Comic book superheroes are the biggest they’ve ever been right now, yet with all that success there’s something that feels kind of missing. Superheroes used to capture the zeitgeist. Superman was created by two poor Jewish kids to stand up against the Nazis. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s early Marvel Comics captured the counterculture buzz of the 1960s. 1970s heroes like Luke Cage and Iron Fist jumped on trends like blaxploitation and kung-fu movies. But now modern superhero comics are fuelled seem only by nostalgia and don’t say anything about today.
That’s what made Ramon Villalobos art jump out. His sketches and comics include Daredevil wearing Y3s and Ghost Rider in Air Yeezys. Obviously that's a cool shout-out for comic-obsessed sneaker heads, but on a bigger level it showed that comics could (and should) be in touch with the modern world. So many superhero artists seem to be able to draw monsters and punching, but not how people dress and act in 2016. If only comic creators were less obsessed with being faithful to the 50-year-old continuity, and more in-tune with current day culture of ‘Hotline Bling’ memes and watching Making A Murder on Netflix.
Villalobos has just finished drawing the X-Men: E Is For Extinction spin-off from the Secret Wars mega-crosover (which returns to the world of Grant Morrison’s great New X-Men run), and will next be seen on Nighthawk, a Chicago-set series starring Marvel’s Batman allegory running around in Yeezys. With E Is For Extinction out now in trade paperback now — go cop it, it’s great — we spoke to Ramon about his favourite shoes, reflecting his culture in comics, and what kicks your favourite superheroes would wear.