The Black Panther and this summer's box office star Captain America get put under a cultural microscope in the work of Chicago-based artist Hebru Brantley. Brantley's played around with superheroes before in his street-art-inspired explorations into cartoon characters and history. He recently put together a new exhibition titled "Afro-Futurism: Impossible View" for the Zhou B. Art Center, though, and his subjects have pop culture on their brains and Batman masks on their faces. Brantley's blog catalogs his interest in caped crusaders and racial themes throughout popular entertainment, and his exercises with aerosol cans and Marvel Comics cover designs slam a lot of fanboy love into his fascinations with race in American society and theTuskegee Airmen of World War II.

He gets serious with his collages of kids, mice and Ghostbusters logos, and even his simple takes on Bat-villains like Harley Quinn and the Penguin are worth the trip through his archives.

[Via the Chicago Reader]