One dedicated superfan is cementing his place in Marvel and body modification history by turning himself into a real life embodiment of Red Skull, the power-hungry HYDRA commander who faces off, so to speak, with Captain America—both in the comics and on the silver screen.
Some people get cute starter tattoos of their favorite superheroes on an arm or a leg or a neck. Lifelong comic book lover Henry Damon of Caracas, Venezuela, began his transformation into the scarlet-skinned Nazi supervillain by having subdermal implants inserted into his forehead, according to a detail-rich profile in bastion of body mod journalism The Daily Mail.
The 37-year-old father and husband then cut off his nose, tattooed his eyeballs black, and initiated a series of red and black face tattoos to achieve the full Red Skull effect.
According to Marvel cinematic lore, the baddie played by Hugo Weaving in Marvel’s 2011 blockbuster Captain America: The First Avenger merely injected himself with a super soldier serum to achieve the same irreversible result, with arguably less fuss and probably the same amount of physical pain. But to each his own. Throughout seven decades of Marvel Comics lore, the origins of Red Skull’s visage have varied from a horrific mask gifted to him by Hitler to skin-searing disfigurement from his own favorite poison. In Mark Millar’s 2009 Ultimate Marvel comics reboot, Red Skull carves off his own face with a kitchen knife to spite his father, revealed to be Captain America himself.
Damon, who of course answers to the name Red Skull, was just one of several extreme body mod enthusiasts at last weekend’s Venezuela Tattoo Expo. Also in attendance along with Mexico’s “Vampire Woman” and Latin America’s most passionate body mods was sorta-surgeon Emilio Gonzalez, a celebrity on the body modification scene who specializes in tongue-forking, surgical ear-pointing, and tamer pursuits, like nipple-removal.
He explained that “Red Skull” passed physical and psychological tests before going under the knife and has more work to do before his transformation is complete: “Next will be silicone implants on the cheekbones, chin and cheeks. Then we will tattoo his entire face red and then he will be Red Skull.”
Game on, Filipino Superman.