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DC heroes reimagined as ancient Malaysian shadow puppets

Superman and Batman will soon clash on the silver screen, but they stand side by side here as shadow puppets thanks to a group of artists known as Fusion Wayang Kulit.

Batman vs. Superman, Malaysian style.
Fusion Wayang Kulit

Marvel superheroes have stolen the Hollywood spotlight in recent years, but DC Comics is set to make a big comeback next week with "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."

Among those awaiting the superhero showdown is Fusion Wayang Kulit, a group of Malaysian artists that has recreated several DC heroes as traditional Wayang Kulit shadow puppets.

The art of Wayang Kulit puppetry is over a thousand years old and originated in the royal courts of the Indonesian islands, with a slightly different form having made its way to Malaysia. The stories told by these puppets normally involve gods and kings. In 2003, UNESCO placed Wayang Kulit on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The fusion team, founded by Tintoy Chuo and Take Huat, has used this revered art form to reimagine Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, all of whom will be featured in "Dawn of Justice." The heroic trio can be seen in the film in cinemas, starting Thursday in Australia and Friday in the UK and US.

These puppets were originally made for an exhibit last August in Penang, Malaysia. Other Justice League heroes, such as Green Lantern, have been recreated too.

Chuo and Huat aim to revive what is essentially a dying art form by merging traditional shadow puppetry with modern pop culture. They said the DC-themed puppets are an "expression of love for the superheroes."

Each puppet is made by hand and takes hundreds of hours to build and paint. This set of DC puppets is not the first time Fusion Wayang Kulit has created shadow puppets based on pop culture. The group has also crafted Star Wars and Bruce Lee sets.