The Jakarta Post
'The Avenging Heroes: Fallen Hero' by Komik Faktap. (instagram.com/komikfaktap/File)
A series of collectible items inspired by the successful Marvel franchise Avengers has recently created a buzz among netizens.
Branded as "The Avenging Heroes", the items were released by Indonesian online comic illustration Komik Faktap created by Iskandar Salim, which is known for its out-of-the-box and bold perspective in capturing social issues in Indonesia.
The latest product from The Avenging Heroes, dubbed the Fallen Hero, was inspired by perhaps one of the saddest scenes in Avengers: Infinity War. The item’s package contains an illustration of Iron Man (Tony Stark) giving a hug to Spider-Man, whose lower body part has turned into ash. “Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good. I don’t want to go,” says the illustration's caption. Included in the package is the [not actual] ashes of Spider-Man in a clear plastic case.
Said to be handmade and an “extremely rare collectible”, the product also comes with witty instructions on how to maintain the ashes, among them is to not drink it out of respecting “the dead”.
First posted on Komik Faktap’s Instagram account earlier this month, the Fallen Hero's photo has been liked by over 9,400 users.
Regarding the buzz, Iskandar told The Jakarta Post that the item was actually not his original idea.
“When the film [Avengers: Infinity War] was out, people started to watch and make online memes, one of them is the drawing of ash that was said to be the action figure of the Avengers,” Iskandar said. “I happen to like toys, especially smaller ones with interesting packaging, so why not make it myself? I printed it out, I searched for the plastic case – it’s all just me having fun with myself.”
There is the reason why Iskandar chose the Iron Man and Spider-Man scene. “It’s one of the heartbreaking moments [in the film] because Spider-Man is still young and there’s a time when he feels something isn’t right, but suddenly he turns into ash in the arms of Iron Man,” Iskandar said. “As for netizens, perhaps it can [also] be [turned into] a joke.”
For those who are curious about what the ash is actually made of, Iskandar suggested for them to buy and feel it themselves. However, for now, Iskandar said the product is only available for his close friends who also love to collect toys.
Komik Faktap also has other collectible items, such as The Avenging Heroes’ Badge of Honor, which looks like a clothespin covered in gold paint, and Galaxy Jar that seems like a mash-up between a Star Wars’ droid character and qasidah lady’s head from a popular department store video commercial.
Iskandar said all of the products, which can be found on e-commerce site Tokopedia, are fruits of his iseng (mischievous) ideas. “At first [I'm only doing it] for fun,” said Iskandar, adding that he also liked to show it to his friends. “But it has become viral thanks to the internet and some people who want to buy [the items].”
But it does not mean he is not serious in making the products. “I think I want to be serious in this as it is a creative product that cannot easily be found in Indonesia. There’s potential, especially because Indonesians like something funny and Instagrammable,” said Iskandar.
However, there are also people who don't get the joke and question the value behind these products as the price is quite high, starting from Rp 95,000 (US$6) for a Badge of Honor and Rp 160,000 for a Galaxy Jar.
“The value is in the idea, joke and packaging. Usually, there are collectors who like to gather unusual, unique products for them to take photos or show off to their friends,” he said, adding that he has not yet been contacted by Marvel regarding the products.
Iskandar still wants to find out how far Indonesians can take a joke by planning to make other unique products. “There’s a joke in it but I don’t know if Indonesians can grasp it or not,” he said. “It’s more about the experiment on how far people can handle the joke – will they just comment or actually buy it.” (kes)