Justice

This African Artist Is Showing Superheroes in a Whole New Light

March 18th 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

Salim Busuru, a comic book artist in Kenya, has re-imagined superheroes as people from Africa in light of the "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" release, and people are loving his creations.

Busuru shared a Facebook gallery of his artwork on Thursday, writing that he was "very excited" for the new film and wondered how the superheroes would look if they were from the diverse continent of Africa.

 

 

Busuru wrote:

"I got to thinking how these heroes would be if they were from Africa… so I drew them and then the wondering began; Where would they be from? what would they be fighting against? what kind of people they would have to be? and so on. As I answered these questions in my mind the more I felt that the whitewashing (or is it blacktracking, hehe I just thought of that) of American characters might not suit an African narrative. I say this because all good stories talk about aspects of life, whether it is in a science fiction movie, a novel, a video game or a comic book."

He also re-wrote the back stories of Batman and Superman, as their lives would be much different if the grew up in certain regions of Africa than in the fictional city of Gotham. For example, Busuru wrote that his version of Batman had to kill his own parents at a young age, a reflection of the reality of child soldiers in some parts of the continent.

 

 

"[U]nlike Bruce [Wayne], this Batman was made to kill his own parents using a machete as is the case with a number of child soldiers, after which he is [kidnapped] and he trained in the forest until one day he and other kids (this allows for multiple batmen with different [ideologies]) are rescued and de-programmed by a former soldier who trains him properly and starts him off on the path to becoming the African Batman."

Superman's back story is supposed to be a representation of the Arab Spring and Syria crisis:

 

SUPERMANAs I was drawing the African Superman I came up with a backstory that had him come from Egypt and so his back...

Posted by Salim Busuru on Thursday, March 17, 2016

 

"As I was drawing the African Superman I came up with a back story that had him come from Egypt and so his back story would be a metaphor of the Arab spring mixed with the destruction of Syria and maybe making him sort of the last Arab," Busuru wrote. "His costume is based on the Egyptian Gods and pharaohs’ attire as [Superman] is basically regarded as a god among men. His powers would be the usual ones; heat vision, super-strength etc."

He has also re-imagined The Joker and Wonder Woman:

 

the JOKER! a corruptor, a cannibal, a false prophet (A pastor kanyari type for those who know him) a con artist. someone who delights in the misery of others, I think this would be a template the African joker

Posted by Salim Busuru on Thursday, March 17, 2016

 

"[The Joker is] a corruptor [sic], a cannibal, a false prophet ... a con artist," Busuru wrote. "[S]omeone who delights in the misery of others, I think this would be a template the African [J]oker."

 

WONDERWOMAN Wonderwoman was based on the hard working African woman whose strength and resilience are equal to the...

Posted by Salim Busuru on Thursday, March 17, 2016

 

"Wonderwoman [sic] was based on the hard working African woman whose strength and resilience are equal to the women of themyscira (the fictional home world of [Wonderwoman] and her amazon sisters)," he wrote. "[S]he stands up for herself and others."

Many have reacted positively to Busuru's clever creations:

Facebook

ATTN: has reached out to Busuru for comment on his art and will update this story if he responds. You can check out more of his work over at his website.

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