Marvel superhero Deadpool is known for turning heads. The character’s schtick is to be offensive, in your face and foul mouthed — but an online petition that has gathered more than 36,000 signatures says Deadpool’s latest movie poster might have been a step too far.
The poster for the new film “Once Upon a Deadpool” shows the anti-hero dressed in his red combat suit and wearing a white robe, walking through a heavenly cloud toward the viewer. He has two thumbs up as an angelic marching band plays behind him.
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The petition, hosted on Change.org, says the poster bears a striking resemblance to a famous work called “The Second Coming,” which shows Jesus descending on a cloud surrounded by a chorus of trumpeting angels.
“It is unknown if the picture was used to intentionally mock the Church of Jesus Christ, but it is clear it was copied from the original picture. This is a form a religious discrimination. We ask that the picture be not used or posted in any manner. That they find another poster to represent their movie,” the petition says.
The new movie is a PG-13 re-cut of this summer’s “Deadpool 2,” with some new scenes spliced in. “The Second Coming” was created by illustrator Harry Anderson on commission for the Mormon Church, part of a series of many works he did for the church in the 1960s and ’70s.
“The Second Coming is an important part of LDS religious belief. The idea that Jesus will come to the earth again and that particular portrayal of it is one of the most beloved and produced images of the Second Coming,” said Patrick Mason, chairman of Mormon studies at Claremont Graduate University, according to Fox 13. “You see it in Latter-day Saint homes and churches all over the place.”
He said Mormons would see a movie character devoted to crude humor and violence “as precisely the opposite of the kind of characters and virtues that Jesus embodies,” according to the station.
On the petition, commenters condemned the portrait as “sacrilegious” and “disrespectful” and called for it to be removed.
“This isn’t just a stab at the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-Day Saints, this is mocking our Savior, Jesus Christ. While I choose to not be offended when someone mocks my religion, I will forever stand with and defend Jesus Christ,” wrote Alyssa Olson.