It has always been a real thing to think about something original in a fresh, and ofttimes deviant, light. Our collection this evening runs the gamut of fan-sourced imagination. Many of you may look at these images and wonder after all the times you came up with some super-interesting and super-sinister side-versions of popular heroes and villains, but for some reason were unable to illustrate them for the world to see. Until the age arrives when we can peek into each other’s minds, we are left with the art we presently possess, which in this article’s case is a set of excellent illustrations from everyday fans who crafted sensationally diverse images of their favorite good guys and bad.
It goes without saying that some of the pictures you are about to see are the brainchildren of particular artists who decided not to stop at one but to keep at it until they had a bunch of unforgettable renditions. In other instances, you will come across rather bizarre selections, which nevertheless fit the bill of this article.
Art has always been the origin-point for seeing the world in a new light. They call it Expression, but in truth, all art is reality seen through another shade. Which brings us to a ‘reimagined’ saying of ours, "All is fair in love and art." We at TheGamer hope your imagination is sparked anew once it alights on the following pictures. These superheroes and villains have never looked so good.
We discovered an extraordinary wealth of artwork on Tumblr (of course) to flesh out our article. One artist, in particular, caught our eye and hasn’t left it since. From his bold brushstrokes to the manner in which he has captured our beloved heroes and popular villains in a dark-noir yet bedazzling light is nothing short of ultra-talented. Daniel Kamarudin’s (aka thedurrrrian) renditions will take up more than a few rungs on our ladder, so dig right in starting with this fantastic reimagining of Scarlet Witch. There is life in his work, there truly is.
This splendidly dark medieval version of The Punisher has us bowing our heads in deference if not a little fear. Almost a cross between Witcher Geralt and Van Helsing, this reimagining seems to have tapped into a strange element of the human psyche to combine intimidation with a timeline known explicitly for it. The attention to detail provides added grimness to what looks like a scene of battle. And of course, Frank Castle seems to have imparted a new definition to the word Vigilante. We credit this masterpiece to Isikol on DeviantArt.
He may have a bazillion suits, even more cars, and more money than he knows what to do with, but Tony Stark himself might have been impressed with what theDurrrrian did with his image on DeviantArt. Here we see a medieval Iron Man, looking like a Royal Knight, but with a mecha-engineered suit of armor that, despite the timeline, can still tap into a potent energy source to produce powerful impact lasers. From intricate embellishments to an interesting cape, here is yet another reimagining that takes you to the past but gives the future something to work with.
Just to lighten the mood, just for a bit, here’s Peter Parker taking it easy. The stubble on his face and that blasé pose add up to a fan-reimagined picture that says a lot about how little Spidey might have grown up as an alterna-verse version of himself. While some of us are still peeved about the latest Spider-Man game not having made it to the PC (yet?), we will always harbor a soft spot for this beloved hero, no matter how different he might look from our early childhood recalls. AkiTheBonez on DeviantArt has created something amazing.
She’s as powerful as they come, until Captain Marvel came along. Then again, the ongoing love affair that nerds and geeks alike have for the inimitable Wonder Woman will not soon diminish. Diana of Themiscyra (which is an actual Greek town north of Pontus) is the Amazon of dreams. Her dignity, beauty, charm, and morality all add up to a hero worth looking up to. We have our second entry for theDurrrrian, whose Tumblr and DeviantArt pages make us wonder why he hasn’t been plucked up by major studios yet.
Taking a page out of a rather bizarre tome of illustrations, we have here Mauricio-Negrito’s take on the famous Mutant Turtle Donatello. Looks like he really went full spectrum on the ‘mutant’ part, which we adore. Not only does this image give us the creeps, but it also makes us imagine how Donny will fight let alone move at speed in a shape like this. The visual boggles the inner mind, but such is the stuff that good art is made of. We hoped to find the other turtles in a similar light, but alas came up short.
We can’t NOT include the Dark Knight in an article that fast seems to be reimagining that popular book title, re-creating it into 30 Shades of Dark Fantasy. An exceptional Steampunk take on the popular hero has given us an unforgettable image from the devious but brilliant mind of Canadian artist Justin Currie (aka ChasingArtwork). Here’s the third artist on our list whom we can’t do without. There’s plenty more where these came from, but we decided to select only a handful for you to appreciate and share.
Keeping the pair apart has always been a challenge, and so we decided to let them hang together. We present to you, a Steampunk mecha-super version of the Clown Prince of Crime. With Joaquin Phoenix already impressing us with what he is bringing to the role of the Joker, we feel so much prouder to showcase this artwork, courtesy again Justin Currie. That signature grin, and that mischievous pose… All good deeds come to perish in the aura that surrounds this Joker.
Let’s deviate into another universe for just a second; the Star Wars kind. When we stumbled upon this image of the irreplaceable Yoda, we couldn’t help but stare and keep doing so until some vast otherworldly force, for lack of a better word, drew us back as hungrily as it drew us in, to begin with. Aptly titled ‘Young Jedi Master Yoda’ we have been given a glimpse into the master’s early days, and what a force he would have been back in the day. Kudos to Marco Teixeira for giving us this.
Now, Zatanna has often been underestimated in one of several ways. Not only is she one of the most powerful characters in the comic book spectrum, but she also deserves a spotlight of her own. As well she should, stage magic and all. Here we have a genuinely dark version of the DCU sorceress, rendered beautifully so by Cric; another core artist on our list. This is, specifically, a Symbiote-based theme, meaning what you are looking at is a merging of Zatanna and whatever alien creature went into the Venom. Speaking of, ignore the critics, the movie is excellent.
J’onn J’onzz has often proven to choose the path of non-violence. He prefers communication over conflict any day of the week. But under the artful hands of Raymund Lee, the Martian Manhunter seems to have become something of a horror movie personality. Welcome to the dark side of the Manhunter’s mental moon, where he is nothing less than the universe’s greatest terror. Taking his psychic powers into consideration, and the fact that he can go through solid objects by becoming invisible at will, and you have yourself the perfect life-taker.
Speaking of aliens, we came across an especially gross rendition of General Grievous (of Star Wars infamy) by Twitter’s Uncle Ulty. An exceptional choice of brushwork and angling, size and disproportion have led to this ‘grievously good illustration of what appears to be a mutated and rather over-darkified version of the Sith Lord. The fact that he’s not gripping any lightsabers, but rather long swords, hints that the artist wanted to convey an ancient feel for the scene. Star Wars may be nothing without lightsabers, but it also definitely needs Grievous on its roster of villains.
Things are indeed getting more intense around here, and in the demonic sense. While some can and may assume that this is Barry Allen, aka The Flash, it is, in reality, the Reverse Flash, his arch nemesis. Be that as it may, looks like messing with the timelines can summon all the wrong troubles. This picture is essentially a custom-made wallpaper, uploaded by Daisey Cusson. From the speed trail to that dire grin, this picture speaks a thousand words in a single second. Much in keeping with Flash-ian speed counters. [Thought to self]: Looks an awful lot like Darth Maul.
Another Justin Currie masterpiece, this robo-Spiderman Steampunk-driven artwork is nothing less than one of the best from an artist as good as Currie. He’s nailed all the signature elements of Spiderman: that ready-to-defend pose, agile intimidation, and won’t-back-down attitude. The four limbs remind us of the ‘new’ Spidey, with his tech suit courtesy Stark Industries. The brilliance of this picture needs to be deeply admired to be fully appreciated. Attention to detail is high and attention to attitude, even higher.
Taking another page out of Justin’s art-book, Here’s the mighty Thor, God of Thunder, looking every bit as his name intends. From mecha-based designs all over to a not-so-subtle hint of irrepressible power and fury, we see here the full force of storms contained in one entity. From the slit cape to the reimagined hammer, what we see in this picture is sheer power made manifest. The wings on the helm make for a nice touch. All in all, anyone familiar with the genre will recognize Thor, despite this being a full-on robo-mecha entity.
Known simply as Owl-Robot, the artist behind this work of brilliance has given Hellboy fans a distinctly different look at the popular hero. Not only does he appear to have leaped out of a Darksiders game, the character himself sports all the signature elements, including the grim façade and muscle tone. The artwork boasts both a cartoon as well as action figure appeal, making it quite kaleidoscopic. Owl-Robot has invested good attention where needed: the cross dangling from the pistol, the eye patch, the horn broken to the root… There is a story in this image.
We couldn’t say no to showcasing one more artwork by the same person, namely Owl-Robot. What they have done with Batman is nothing short of genius. Gamers have seen dark versions of the Dark Knight, especially under the Scarecrow’s gas influence. But here’s a rather bizarre asylum-based take on Wayne in costume. Everything about this picture looks like Bruce decided to uphold the motto ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’. He’s taken quite the beating, but is clearly having the last laugh. Those chains are not for show, apparently.
Freelance artist Sadece Kaan has given us a look into what could possibly happen if you combined a ‘zen’ image, in this case, that of a monk, with a not so zen character, namely Darth Maul. The outstanding way he applied monk beads to create a totally different look to a super-popular character took us by surprise. The beard is highly appreciated, seeing as how it really does suit Maul in more ways than one. And don’t get us started on the monk-themed saber-staff. For a baddie-based picture, everything seems to have gone right for it.
It was actually through this image we came to learn the real name of one of the core artists in our article. TheDurrrrian has given us such splendid artwork that we feel indebted to him for making the world of superheroes and super-villains that much more diverse, and giving fans the world over so much more to think and dream about. He has had a go at all the Justice League members/characters. We continue showcasing him here, with his rendition of the Cyborg. He has captured the essence of the character.
Kamarudin’s versatility and dark grace never cease to impress. With Chris Evans having recently bid a heart-breaking farewell to his role as Captain America, we felt quite a lot of sentiment looking at this breathtaking picture of the good Captain. Rendered with the weight of leadership and responsibility, this mecha version of CA adds to our memories of all the times the character made a stunning and long-lasting difference in the MCU. While all such characters can boast major transformations over the years, few can say that Captain America’s was not special in its own light.
What we liked most about this next picture on our list is the fact that the artist played with simplicity so efficiently that we felt the results before fully seeing it. This reimagining is an alternate look at the infamous Darth Vader. All GardHelset did was reveal his face a bit, and the rest came along as it did. Fans have often found the burned and surgically re-touched face of Vader to be far more spooky than his mask. This fan has given us a look at how well Vader might have employed fear to greatest effect.
The sprinting version of The Flash has long been a source of fascination for fans and artists alike. So it comes as no surprise when an artist who is also a fan takes to the image, reimagines it, and gives the world something like the picture you are looking at. Daniel Kamarudin has resurfaced on our list, giving us a traditionally loved image of Barry Allen in costume but with added emphasis on futurism, mecha, and a certain unexplained pre-apocalyptic background.
Daniel seems to have outdone himself and captured our full attention by this time in the write-up. His medieval take on Superman is nothing short of genius. Knowing that the inimitable and uniquely gifted Henry Cavill has left the cape behind in pursuit of a Witcher’s dual swords, we can’t but feel loss, hope, and high expectations looking at this brilliant reimagining of the Son of Krypton. Is it just us, or does the painted character look a bit like Hugh Jackman?
The Batman vs Superman movie added a prominent page to the cinematic lore book, and it looks like Kamarudin is doing much the same to the world of superhero art. His drawing of Superman was brilliant, but this dark, almost occult, rendition of Batman is sure to impress more than just a handful of Goths. The suit design alone is worth adulating, especially the interesting golden-yellow color code, which is a stark change from the reds and blacks we’re used to seeing on this character. There is a message here via that skull, though interpretations are sure to vary.
Natasha Romanova can’t look bad, apparently. Under Kamarudin’s skilled hand, the Black Widow genuinely does look the part. She’s subtle, attractive, and inherently horrifying though outwardly serene. If those blades have anything to say about it, she is not in the mood for small talk. Daniel seems to have chosen Scarlett Johansson as his muse, as well he should, because who else can look as good playing Black Widow while also bringing that smoldering intensity to the role. This image has us feeling both excited and bewildered, a combo that most exotic spiders impart on the people looking at them.
Vision as a character has given fans plenty of important storylines over the years. His role in the movies has proven to be rather crucial. That final scene with Scarlet Witch in Infinity War nearly stopped hearts in the audience, before hearts really were stopped at a snap of Thanos’ finger. In Daniel’s art book, Vision too has followed the path of illustrated excellence. The artist has captured the character’s deep mystery, isolation, and grim wisdom. The things that Vision must have seen may pale in comparison to anything Doctor Strange could have managed a peek at.
Despite the outstanding Jason Momoa stunning us with his superb performance as Aquaman in the trailers, it feels like a good time to remind the world how this character actually looked in its original skin. This Kamarudin work of magnificence has caught all the right portions of Aquaman’s character profile: his readiness, determination, majesty, and undying sense of duty. While we adore this reimagining, we also look forward to Momoa’s performance. Critics have justifiably related the upcoming movie with the Black Panther storyline.
We wish to stay on the Aquaman theme by presenting another brilliant artist at this conjecture. Kalkri has also relied on Arthur Curry’s original look. However, this artist has dove deep into a realm of dark cryptoria, and has brought to the surface a look of Aquaman if he were in a high-fantasy version of The Walking Dead. The pose says it all, and those eels look magnificently spooky. The eels also remind us of Ursula the Sea Witch, of Little Mermaid fame. It makes us wonder what a brilliant pair the twain might have made in an alternate villain-verse.
Kal-El, aka Superman, aka Clark Kent… We have seen a plethora of artwork relating to this superhero, but we feel such regret that space has run out before we could truly start to cover another amazing artist. Jason Garcia has done a splendid job with his artwork, including the hero kind. His cyborg-mecha version of Superman, as seen in this image, is but a small taste of the detailed reimagining capable of capture by his gifted mind. This dark version of Superman is all villainy and power, and we adore it just the same. Look, is that the end of Batman? And is that Green Lantern's broken ring?
We might have to say we saved the best for last, because otherwise Deadpool might be offended. Wade Wilson as a Viking while also in his signature red costume… We will leave it to your imaginations to appreciate this brilliantly layered artwork. We are mildly ashamed to admit we couldn’t find the original artist, and we’ve looked everywhere. How apt that for Deadpool, of all characters, we come across such a curious conundrum. This picture says so much: the past, the present, the future. Deadpool as a Viking looks exceptional, and we do hope studio execs take it upon themselves to give us a peek into an alterna-verse where such a storyline could exist.