A real-life Lex Luthor appears to have taken a knife to a mural showing Batman and Superman locking lips.
The mural in Park Street, Croydon, had been put up by artist Rich Simmons as part of a street project led by the Rise Gallery. The large image featured Kal-el of Krypton getting intimate with Bruce Wayne.
However, this week Mr Simmons discovered that someone had hacked through the image with a knife, taking a chunk out of the wall to distort the kiss.
The vandal clearly had some kryptonite in their possession – as the damage left a gouge across the face of Superman.
Mr Simmons told the Croydon Guardian that he considers the vandalism of his work an act of “homophobic abuse”.
He said: “It’s the same reason why I was getting abuse when I was painting it. You get some narrow-minded people.
“I knew it was a controversial piece and people would go both ways with it. But it’s opening up a debate about gay rights, and also what it means to be a hero.
“You should see them as heroes regardless of their sexuality. It doesn’t matter what background you’re from – what race, what religion, what sexuality – you can be a hero no matter what.
“But some people will see it and think, ‘It’s just a couple of gays’.”
Croydon Council leader Tony Newman told the newspaper: “I think it’s absolutely appalling. What they have done has no place in Croydon. I would hope we have them on CCTV.”