Eddie Liu Imagines Heroes in Their Golden Years
We tend to think of superheroes as forever young, so there's something very striking about artist Eddie Liu's paintings, which imagine four Justice League members as senior citizens. Unlike the sort of thing we saw from Alex Ross in Kingdom Come, these elderly heroes look less spectacularly heroic, and more like old people tend to actually look, right down to some questionable mustache choices.
With the except of Wonder Woman, the costumes are recognizably those from recent live action versions of the characters — Man of Steel Superman, Dark Knight Rises Batman, and The CW's TV Flash. But rather than aged-up portraits of the actors who played them, these are clearly depictions of the actual superheroes in the autumn of their lives.
The heroes remain themselves, and have aged in ways that make sense. The Flash, unsurprisingly, looks tired. Batman remains alert, and his white beard gives an impression of wisdom. Wonder Woman seems both kind and grizzled, and her cigarette makes her seem particularly weary. I can’t help but wonder if taking up smoking is a choice this Diana has made to abandon immortality and give in to decrepitude alongside her closest friends.
And then there’s Superman, easily my favorite of the four. Here is a man left haggard by too many fights, who wants no more of it. And is it just me, or does he look more than a little like Bill Murray?
Liu’s portfolio also includes some really strong fantasy work, and a truly unusual (and very frightened) take on the Avengers.
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