Where did that Macho Man/Jesus/Rapture painting come from anyway?

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By now you have all seen the above image, which swept through social media yesterday with the tagline “Macho Man prevented the Rapture.” In a world seemingly without order, connecting the senseless (and very sad) death of Randy “Macho Man” Savage, and the impending Rapture predicting by Harold Camping (inexplicably still alive) would seem to give us some joy.

But where did it come from? Such viral images come and go so quickly on the internet, we thought it would be informative to see what we could come up with as an origin story.

Unsurprisingly, the image first surfaced on Reddit, and it seems to be the work of cartoonist Bobby Campbell, aided by Photoshop and Google Image search. Campbell has some other unusual stuff on his site, like the below image of Alan Moore reading the Illuminati, but nothing to match the grandeur of this mash-up. Campbell even made some desktop-sized versions of the image, here and here.

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Macho Man himself has been the subject of a few works of fine art, such as Suzanne with the Macho Man by Suzanne Marie Leclair. Prints are available for purchase in the link. We predict a healthy afterlife for the Macho Man as an iconic figure.

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We couldn’t find the original of the Macho Man part of the picture, but the Jesus part seems to be this uncredited image.

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UPDATE: The Macho Man component has been identified as a promo image from THQ’s recent WWE All-Stars video game.

So there you have it: video games + religious art + the internet = folk art!

While we were poking around, we found lots of amazing apocalyptic Christian art, all sadly uncredited. Come on people, don’t be shy, like the Master of the St George Altarpiece! They didn’t have Reddit in the Middle Ages but they do now. It’s called progress.

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We especially liked his one, of Jesus and the Devil arm wrestling for our souls.

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…and this holy Unicorn horse stampede. Has no one set up a tumblr of Warcraft/religious iconography yet?

As for the Rapture itself, and what it will look like, we’ll go with an oldie but a goodie, courtesy of Hieronymus Bosch.

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BONUS: Thanks to reader M.S., here’s a painting that wraps up all the kitsch in one glorious image! Cheeseball cover artist/Frazetta-tributer Boris Vallejo painted this view of a muscular Jesus dying for our sins all the way back in 1969, but clearly he was channeling the apotheosis of the Macho Man even then.

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Comments

  1. The Macho Man part of the image is probably a still from the recent video game “WWE All-Stars.”

  2. OHHHHHHHHHHHHH YEAH!!!

  3. RDaggle says:

    I don’t see any unicorns.

    Just horses, with riders carrying spears which they will no doubt use to skewer the insufficiently faithful.

  4. Karen says:

    That St George altarpiece is one of my favorite works of art EVER.

    But Macho Man stopping the Rapture definitely ranks up there…

  5. Torsten Adair says:

    You don’t see the invisible pink unicorns?
    Oh ye of little faith.

  6. Soooooooooo did the Rapture happen? Was Macho Man Randy Savage one of the few who actually made it up, but it just looked like he died to us left here on Earth?

  7. I just love “Macho Man Saves The Rapture.”

    Also, Jesus arm wrestling the devil is so cool…..

    Congrats Bob!

  8. PoodlePlay says:

    I love the Vallejo painting, but it sure makes me wonder about the Romans that got him up there in the first place.

    My God, what could THEY have looked like?

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