Permanent Panels: The 15 Most Elaborate Comic-Inspired Fan Tattoos

tattoo comic art

Tattoos are permanent. Alright they may not be completely permanent, but it takes forever to get one off, so it is extremely important to make sure that you go to an experienced and talented artist if you're thinking about inking your body. People get tattoos that define them, that express to the world exactly who they are. When it comes to comic book lovers, that obviously means that they want their body to reflect that passion. When this isn't done with the proper care, they are unfortunately left with art that looks like a misshapen, disfigured version of the heroes they love.

RELATED: Body of Art: 15 Jaw-Dropping Body Paint Costumes

But when it works, boy does it ever. When the comic book you love transcend the page and becomes a part of your actual body, it's a glorious feeling. There are a lot of great tattoo artists who happen to be comic book lovers, which means a lot of people can get some really fantastic comic book ink. If you're thinking of getting some comic book tattoos, it would be a great idea to contact any of the artists in this list -- you're in for a treat! Let's take a look at 15 of the most elaborate comic-inspired tattoos out there (in no particular order).

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now


Clayton Dias is a Brazilian tattoo artist and owner of ConnectArt Tattoo. He does a lot of vivid, flashy art which is on display on his personal Instagram account as well as the ConnectArt Tattoo account. The piece above shows off his great use of color, as each character pops out beautifully and none of them overtake truly overtake the other for space.

There's a lot going on here, but it doesn't feel busy. The shoulder and upper arm showcases a battle between the Hulk and the Punisher, while the forearm depicts a fight between Batman and Superman. Closer to the wrist, we see The Flash sprinting forward, all of which is displayed on an yellow/orange background which adds even more brightness to the already flashy sleeve art.


Carlox Angarita was just a regular kid from Bucaramanga who loved comic books and did caricatures of his friends and teachers in class to pass the time. Fast forward to today, he is now a successful tattoo artist working out of Bogota and has created some truly inspired and detailed tattoos for fans.

His piece above combines a realistic approach to Batman and a nightmarish version of the Joker taken straight from Dave McKean's surreal, gothic art in Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On Serious Earth written by Grant Morrison, which is considered to be one of the definitive Batman books. It is a beautifully terrifying reproduction that is made all the more interesting by its juxtaposition to the realistic-looking Batman with the iconic Bat-symbol above his head.


Derek Turcotte does some really fantastic collage tattoos, which fits perfectly for anyone looking to ink up their body with some comic art. There is an effortlessness to his combination of different elements in a single piece that is truly astonishing to see. Check out this Dragon Ball Z leg sleeve, which features eight characters in great detail, or his Star Wars sleeve that showcases the dark side of the Force.

Our favorite however is the one featured above, which has an insane amount of moving parts. Where else will you find Batman, Yoda, Deadpool, Gambit and Spawn in the same place? Be sure to check it out in motion here. The more you look at it, the more you find to appreciate about the tattoo.


Carlos Rojas works at the Black Anchor Collective in Hesperia, California. He does incredibly realistic art, including a piece based on the classic Wizard of Oz  (which took four years to complete) and a jaw-dropping Breaking Bad half sleeve which can only be described as photorealistic. Head to his Instagram and check out his amazing work.

This Batman sleeve is fantastic because it looks like you're actually looking at a picture of the actors instead of something an artist produced. The piece depicts the major players in Tim Burton's Batman films which includes Michael Keaton as Batman, Jack Nicholson as the Joker, Danny DeVito as the Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. This art is so perfect that it could pass off as art for a Tim Burton Batman Blu-ray boxset.


Ben Hamill is an insanely talented artist from London, England. He has won numerous awards for his tattoos and one look at his work will tell you that they're all well deserved. He specializes in photorealistic tattoos and works at Death Row Tattoo.

This massive Sin City chest/stomach/rib tattoo is completely ridiculous. It features Scarlett Johansson as Marilyn Monroe in black and white with red lips, inspired by the Sin City look, as well as Ava Lord in her iconic pose from A Dame to Kill For. But the showstopper is the cityscape on the client's chest/stomach area. It is so massive and detailed that it can only inspire awe. The foreground of the image features a slick old school car and the street sign welcoming drivers to Basin City.


Nason Dilts is co-ownder of Serenity Body Arts, which provides professional piercing and tattoos in Southampton, Pennsylvania. He is able to handle a variety of different styles of tattoos, from a big, dark gothic horror sleeve or a brightly-colored one featuring different animals that simulates a really awesome watercolor effect.

The piece you see above is a really detailed shot of the Justice League featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash and Shazam. What could have been a really cluttered sleeve, given all the moving parts, looks really great, which is a really good thing considering that it'll be on somebody's body for the rest of their lives. All we can say is that we only wish we could get a better look at the Flash!


Clearly a big fan of reading comic books, Jay Salerno works out of Dunmore, Pennsylvania where he inks up eager customers for a living. He does a lot of great and diverse work including covering up a tattoo with an amazing looking grim reaper piece.

When getting a back tattoo, you have a lot of room to work with. This client must have been a huge fan of TMNT to dedicate his entire back to the popular turtles. We can't even imagine how many visits it took to complete this piece. In any case, it's really cool and looks great. The titular Turtles are on full display, with each of their unique weapons making an appearance as well. The detailed piece also features Shredder and Splinter.


This is an incredible sleeve created by Ian Ink Tattoo from the U.K. Ian tends to do a lot of somber, black and white pieces that are beautifully rendered like one of British soldiers walking in line during a war. Not all of his art is this dark though, and his diversity is on full display when you take a look at a sleeve featuring a dragon and Buddha.

As you can clearly see, the one displayed above has really vibrant color. It takes comic book inspired tattoos to the next level, because it is of an actual comic book. It features retro Batman comic book art panels which include Batman and Robin fighting the Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman and Joker in classic '80s fashion. It also features dialogue and the Batman logo.


Ben Kelly is the owner of Red Ocean Tattoo in Savannah, Georgia. One your of their Instagram page, and you can tell that the entire staff of Red Ocean Tattoo is extremely talented. They are the first full spectrum tattoo studio in the Savannah area. Kelly's art is quite stunning. Take a look at his Heath Ledger Joker one or his rendition of Wolverine's claws slowly coming out of his hand for further proof of his talent.

We absolutely love Kelly's X-Men half sleeve which features the classic costumes of the team, beautifully rendered on skin. It contains Wolverine, Rogue, Gambit, Cyclops shooting a beam from his eyes and Jean Grey, with the Phoenix rising behind her. The art looks like it leapt straight out of the comic book.


View this post on Instagram

Многократная победительница тату конвенций России и Европы!!! Ногав по мотивам фильма #watchmen от прекрасного режиссёра @zacksnyderfan с прекрасными @jdmorganofficial @patrickwilson73 #billycrudup @malinakerman @apolloniavanova @carlagugino @jackieearle ))) Итак встречайте: 🥇первое место (Реализм)- Краснодар 2016, 🥇первое место (реализм) - Сочи 2016,🥈второе место (реализм) @uraltattooconvention 2016,🥇первое место (реализм)- ТАТТООМО 2016 Воронеж,🥇первое место (большая татуировка)-Германия 🇩🇪 Берлин 2017, 🥇первое место (большая татуировка)- Краснодар @krdtattooweek 2017)))) #fabrik13_tattoo #cheyenne #cheyennetattooequipment #watchmen #watchmentattoo #watchmencosplay #cheyennehawkrussia @cheyenne_tattooequipment @cheyennehawkrussia #cheyennetattooartist #intenzepride @dermolizepro #tattoo #ink #inked #inkedgirls #tattooartist #tattooed #tattooforever @tattoo_for_y0u @intenzetattooink #ktw #tattooloveart @tattooloveart #tattoorealistic @tattoorealistic #tattoomap @tattoomap @skinart_mag #tattoo_craziness @tattoo_craziness #tattoo_of_instagram @tattoo_of_instagram #inkspiretattoos @inkspiretattoos @importanttattoo #jdmorganofficial #patrickwilson73 #malinakerman #apolloniavanova #carlagugino #jackieearlehaley

A post shared by ANJELIKA KARTASHEVA (@anjelika_kartasheva) on

Russian artist Anjelika Kartasheva's tattoo work is completely mental. We can't even begin to comprehend how cool her piece based on Zack Snyder's Watchmen film is, but one look at it and our jaws hit the floor in awe. It is extremely impressive work, and just the shear amount of detail and the beautiful composition would make even the most passionate disapprovers of tattoos instantly impressed.

Her Instagram is filled with some of the most incredible tattoo art we have ever seen. This is the type of quality that makes it worth paying top dollar for a flight to Russia, because you definitely cannot go wrong with her work and you won't be disappointed once you leave. There is not a single piece displayed on her page that isn't amazing.


This is a great piece that features a lot of (although not exclusively) X-Men characters. Our favorite part of this sleeve is Deadpool, who breaks the forth wall (as usual) and explains with a thumbs up: "Hey Logan... I'm a tattoo!" It is great to see his humor present and accounted for even when displayed on a somebody's body.

It's a great tattoo that breaks up the different characters in to panels, which makes for a really cool comic book effect. We only wish we could get a better look at it in a video since it is difficult to get a good view of the countless characters that make an appearance. In any case, it's a really great tattoo for a Marvel fan, courtesy of gazboss.


Jeremy Brown works out of Lake Elsinore, California and provides clients with some really crazy, jaw-dropping tattoos that they will no doubt be happy with. Just look at his beautiful sleeve of a phoenix, as the colors complement each other perfectly. Or his homage to the countless iterations of the Joker. How about his hyper realistic Boba Fett. We could go on.

But the best of the bunch is his Gotham City Sirens rib tattoo featured above which incorporates Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn and a Catwoman inspired by the Arkham video game series' take on the character who are displayed in front of a beautiful Gotham City backdrop (which of course has to feature the Bat-signal). They say rib tattoos are particularly painful, but we're sure the client thinks it was all worth it.


This is another sleeve by Derek Turcotte that we absolutely had to include on our list. While the other piece of his featured on this list contains more realistic depictions of characters, this one is far more comic book inspired, which shows great versatility on his part. Although it is extremely difficult to recreate a likeness of a real person, creating comic book art has its own challenges, and Turcotte manages to do both extremely well.

Once again, the color selection is top notch, and the fluidity between the different character illustrations is what brings it all together. If you're from Calgary or in the are and you're interested in getting some great comic book ink, make sure you hunt down Turcotte. You won't regret it.


Rick Rayne is a self-proclaimed horror and gore enthusiast from Atlanta, Georgia, and that is certainly reflected in his a lot of his tattoo work. His interest in the gruesome side of life is also reflected in the name of his tattoo shop: Apocalypse Tattoo Co. One would normally assume that a gross-out style wouldn't necessarily translate well to superhero tattoos, but this guy does an amazing Thanos.

Granted, Thanos is a supervillain, but Marvel's biggest baddie, which took over seven hours to complete, looks absolutely fantastic on this client's skin. Rayne claims that it is also one of the pieces he is most proud of, and we can understand why. It perfectly encompasses the character's menacing nature and even features him wielding the all-mighty Infinity Gauntlet.


We absolutely love this black and white tattoo of Heath Ledger's Joker from Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight by Christian Lucca in Hawthorne, New Jersey. Lucca likes to add a surreal element to his tattoo art and that is definitely present here.Ledger's Joker has most likely been tattooed on many a person, but this creepy version really caught our eye.

Gotham City emerges out of the Joker's head as if to say that the Joker is part of the fabric of the city. He is as much a part of the city as the Bat-signal visible above and there is nothing anyone can do to change that. It is as if the piece is saying there is no Gotham City without the Joker. It is haunting yet very unique and beautiful at the same time, which makes for a memorable piece of art.

Have you seen any other comic book inspired tattoos out there? Let us know in the comments section!

Next One Piece: 10 Characters Closest To Yonko Level, Ranked

More in Lists