A comic book is one of the many valuable forms of visual expression that also serve as valuable collectibles. Naturally, this art form inspires K-pop music videos in a variety of ways. Whether based on actual pre-existing comics or just a glimpse of their general outline, this vivid portrayal gives K-pop productions a new portrayal.
Without further ado, here’s a selection of K-pop MVs borrowed from the comics.
1. Sunmi – “Tail”
In this MV, Sunmi channels the energy of an anti-heroine from the DC comic book world. Subtly alluding to Catwoman, the soloist has similarities summed up in her leather outfit with the signature nails sticking out of her gloves, as well as her normal outfit and long dark hair that reminds us of early versions of Selina Kyle. The icing on the cake is the famous scene where the character falls from a high building, only to land on the ground and find himself surrounded by stray cats, thus creating his anti-hero character.
2. Epik High – “Don’t hate me”
Another brief but memorable nod to DC comics comes from Epik High, as they feature child actors who cosplay as notorious villains. Two of those villains include Two-Face with his traditional acid-disfigured face and the Joker from more recent comedic versions, as opposed to his green face from early prints.
3. 2NE1 – “I hate you”
Technically speaking, this clip is an original animation featuring the quartet. That being said, one can’t help but think that it came straight out of a post-apocalyptic manga, and there are plenty of details that remind us of classic pieces found in Japanese graphic novels.
4. PSY with Lang Lang – “Father”
This touching tribute to PSY’s fatherhood with Lang Lang is beautifully illustrated by the captivating style of Korean graphic novels. The singer shares how his father has looked after him and his family for all these years and finally recognizes that the best way to thank him is to spend time with him as he gets older.
5. Dumbfoundead – “Safe”
In a powerful statement about the lack of Asian representation in blockbuster movies and TV shows, Dumbfoundead brilliantly borrows the faces of many famous figures to make his point. A very quick appearance of the Iron Man costume is part of the selection, which makes it a direct reference to Marvel Comics.
Bonus: BTS – “Anpanman”
Takashi Yanase’s “Anpanman” was a part of many of our childhoods back then, and BTS honored that memory with a song. While there isn’t a MV to go with this fun track, the members vividly represent the bun man hero throughout the choreography during their live performances. Talk about a comic book character coming to life!
Which comic-inspired K-pop MV is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
Esme L. is a dreamer, writer and passionate about Moroccan Hallyu.
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