A Marvel Comics fan took his obsession to a whole new level by getting extreme plastic surgery to look like Red Skull.
Venezuelan Henry Damon has already had subdermal implants on his forehead and brow line and extensive tattooing all over his face to simulate the character’s sunken appearance and on his eyeballs — his eyeballs! — to make them completely black, and even went so far as to have the tip of his nose hacked off!
Watch this Red Skull superfan’s transformation
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The “doctor” responsible for the surgery is medical school dropout Emilio Gonzalez, who says that Damon is not actually a lunatic, but just really loves body mods.
“Henry, aka Red Skull, is a physically and intellectually healthy person,” Gonzalez told the Daily Mail. “He’s an excellent son, husband and father who has an extreme taste for body modification.”
“Most of my customers know that body modification is the last step of body art. Everyone knows very well what they want and as well as Henry, many of them are waiting for me for many years to make their dreams a reality.”
We consulted our own expert about this interesting case of extreme fandom, and his opinion is very different.
SheKnows Expert Dr. Ben Michaelis, a clinical psychologist in full-time private practice in Manhattan in New York City and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University (as well as a frequent guest on TV and radio) told us, “I can say that as a clinician this behavior seems to be psychotic — that is, out of touch with reality. My assumption is that this signifies larger problems with confronting reality and the overidentification with this comic book character is a reflection of merging fantasy and reality in a potentially dangerous way.”
“I definitely see and have seen people who strongly identify with characters in stories especially stories like Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings films,” Dr. Michaelis said. “Most of the time this identification is healthy. The person sees a hero and wants to be like him or her. Occasionally, the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred, and the person can take on characteristics of the person who they are identified with.”
We also spoke with board certified, NYC-based plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Schulman, who answered a few questions about this unusual look for us.
“We should be very clear that this was not done by any doctor. By his own admission, this was done by a ‘med school dropout’ who is now a tattoo artist and specialist in body modification. No licensed medical doctor would agree to perform this disfiguring procedure in which the tip of the nose is amputated,” Dr. Schulman told us. “No licensed physician would ever perform this disfiguring and mutilating procedure. It goes against legal and ethical obligations of physicians.
“The entire nasal tip is gone. It has been amputated. This includes the cartilage at the tip of the nose as well as part of the nasal septum. The nose serves a function in our body. It warms and cools the air we breathe, as well as filters out pollutants and particles. By removing this part of the nose, he is more prone to sinus infections as well as discomfort breathing in very warm or cold climates. Also, one can only assume that sterile surgical technique may not have been followed during the procedure and he can develop an infection in the remaining portion of the nose. In extreme cases, infection can even spread to the brain causing encephalitis, stroke and death.”
If at some point Damon changes his mind and wants to look normal again — or at least have his full nose back — it would be a very difficult thing to do, Dr. Schulman told us. “It would involve rebuilding the bone, cartilage and skin of the nose. Bone is taken from a rib, cartilage is taken from the ears and skin is taken from the forehead. This procedure would take several surgeries and even in the best case scenario, the cosmetic outcome will never be normal.”
But Damon’s transformation is not yet complete: He still wants to add silicone cheek and chin implants and re-tat his face completely red.
Can’t wait to see the finished product!