Monday, August 11, 2014

Last Supper With All My Favorite Superheroes

I often get art commissions from various artists. One of my favorite artists is Cynthia Conner. You can find her here:

My advice: get something from her. She's one of the most talented young artists I've ever encountered at pop art events. Now for my birthday/graduation my wife had me commission a LAST SUPPER piece with all of my favorite superheroes. Here is the finished product:

I am blown away as to how good this all is. Her talent is beyond my understanding. I really love the way she captured the original Da Vinci, including the original facial expressions and hand gestures, while also fully integrating the aesthetic of the original character. I picked all of the characters and assigned them specific places vis a vis Leonardo Da Vinci's original LAST SUPPER painting. Some had very specific reasons, others did not.

Here is a rundown.

Jesus is "Adam Warlock"- Adam Warlock is a perennial Christ figure in Marvel comics. In fact, his first major storyline was inspired by "Jesus Christ: Superstar". Being one of my all-time favorite characters, and probably actually holding that top spot for me right now (after Starlin's most recent offering, which has me very jazzed), There was really no one else to put there. It had to be Adam Warlock.

Peter is "Silver Surfer"- Peter comes off as the apostle closest to Jesus in the synoptic gospels, and in various places Surfer and Adam Warlock have come off as very close indeed. In point of fact, Pip the Troll is Adam Warlock's BEST friend, but I would not put him on my list all-time favorite characters. OF my favorite characters, Surfer is the closest to Warlock, except maybe Thanos and we'll talk more about him later.

Judas is "Thanos"- Thanos is the greatest villain in all of comicdom, in my opinion. However, he has also from time to time played the hero, saving the universe on numerous occasions. But early on in Thanos' career, he played the perfect Judas role, befriending Adam Warlock only to betray him in the most terrible of ways later on.

James the Greater is "Superman"- James, John and Peter are the apostles closest to Jesus, and I had to put Superman in one of those roles since Superman himself could've played the Christ role in this piece. Now there are two James, one younger and one older. Since DC comics argued for a long time that Shazam and Superman were basically the two character in different worlds, I decided to put Superman in the James The Elder (Son of Zebedee) position, and Shazam in James the Younger position, since Shazam's alter ego is a little boy (hence, 'younger').

John is "Wonder Woman"- There has been some suggestion that in the original Leonardo painting, the model for John is a woman. There can be no doubt that the figure looks very feminine. Plus, some have suggested the Gospel of John was written by a woman. Wonder Woman is my favorite female character, and this was the perfect place for her.

Matthew is "Rocket Racoon"- Matthew was a tax collector and so his big 'sin' before becoming a disciple was all about money. Rocket is a thief and all around money-grubber so the shoe fit. I think this is one of the highlights of the piece. I love the way she has him standing on the table, while still keeping with the original's hand gestures.

James the Younger is "Shazam"- see the note on James the Greater

Andrew is "Alan Scott- Green Lantern"- There is no reasoning behind this assignment, but Alan (particularly the way he was before New 52) had to be in this painting and this was as good an assignment as any.

Bartholomew is "Ghost Rider"- Again, for no particular reason. But Danny Ketch's early Ghost Rider years are some of the best comics have to offer, and the high point of my comic book reading.

Thaddeus is "Deadman"- Again, for no reason except I had to have Deadman.

Thomas is "Spider-Man"- The church I attend is named after the doubting St. Thomas. Spider-Man is possessed of a skeptical nature, and Spider-Man, particularly in his black costume, had to be on the list. There was no better place for him and no one could play the role of Thomas Didymus better.

Phillip is "Spectre"- Spectre is also one of my all-time faves, but his role as God's wrath might have earned him a place on this even if I didn't love the character. But his assignment to Phillip has no particular significance.

Simon is "Batman"- Also for no particular reason other than Batman had to be on this list.

So what do you think? I suggest you make a comparison to the original to grasp the full breadth of what Cynthia did here (see below). Check her stuff out, and reach out for commissions. She deserves the work.

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