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Superhero Last Supper by luismhernandez Superhero Last Supper by luismhernandez
The Superhero Last Supper

As much as ten years ago I had envisioned the Last Supper involving superheroes. I came to see the apostles themselves and Jesus as superhero characters who influenced western thought and culture in the past, every bit as much as many people believe comic book characters influence the present, or at least embody the sensibilities of many of these historic and significant religious characters.

It always intrigued me which characters would play each disciple; and who would play Jesus? Where would the event take place?

It ended up being Superman, to be the obvious choice as the first and foremost superhero. As the first superhero to be published regularly in his own series, Superman possesses many Jesus-like qualities. Like Jesus, Superman displayed miraculous and powerful feats even beyond that which the other superheroes are capable of. Like Superman, Jesus was more than a man even as Superman is more than a superhero. How many times has Superman sacrificed himself for the world? Like Jesus, Superman has also died and resurrected. Like Jesus, Superman was sent by his father to help the world.

In my interpretation Superman is betrayed by a trusted hero, one of his own colleagues exploiting two of his most significant weaknesses; the first is physical (the Kryptonite, which can be fatal) and the second is emotional (Superman's nobility, purity, and trusting nature).

As for disciples, I made Spider-Man play John because he was addressed as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" as is quoted from scripture. It is also said that John was the "youngest disciple" and I suspect that as Peter Parker, Spider-Man may well be the youngest superhero at the table, probably as young, or even younger than Robin. John is also a key figure in scripture; according to the scholars John, under the influence of the Holy Spirit wrote the Book of Revelation. He alone is the witness to the end of days and final battles between the forces of good and evil; and of all the heroes, Spider-Man is the everyman, the one lucky and crafty enough to survive to tell the tale.

Being the physically largest characters, Hulk is Bartholomew and Hawkman is Simon the Zealot merely to balance out the painting and anchor the other figures into the composition. Thor is James son of Alphaeus and Iron Man is Andrew expressing bewilderment and shock at the betrayal of Superman.

Wolverine played a pivotal role in the modern age of comics by being one of the pioneering characters to blur the lines of morality by freely embracing extreme violence, and having no qualms about taking a villain's life. Wolverine ushered in the new era of the "anti-hero'; when killing criminals is embraced and accepted as the norm; since then many similar, darker superheroes have been introduced into comics. Wolverine represents a stark contrast to the nobility and grace of Superman, who would strive to use humane methods to subdue evildoers rather than using extreme force to take their lives. Thus I felt it appropriate for the controversial Wolverine to portray another controversial character; the infamous Judas Iscariot, one of the most sordid, if not interesting and misunderstood characters in the scriptures. In a way, Judas contrasts Jesus (in servicing himself) as opposed to Jesus' selfless sacrifice (for mankind) as sharply as Wolverine's questionable morality contrasts Superman's idealism. Another way to look at Judas would be as the man who had to step up and betray Jesus so that God's will could be fulfilled; in a way Judas is as much a sacrificial lamb as Jesus. As both men fulfill biblical prophecy, in which Judas sets in motion the events that would lead to Jesus's crucifixion as both men shared the same goal; to fulfill the redemption of mankind through Jesus' fate. This could be parallel to Wolverine and Superman fulfilling their own common goal; to act as heroes, saving innocent lives however at odds their methods may be. Like Judas, Wolverine tips over the salt container with his elbow (symbolism for "spilling the salt", which means "betraying one's master")... Obviously the bag of coins clutched in Wolverine's fist symbolizes materialism, greed, monetary wealth, opportunism and the comic book industry's effort to capitalize on whatever new sociological trend is popular (violent heroes, giant robots, big guns, hyper-sexualization, zombies, whatever is popular, etc). Perhaps symbolizing the degradation in storytelling and cheap commercial gimmicks that negatively affected comic book sales in the 90's (multiple cover variations and other cheesy frills such as "gold" covers, "silver" covers, and other money-making schemes).

Just as Peter held a knife (pointed away from Jesus in Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece), foreshadowing his violent reaction to Jesus' arrest in the garden later than evening, Captain America holds his shield. Peter would later become the leader of the Apostles, the Rock of the new church of believers, and Jesus's most reverent supporter. In a way Captain America is very similar in beliefs and noble, wholesome ideals as Superman (truth, justice and the American Way, etc.). The Captain is a true believer in right and wrong, black and white, every bit as much as Peter was convinced that Jesus was "the way, the truth and the light". If DC and Marvel were united as one common universe, there would be no doubt that Captain America would be Superman's most stalwart supporter.

Thomas is played by the Green Lantern, who (as in Leonardo's masterpiece) portrays a clearly upset Thomas' incredulous, skeptical nature by holding his finger up indignantly at Superman (Jesus), only to show his famed ring glowing with defiant power.

Wonder Woman (as James the Greater) looks stunned, her arms in the air as the Flash (portraying Philip) appears to be denying any involvement in the current predicament.

Batman portrays Matthew the tax collector; as he and Robin (as Jude Thaddeus) turn towards a perhaps confused Hawkman (Simon the Zealot) to attempt an explanation. Despite outward appearances Batman and Matthew's each share an analytical mind which serves Batman well in fighting crime and Matthew in collecting taxes. They is also a sense of mistrust against them; all the other heroes do not fully trust the dark, enigmatic Batman and question his methods of inducing fear and intimidation into the "superstitious, cowardly lot" just as the much as the apostles did not trust Matthew because of his profession as a tax collector, who were regarded with contempt and revulsion for using intimidation and fear; threatening legal penalties and harsh punishment (such as Roman flogging) on defiant citizens.

Well this short essay pretty much explains my thought process behind the painting. I didn't want to just throw these characters randomly into the composition. I wanted to stay true to Leonardo's work as much as possible. For example, I didn't want to complicate the painting by putting in an elaborate table setting. I feel Leonardo's focus was the on the characters, not so much the setting. I did want to pay homage to the Hall of Justice from the cartoon series, which holds nostalgic sentiment to me.

Hope you like this. Thank you for reading and viewing! I'm happy to bring enjoyment to the viewers that appreciate this and are fans of the arts.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmerryclairethebat109:
MerryClaireTheBat109 Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wrs dead pool?
Reply
:iconnapoleonbon:
Napoleonbon Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2016
It should have been Dc on the left side, instead of Marvel, with Wonder Woman standing nearest to the left (from viewers perspective) of Superman! And in my own opinion there is no place for Robin there and it should have been Aquman instead of him! Why? Because Aquman is one of the original six founding JL members, while Robin acts more like a sidekick to Batman and can't even deal with shit on his own and always needs an advice, moderation and control of Batman! LOL He might be a character on his own lately, founding Teen Titans and all, but there is huge difference between Teen and Adult if you know what i mean!
Reply
:iconcyberthehedgehog270:
Two things I love in one. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and Superheros! ^-^

God bless you good sir. <=]
Reply
:icongodofwarlover:
godofwarlover Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2015
Shouldn't Wonder Woman be John (or as the conspiracy theorists believe, Mary Magdelene?)
Reply
:iconcadee78:
Cadee78 Featured By Owner May 1, 2015
This is great!
Reply
:iconorielee:
Orielee Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014
Wow as a fan of Christ and of Superheroes this is truly a interesting piece I enjoy your explanations as to how you came to decide each characters placement very nicely done!
Reply
:iconbongo006:
bongo006 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014
Hi. Interested in getting a print. Want a large poster size. I live in New Zealand though...shipping could be a problem. Any chance?
Reply
:icontokyofox200:
tokyofox200 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013
And thus the comicbooks were killed to make the movies look good..
Reply
:icontenaw:
Tenaw Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013
How do I purchase a cop of this print please? 
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
Sure, I can sell you a print. 

If you deposit $10.00 USD into my Paypal account at: luismhernandez@gmail.com 

I will then send you an 11"x17" print. I'll take care of postage. 

Thank you for your interest! 
Reply
:iconxmisto:
Xmisto Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  DUDE!  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS!  SO FUNNY!  Also well thought out.  (I got excited!  Sorry about the cap locks.  I was in superhero mode.)
Reply
:iconkonandattebayogirl:
KonanDattebayoGirl Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013
It's a beautiful piece and very well thought out. :) Our best works of art come from meaningful thoughts.
Reply
:iconnazothedark8756:
nazothedark8756 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Student Digital Artist
this is really kinda deep...
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
Glad you like it
Reply
:iconcormacpgs:
cormacpgs Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013
wait Hawkman is black
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
Yes he is :)
Reply
:iconronaldinhoten:
RonaldinhoTEN Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014
Now there's an idea DC should start thinking about. Changing who hawkman is I mean. He badly needs revamping. That weird top, boots, and terrible helmet have to go.  
Reply
:iconcarlossarcinelli:
CarlosSarcinelli Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013
Amazing !
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
Thank you!
Reply
:iconazabachesilver:
AzabacheSilver Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting explainations
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
Thank you!
Reply
:iconlaylaamaris7:
LaylaAmaris7 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
hehe cool idea
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
Thank you!
Reply
:iconbavaria44:
bavaria44 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012
wow...dude...
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
Thank you!
Reply
:iconv1ewt1ful:
V1EWT1FUL Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i dont know what to say
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
Thank you!
Reply
:iconminecraftman101:
Minecraftman101 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
SWEET
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012
Thanks
Reply
:iconminecraftman101:
Minecraftman101 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012
no prob
Reply
:icontechnoj10:
technoj10 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Student General Artist
Cool!
Superman: Eat this bread, for- Guys... This is NOT the Eucharist.
Hulk: HULK DONT CARE, HULK WANT FOOD FROM SUPER-JESUS
Thor: I dont think thats Jesus...
Hulk: HULK DONT CAAAAARE
-no one notices Superman nearly dying from Kryptonite-
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012
Lmao!!
Reply
:iconartedigitalsa:
ArteDigitalSA Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Student General Artist
wow,man! this is epic!! fuck the vatican and leonardo, this is religious art!!
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
LOL! That's the best comment yet! I love you man!
Reply
:iconartedigitalsa:
ArteDigitalSA Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Student General Artist
why??thank you!
Reply
:iconellocabruja:
ELLOCABRUJA Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Love it!
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Thanks
Reply
:iconellocabruja:
ELLOCABRUJA Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Superman is so based in the Christ-concept that this pic seems like a no brainier.
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Yeah, definately.
Reply
:iconezzielynn:
EzzieLynn Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Student General Artist
XD :icongreatjobplz: Would never have thought of doing this.
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Thank you!
Reply
:icondarthpaul99:
darthpaul99 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's all very fitting, especially Superman, as I once read that since both his creators were Jewish that they made the character out to be what their vision of a messiah really could be.
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
Thanks. Yes, they were Jewish. Superman is deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian ideas.
Reply
:icondarthpaul99:
darthpaul99 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Absolutely, even the original 70's film was seeped in it. I took a film analysis class in college where it was one of the movies we discussed. It was a lot of fun. :-)
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
Must have been a fun class :) when I was in art school they were extremely uptight and snobbish towards anything related to pop culture; comic books in particular.
Reply
:icondarthpaul99:
darthpaul99 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It was, and it was just a random elective course that I thought I'd try! :lol:
Reply
:icondamian-blaze:
Damian-Blaze Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is exceedingly awesome. Amazing talent and creativity.
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
Thank you! Your comment means a lot.
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Great concept, and obviously very well researched and thought out. Bravo!
Reply
:iconluismhernandez:
luismhernandez Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
Thank you my friend.
Reply
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August 23, 2012
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