Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Last Encore


I wasn't going to do this, because it seemed too obvious and because I was sure it was going to be beaten to death on every forum in existence. But I've been asked to do it anyway.

Please note, if you have not already, that the new teaser image of bad guys from Countdown is visual reference to "The Last Supper" of Leonardo DaVinci .

And, yes, I know that's a picture of a copy of the DaVinci and not the original; this is an exegesis, people, not a restoration class. The poses aren't exact, of course, but the reference is still pretty clear. I'm not sure whether that's pure genius or just pure kitsch, but I am sure it's rather ballsy.

Granny Goodness, Mary Marvel, and Eclipso replace Bartholomew, James the Lesser, and Andrew. Leonardo's trio seem to express surprise; DC's trio seem to express exultation or delight. Amusingly, Goodness's outfit is the same color scheme as Bartholomew's.

J'onn J'onnz, the Joker, and Catwoman replace Judas, Peter, and John. J'onnz as Judas the Betrayer is clever. Many will assume that it means JJ has betrayed the heroes and become a bad guy. I assume the opposite; in the context of the composition, at least, this suggests that JJ will betrayed Luthor and the other bad guys. Like Goodness, his blue and green outfit mimics that of his counterpart disciple. Some liberties have been taken with the arrangement of people and things in this trio (the Joker, for example, is the one doing Judas's whispering in John's ear routine), but it's close enough for government work and I still think J'onn, not Joker, is intended to represent Judas here. Of course, it works the other way, too. One can easily imagine the Joker betraying anybody. Catwoman (Holly, I assume) stands for John, the youngest of the apostles.

Lex Luthor is Jesus. There's a sentence I never expected to write. Luthor, being more of a drama queen than Jesus, is pulling a Jolson ("Lexor! How I love ya, how I love ya, my dear old Lexor!'). His outstretched blood-covered hands (whatever their more literal meaning in the story) probably mean to evoke stigmata, further cementing the "Savior of Humanity" between the two.

The Crabby Supermen replace Thomas, James the Greater, and Phillip. Like them, they seem kind of upset and focused on the center figure (Luthor/Jesus).

The Trickster, Desaad, and The Penguin replace Matthew, Jude, and Simon. The Trickster looks to the Penguin for explanation and guidance. Truly, don't we all?

The objects you should all recognize with the exception of Jean Loring's Hatbox of Evil at Eclipso's feet (oh, and the skis belong to the Black Racer). Beside the Hatbox of Evil is what I assume is the Crime Bible. Forgotten about that, hadn't you?

That's enough from me, though. Discuss.


Diamondrock said...

Well, damn. I wish I hadn't spent an hour and a half throwing my post together... :-P

wrath said...

now all i need is some photo shop whiz to slice that bad boy up, replace the figures in their proper place around the table and then i can hang it up in the dining room in time for thanksgiving dinner.

That will convince the family of my stability.

Jeremy Rizza said...

Yeah, I can't look at Luthor in that pic without hearing Calculon emoting, "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

Luke said...

I'm a little confused as to who the Trickster is going to be, because he looks like the original Trickster but is wearing the second Trickster's costume. (Maybe the second Trickster is another Earth-8 guy?)

But good work on noticing the Last Supper reference. I thought some of the poses looked familiar (Trickster, for one), but could not place it. Also, I would like to say that except for the knife, the Martian Manhunter looks badass in that picture.

SallyP said...

Bah! Joe Staton did it earlier and more literally with the Green Lanterns, only it was Hal as Jesus in that particular rendition. It was really quite amusing.

Gosh Lex is SUCH a drama queen.

Anonymous said...

I never noticed it before, but it really looks like Thomas, James the Greater, and Phillip are arguing over the check.

"This is outrageous! Who had the second appetizer?"
"Don't look at me, I had just one order of cheese sticks. ONE!"
"Look, guys, can't we just split the bill thirteen ways? That'd be, what, thirty pieces of silver each?"

Patrick C said...

Jean's hat box is actually the mother box used by the Forever People to summon... The Infinity Man!! I can't remember seeing those hippies in continuity in awhile.

And what's that other thing on the ground on the other side of Luthor? It was on the ground in the first teaser image also.

Luke said...

If DC kills off the Forever People then I am going to be hot. But since I have a sneaking suspicion that all of the New Gods save Orion and possibly "The Big D" are on the potential chopping block, I probably shouldn't get too worked up.

"Yes, we're honoring Jack Kirby's contributions to the field by killing off all of his creations. It's an homage, dammit!"


Captain Qwert Jr said...

Well, it's obvious what turns J'onn J'onnz.
Steroids. He's wider than a life-sized Masters of the Universe action figure!

Have we learned nothing from wresting!?!

Patrick C said...

I love the New Gods and other Kirby creations... just not the Forever People. Just a bunch of hippy nonsense if you ask me. Give me Metron or Mister Miracle any day.

Luke said...

The thing about the Forever People is that, yeah, they had the "hippie" trappings laid over their "Kid Gang" origins, but they were a product of the time when they were created. Think about the potential for what the Forever People could be today -- reflecting back the young 20-somethings of the current era. Angry, educated, informed, and taking action against injustice, corruption, and tyranny. I mean, that's a pretty sound concept, and this is coming from a dyed in the wool conservative.

Will they ever be as popular as Orion, or especially Mister Miracle? Nah, but I think there's a lot of good stories left to tell.

Patrick C said...

I think they may need to be re-imaged also. Kirby's designs are a little dated. And I never quite understood Big Bear's hair. Is it a mane? Are his sideburns really that long?

You know, the more I think about this the less I understand the New Gods. So are the Forever People also Gods? Does that make them immortal too? Are they just lesser Gods? Who actually worships the New Gods? Are they just powerful aliens?

Luke said...

I always pegged the Forever People as lesser gods, much like how the classical pantheons had their multitudes of lesser immortal characters. A refreshing of their costumes would help out too, you are right. (As to Big Bear, I imagine he's like a mountain man, with a big shaggy mane of hair.)

As for who worships them, I thought the workers who toiled on Apokalips worshiped Darkseid and company, and the "Bugs" and other non-gods worshiped Highfather and his crew. I fully admit that I may be completely and utterly wrong on that, though.

Anonymous said...

Some other thoughts...

Granny Goodness is standing in front of Hippolyta's shield. I suspect she may be the hand behind Amazon Attacks, maybe working with Circe and possibly Ares. She is a reverensial pose and looking at (I think) Luthor. For whatever reason Lex has blood on his hands, Granny likes.

The broken green arrow is the infamous diamond-tipped arrow that Ollie used in his first adventure with the Justice League. I believe he used the diamond from it to propose to Black Canary. A broken arrow itself typically means peace or harmony... don't know if that's what they're going for here though.

Darkseid's statue... is it fallen, or is it rising from the ground?

The red skies are very "crisis-ish", but in the middle is a vortex that seems to be the source of the fire-blast that destroys the background buildings. Looks a little like Solaris from Morrison's DC 1,000,000 storyline.

Catwoman is almost certianly Holly. J'onn holding a bloody knife... looks like he may have to "pull a Wonder Woman" and kill someone for the betterment of all.

The "Kingdom Come" Superman could be the Earth-1 Superman seen in Loeb's Superman/Batman run. His role in that storyline was to preserve the pocket universe of him and Lois settling down, as seen in Moore's "Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow". Perhaps the manipulations of Alex Luthor and Mr. Mind caused that ending to be disrupted again? The light in his hand has an atomic symbol in it. Perhaps he teams with Ray Palmer or with Captain Atom/Monarch. Come to think of it, he was working with Captain Atom in Loeb's S/B run, the run that eventually launched Captain Atom into the Wildstorm Universe, then back again. Or... he could just be "Kingdom Come" Superman from whichever world that's taking place.

Is that the Crime Bible on the ground or the Book Of Destiny, now playing the role of "McGuffin" in Waid's The Brave & The Bold? Or is it just the D&D Player's Manual?

Pied Piper is not present, but his flute is. Currently he and Trickster are on the run together for be associated with the Rogues that murdered Bart Allen. Piper had joined the Rogues for as-yet-unknown purpose... I suspect Trickster takes up Piper's cause, as he has taken up Piper's flute.

Penguin -- does he take Bruno Manheim's place as head of Intergang, thus falling under the sway of Apokolips? Of course, in Dini's Detective Comics, Penguin is trying to go straight... maybe he and Trickster try to do the "right thing", thus taking on the rolls of the heroes who's stuff they are standing on?

Finally... Jean Loring is the creepiest thing in this picture.

Anonymous said...

Wait a freaking minute; the current Catwoman's real name is Holly Robinson?

I didn't know Jump Street was in Gotham City. They should reintroduce Aunt Harriet so she can be hangin' with Mrs. Cooper.

Scipio said...

Jean Loring is, by definition, the creepiest thing in any picture.

argh.sims said...


You'll be very creeped-out by the envelope you receive soon, then. :-)

Devon Sanders said...

It just came to the store and I am VERY MUCH creeped out by it.

argh.sims said...


Scipio said...

The Jean Loring blow-up doll?

argh.sims said...

Nah. I've been reading long enough to know that if I send you a blow-up doll, it should be Vibe. Or maybe Starman. :-)

Anonymous said...

Pied Piper is not present, but his flute is.

Probably because Piper is still a good guy, just deep undercover. So it would make sense to omit him from the actual teaser, but include that which he is most commonly associated with.

Also worth noting that Black Mary Marvel is floating above the ground and not standing on it like Granny Goodness and Eclipso.

David Campbell said...

Scipio for the win!

Christine Smith said...

The knife is so J'onn can commit sacred sepukku for turning into a Skrull. Trickster is trying to sell Penguin on the practicalities of a man-purse. Granny Goodness is excited about her latest royalty check from the new Lou Grant DVD set. Black-Costume-Superman has turned his back to demonstrate his growing but not-yet-critical mullet. And Lex? Lex simply can't believe it's not butter.

Jon said...

...and yet I still can't find it in me to read Countdown ;)

Anonymous said...

Just a minor correction to your otherwise fantastic exegesis:

Peter is the one who whispers in John's ear, not Judas, so the image is correct in having the Joker (Peter) doing the whispering.
Judas in the last supper is the dark seated figure, the only one NOT in conversation with anyone else.


Scipio said...

Touche. Thanks, Gerry; that simplifies everything.

J'onnz is Judas then.

Anonymous said...

I just noticed that "the Hatbox of Evil" is very very similar to the Forever People's mother box. The box that Vykin brings through the boom tube in FP #1 has only 5 points to it's circle and the Countdown one has 8, but otherwise its a match (well maybe not color-wise, but I am looking at the FP black and white trade so I can't match the color) :(

Anonymous said...

er...I just noticed I was already scooped the hat box.


Anonymous said...

By the way, I haven't been keeping up with the whole Infinite Crisis/52/bring back the Multiverse thing, but the Penguin in that illustration is looking pretty old. Is that supposed to be the Golden-Age/Earth-Two Penguin, or something?

Anonymous said...

By the way, I haven't been keeping up with the whole Infinite Crisis/52/bring back the Multiverse thing, but the Penguin in that illustration is looking pretty old. Is that supposed to be the Golden-Age/Earth-Two Penguin, or something?

Unknown said...

Hmm. Interesting, as it looks like the blood on Lex's hands may be his own. At least his gloves seem to be showing some damage to them.

MaGnUs said...

J'onn going undercover and then betraying the villains makes a lot of sense based on what Tony Bedard said about Batman & The Outsiders, given that JJ is one possible member of the team.