[Photos] Super Heroes Throughout History

[Photos] Super Heroes Throughout History

Photographer Agan Harahap has created some rad photos of super heroes (and villians) appearing in historical photographs. Not sure what he did to create these, as I can't find much more on this guy other than his Flickr stream, but the photoshopping is great. Enjoy!

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Gfja Antara's picture

dear fstoppers, the photographer is actually a friend of mine. this series is called "superhistory". you'll find lots of publication and photo exhibition for these works by searching google with this query "superhistory agan harahap". he can be reached on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/agan.harahap). hope this help.

Corey Melton's picture


I can't help but feel that the photo of Darth Vader among the dead was inappropriate. Not the kind of image to poke fun at, IMHO. As for the rest... déjà vu, much?

That's was the first one to strike me also. I feel that they are all in poor taste TBH. They have a sense of trivialising some of the a atrocities of war. Take for example the POW camp in the last image, is that something we should be poking fun at?

If we keep Evilinsing" the horror's of war, mankind, and our own history, we end up thinking that "it can't be us, HE/THEY was/were EVIL, and I'm not..."

By rationalising we bring it down to a level of humanity that we can relate, and be cautious about. 

And rationalising is one of the most basic coping mechanism the human mind has... you CAN'T shut it out or ignore it...

My favorite was The Hulk; it fit more than the others.

harry's picture

My question is, does he have the legal right to manipulate photos of other photographers?

As far a I know he does have the right to manipulate the photos, and even has rights to the manipulation itself. I would have to assume however that he would have to give credit to the original photographer if he tried selling any of them. 

actually no. Unless said original shooter is dead, he owns his work and your' not allowed to modify it without conscent. think remixing a song without paying the rights...

Jon Dize's picture

Well Simon, you're wrong on several counts.

The copyright extends 70 years after the owner's death and if the work was published it can extend 95 years after the first publication or 120 years after the death of the owner, whichever comes first.

So the owner being dead does not in and of itself void the copyright.


Works originally created before January 1, 1978, but not published or registered by that date: These works have been automatically brought under the statute and are now given federal copyright protection.

The duration of copyright in these works will generally be computed in the same way as works created on or after January 1, 1978, namely, the life-plus-70 or 95/120-year terms will apply to them as well. The law provides that in no case will the term of copyright for works in this category expire before December 31, 2002, and for works published on or before December 31, 2002, the term of copyright will not expire before December 31, 2047.

Works originally created and published or registered before January 1, 1978: Under the law in effect before 1978, copyright was secured either on the date a work was published with a copyright notice or on the date of registration if the work was registered in unpublished form. In either case, the copyright endured for a first term of 28 years from the date it was secured. During the last (28th) year of the first term, the copyright was eligible for renewal.

The Copyright Act of 1976 extended the renewal term from 28 to 47 years for copyrights that were subsisting on January 1, 1978, or for pre-1978 copyrights restored under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), making these works eligible for a total term of protection of 75 years.

***** Under the "FAIR USE" clause of Title 17 of the United States Copyright Act/Digital Millenmium Copyright Act of 1998 works owned by others can be used for several reasons without violating the copyright protection, one of those reasons is in the case of PARODY.

I would suggest the adding of Super Heros to War Photos would qualify as PARODY under the law and therefore no permissions required to use the photos is required.

Definitely interesting and the photoshopping seemed realistic which is always refreshing.  I guess part of me was hoping that the images could still be historic and old but portray famous images that were of happier times.  I do feel that the places and photos that were chosen to manipulate are insensitive especially as a Jewish person.  Captain America grinning as he walks down a concentration camp...really?  Seems insulting and historically inaccurate.

I gotta admit... that last one needs a caption cuz i don't get the context... other than the offensive one...

Jon Dize's picture

I agree with Simon, the only one that is questionable to me, being one who does not dig and hunt for hidden meanings, is the last one with Capt. America, his smirk does not convey an identifiable inference, so I would agree that image could use some clarification as to the implied content.

Some find hidden meaning in everything, I opened the door for a woman running toward the Hyatt Regency in Washington, DC back in 1975, it was pouring raining outside, I was headed out the door, saw her running for the door, so I opened the door for her.

She cursed me for three minutes, calling me every name she could think of, me and my Oinkly Chauvenist implication that she was somehow too weak or incapable of owning her own door. "How dare you!" she screamed as she folded up her umbrella with a look on her face as though I had just slapped her first-born child with a wet puppy.

I stopped opening doors for women for nearly a decade until I realized as growing older often facilitates, you just cannot please everyone and there is always somebody who is going to be offended by the most innocent of intentions.

Again... the last photo could use some clarification as to the intended meaning.

I'm not usually prudish, but I can't help but think some of these are in very poor taste.

"Poor taste", doesn't even begin to describe it.  "Hey, let's stick some pop culture, comic book heros into some modern day tragedies, like the recent tsunami or 9/11."  Terrible idea all around.

Agreed, what the hell is wrong with these people.  Respect for others comes to mind.

So tired of gimmicks, please filter these posts more guys.

A poor choice of subject. As for originality - we were messing around doing this 10 years ago. Maybe his originality in this context was down to the fact that no-one else dared cheapen the historical images.

Really well done. Some of these are almost even a bit scary. Wonder how history would had bin if this was for real... 


Himler and captain america. Seriously?
Cheap, tasteless and unimaginative. 

Perhaps the last image is an oblique reference to America's slide into torturing humans (without any due process whatsoever) who do not support American military/political/cultural hegemony and have come across the sight lines of various organisations in the US. (again, due process does now not exist in the US... Habeas 
corpus has been removed from your democracy)
And what a pass we have come to that the mere act of writing this down makes me uncomfortable.
(Does this comment get me placed on a "watch" list)
Himmler's role was far more elaborate than as logistical mastermind to expedite Hitler's final solution.
He was responsible for all internal and external security forces, meaning he dealt with ANY supposed fifth columnists.
I don't find the last image here to be offensive(then again I have not lived in American culture, have never been exposed to that level of jingoism) merely pedestrian and prophetic in how it categories how an empire will do anything it sees fit to sustain itself.
Good series.
Photography challenges, at its best.

if only Superman really was around during WWII. He would've saved all those slaughtered people... :(

I understand that we need to keep an open mind when in this case and or nay in which art is portrayed to understand where the artist is coming from. We have no idea, that he might be in the mentality of the western hemisphere. Or he may not hold in high regard the Jewish (not my personal situation), but never the less, what si poor taste for some, is art for others. 

I deeply understand all the remarks and dislike of the work, but must admit I love the concept and it is very well done!

My congratulations to the artist for doing something that might bring him down, or actually bring him into the light, nobody that is "known" in this industry has been for doing "what everyone else is doing" or for "being mainstream". 

Taking risks is what its all about.