The contrast between the colorful vintage superheroes and the grey shaded real world.
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 strong war scenes are established in the real world, where the grey shaded line between good and evil isn't always clear.
Original: "Tank Man", Beijing, 1989, by Jeff Widener.
I've seen a few people saying that this mashup piece takes out all the courage and attitude of the unknown tank man by removing the "loner common man against the giants of war" feeling. Well, if you notice, The Incredible Hulk is wearing the same clothes as the man. The Hulk is not protecting the man - He IS the man. The piece evokes how the tank man felt by deciding to stand against all the oppression.
Original by Joe Rosenthal, 1945, Iwo Jima.
Original: "General Nguyen Ngoc Loan Executing a Viet Cong prisoner", Vietnam, 1968, by Eddie Adams.
American Soldiers Blowing Up a Japanese Bunker - Original by W. Eugene Smith, Iwo Jima, 1945.
Original: "Napalm Girl", Vietnam, 1972, by Nick Ut.
This is another controversial piece. Of course it's not my intention to mock or poke fun at that situation whatsoever. For starters, the whole project is a commentary on the basic concept of War Photography. I'm sure a lot of war photographers get criticised for exploring moments like that to take award-winning shots instead of help people in that kind of situation. That was the first thing that came into my mind when I first saw that, and other war pictures in my life. But in the other hand this is now history that has to be told. And has to be learned, so it won't happen ever again (although it still does). Now to the meaning of the actual mashup: as much as I love Superman, we all know what he used to represent, especially at the time of that comic, the 40's/50's - and his presence there is a commentary on that. Enough said.
Original: "Falling Soldier", Spanish Civil War, 1936, by Robert Capa.
Dr. Fritz Klein standing in a mass grave in Belsen, German, 1945, by Oakes, H (Sgt) No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit.
WWI, photographer unknown.
Original by Robert Capa, Omaha Beach, D-Day, 1944.
Vietnam War protest in Philadelphia, back in the 70's. Photographer unknown.
Original by Max Alpert, depicting WWII Battalion Commander A. Yeremenko leading his soldiers to the assault.
WWII, photographer unknown.
Adolf Hitler, Nazi German, photographer unknown.
This is another piece that some people seem to not get, as it is meant to be highly ironic because I happen to find Magneto a quite paradoxical character. We all know the Malcolm X inspiration behind him, but despite all the Holocaust background Erik Lehnsher has, I can't help in finding quite interesting how he ended up dedicating his life to be a ruler and eliminate everyone who isn't the same race as him. As a villain he crossed the line a long time ago and turned into what he hated the most - kind of like a Hannibal Lecter backstory also.
Original: "Raising a flag over the Reichstag", World War II Battle of Berlin, 1945, by Yevgeny Khaldei.