The big news for DC fans today is the latest Countdown teaser
. It's certainly an intriguing image. I spent a lot of time today staring at it, trying to pick out clues and what they mean. But the more I looked at it, the more I felt that there was something familiar
about the composition. The characters aren't holding themselves the way comic book characters usually do. There was something... Odd
about it all.
I wracked my brain trying to come up with where I'd see the posing. The Trickster's stance was particularly familiar to me. It took me awhile, but finally it dawned on me. And it's both mind-boggling and potentially revealing. You see, the newest Countdown
teaser shares certain similarities with Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece The Last Supper.
Yeah, I know... That's far fetched even for me
. But the parallels are certainly there. And as a public service I will try to dissect exactly how these two pieces of art seem to converge.
Let us begin by examining the composition as a whole. Each picture contains thirteen figures. Of the thirteen, one is positioned in the very center of the image. That is where the viewer's attention is immediately drawn (we'll come back to those
guys later). The other twelve figures are arrayed on either side of the central figure. Six on each side, clustered together in groups of three. Let's examine the various groupings, beginning on the right side where the convergence between the two images is the most obvious.
The similarities are as obvious as they are uncanny. In The Last Supper
Matthew (on the left) gestures towards the central figure while the Trickster does the same in the Countdown
teaser. Though Matthew holds nothing in his left hand, the Trickster is carrying the Pied Piper's flute.
In the center of The Last Supper
grouping is Simon the Zealot, and his Countdown
teaser counterpart is Darkseid's torturer Desaad.
On the far right of the images are Jude Thaddeus and the Penguin. Each holds their hands out towards the middle figure as if seeking counsel or the answer to a question. Matthew and the Trickster seem to be doing the same. What are they seeking from Desaad?
Moving left to the next grouping reveals considerably less in common between the two images. Nonetheless, there are some parallels. Like Thomas in The Last Supper
, Kingdom Come Superman is holding up his right hand. But rather than a pointed finger, Superman's hand is a mysterious glowing fist.
The center figure of each grouping -- James the Greater and Cyborg Superman respectively -- seems detached from what is going on around him. Indeed, in both images the central figure seems to be ignoring the rightmost figure, even as that figure (be it Phillip or Black Suit Superman) requests information from the central figure.
The third group from the right is the most complex -- and possibly the most important. The rightmost figure in this grouping in The Last Supper
is John, who was the youngest of the apostles. This would make it likely that the Catwoman featured in the Countdown
teaser is Holly Robinson, also a young protege.
Things get trickier when it comes to the two leftmost figures. In The Last Supper
, the two figures are Judas Iscariot (foreground, holding a moneybag) and Peter (background, holding a knife). Depending on whether one goes by head or body, either Judas or
Peter could be considered the central figure in the grouping.
This causes considerable difficulties when we consider the grouping in the Countdown
teaser. Though the Joker is posed like Peter, Martian Manhunter holds a knife like Peter. This is very
important, as Judas and Peter are their leader's betrayer and right hand man, respectively. It would not be a stretch to say that the same might apply to the characters in the Countdown
teaser and their
central figure. The question is: which one's the traitor?
The last grouping is in some ways the hardest to pick apart. In The Last Supper
we have Bartholomew, James the Lesser, and Andrew. All three men bear expressions of surprise. This is in stark contrast to Granny Goodness, Mary Marvel, and Eclipso in the Countdown
teaser. Those three appear to be happy or excited about something.
There are no immediately apparent similarities between the two groupings, but some become apparent if the order in either The Last Supper
or the Countdown
teaser is changed. In that case, both James and Eclipso are reaching an arm around another figure in the grouping, while Andrew and Granny Goodness are both holding their hands in front of themselves.
Finally, we come to the central figure in each image. In The Last Supper
, that figure is obviously Jesus. The figure in the Countdown
teaser is just as obviously Lex Luthor.
In both images the central figure is arrayed in a roughly triangular shaped pattern and holds his hands out and to his sides. Both wear distressed expressions. But a major difference is that Luthor's palms are bloody. Whether that is someone else's blood or his own, it seems to be meant as a sick parallel to Jesus' crucifixion wounds.
Well, there you have it, friends. My insane compare and contrast of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper
and Ethan van Sciver's Countdown
teaser. Though I do not know what these similarities mean
, I'm certain that they are not
merely a coincidence. Only time will tell what lies behind the symbols...
Labels: Countdown, The Rennaisance