bush a few years ago in DC Comics. But the choice was so obvious to the point that wasn't very interesting, not even visually. So Two-Face fit better, I guess, both phisically and contextually.
Probably this is the most controversial of them all. Some people get the joke right away and find the irony there, while others seem to be so annoyed to see Zuckerberg portrayed as a villain among people like Hitler and Bin Laden. But what they seem to forget is that a true mob gang needs all kinds of criminals, not just the bully type. How great would it be if in the middle of all the declared wackos and psychos there’s an unsuspected tech-geek, who never killed anyone, but does the hacker work by gathering personal information from people all over the world through an unsuspected network? That would be the quintessential evil genius plan. My first choice for Zuckerberg was going to be Batman Forever’s Riddler, because that is basically what he does in the film, but with a kitchen blender helmet instead of a social network. But because of all the controverse background Mark has, in the end I decide “The God of Mischief” would fit better and say it all.
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