Kumasi J. Barnett Flips Classic Comic Books To Highlight An Heroic Black Experience
Marvel and DC movies are raking in millions in the box office telling the stories of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Captain Marvel, Spiderman, Batman, The Flash, Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Superman, just to name a few. These daring and striking films stem from the ever so popular classic comics, and a new spin on the tales comes from a Brooklyn-based artist Kumasi J. Barnett.
Lowell Ryan Projects presents Barnett's The Amazing Black-Man exhibit which kicked off July 13 in Los Angeles. The series features two hundred hand-painted comic books from the DC and Marvel world.
Barnett, however, has painted over these vintage covers to give a very black presence. Replacing all familiar faces with new characters including The Amazing Black-Man, The Media's Thug, Whitedevil, and Police-Man, the narrative for the comics instantaneously change.
He replaces Spider-Man's unforgettable bodysuit to a hoodie and jeans, Superman's logo with stars and bars of the Confederate flag, and turns all of the supervillains into the controversial nemesis –the police.
While flipping the Good v. Evil narrative, Barnett addresses real-world issues and works to resolve the strain of racism in American history and the justice system.
His re-creations pose the questions: What kind of superhero is The Amazing Black-Man? In a society built on systemic racism, does his brown mask hide his identity or define it? Is his costume actually a costume?
The exhibition runs through August 17.
Check out some of our favorite images from his collection below.