Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Let him contemplate this on the tree of woe!"

Heading up our gallery of the crucified is this painting by Benito Gallego in a painting called...."CRUCIFIXION DAY" Madness I tell you...MADNESS!!! I Love the look on his face!
Arnold crucified on the tree of woe. In the film CONAN the Barbarian. As if you didn't know....
The legendary BORIS Vallejo painted this cover for Savage sword # 5 The immortal John Buscema's interpretation for the movie adaptation
Ernie Chan takes a turn. From this awe inspiring plate from his portfolio the CHAN Barbarians
John Buscema with Joe Sinnot inks from the Marvel Treasury edition reprint of SS # 5
Hey...we gotta add Frank Frazetta...crucifying something , even if it is a martian.
Mark Silvestri - Crucifies Wolverine on the cover for the X-men # 251
There he is...Lee Horsely as TALON from the film " the Sword and the Sorcerer "
ODIN from Marvel comics THOR 300...by Keith Pollard one of my favorite THOR runs ever!
" Odin breaks free "

The Hero – crucified : Spartacus , Jesus , Van Dam , WOLVERINE , Lee Horsley , Arnold , Super boy , ODIN , CONAN ! All these characters have one thing in common. They’ve been crucified. Why do we like to crucify our heroes? What makes crucifixion such a fitting terrible punishment for the hero? Why do the villains insist on hanging the hero out to dry instead of just killing them outright?

The idea is that the Hero will succumb to the dehydration and exposure and suffer the agony of having been nailed to a tree or a giant cross. Of course Spartacus was the only one out of the bunch who died on the cross but everybody else survived. CONAN survived by sucking the blood from a Vultures neck as it tried to pick out his eye for lunch. Van Dam in the movie CYBORG used his powerful Karate skills to kick the cross and break it. Lee Horsley as TALON in the film the SWORD and the SORCEROR freed himself by pulling the spikes out with his bare hands. Even James Purefoy was crucified in last years foreign straight to DVD release of SOLOMON KANE.

JESUS? Well he’s another story. He had super natural powers of healing and resurrection at his command. It kind of comes with the job as the son of GOD. They take our stalwart hero and debase and demoralize them by stripping and nailing them out in the freezing cold or blistering heat. In hopes that they will die after a few days hanging around by their wrists.

I was watching a Discovery channel special on crucifixion once. It was scientifically determined that It took a mighty long time for people to expire up there. Several days or even up to a week. Of course those that were nailed took a shorter period to die than those that were tied. Does not sound like a fun way to go.

The following text is from the ROBERT E. HOWARD , CONAN story a " Witch shall be born "

Read on as the descript text tells the story of DESPERATION and SURVIVAL as CONAN triumphs.....

A Witch shall be born : Crucifixion scene ( The Tree of Death )

By the side of the caravan road a heavy cross had been planted, and on this grim tree a man hung, nailed there by iron spikes through his hands and feet. Naked but for a loin-cloth, the man was almost a giant in stature, and his muscles stood out in thick corded ridges on limbs and body, which the sun had long ago burned brown. The perspiration of agony beaded his face and his mighty breast, but from under the tangled black mane that fell over his low, broad forehead, his blue eyes blazed with an unquenched fire. Blood oozed sluggishly from the lacerations in his hands and feet.Constantius saluted him mockingly. "I am sorry, captain," he said, "that I cannot remain to ease your last hours, but I have duties to perform in yonder city--I must not keep your delicious queen waiting!" He laughed softly. "So I leave you to your own devices--and those beauties!" He pointed meaningly at the black shadows which swept incessantly back and forth, high above. "Were it not for them, I imagine that a powerful brute like yourself should live on the cross for days. Do not cherish any illusions of rescue because I am leaving you unguarded. I have had it proclaimed that anyone seeking to take your body, living or dead, from the cross, will be flayed alive together with all the members of his family, in the public square. I am so firmly established in Khauran that my order is as good as a regiment of guardsmen. I am leaving no guard, because the vultures will not approach as long as anyone is near, and I do not wish them to feel any constraint. That is also why I brought you so far from the city. These desert vultures approach the walls no closer than this spot.



"And so, brave captain, farewell! I will remember you when, in an hour, Taramis lies in my arms." Blood started afresh from the pierced palms as the victim's mallet-like fists clenched convulsively on the spike-heads. Knots and bunches of muscle started out of the massive arms, and Conan beat his head forward and spat savagely at Constantius's face. The voivode laughed coolly, wiped the saliva from his gorget and reined his horse about. "Remember me when the vultures are tearing at your living flesh," he called mockingly. "The desert scavengers are a particularly voracious breed. I have seen men hang for hours on a cross, eyeless, earless, and scalpless, before the sharp beaks had eaten their way into their vitals." Without a backward glance he rode toward the city, a supple, erect figure, gleaming in his burnished armor, his stolid, bearded henchmen jogging beside him. A faint rising of dust from the worn trail marked their passing. The man hanging on the cross was the one touch of sentient life in a landscape that seemed desolate and deserted in the late evening. Khauran, less than a mile away, might have been on the other side of the world, and existing in another age.


Shaking the sweat out of his eyes, Conan stared blankly at the familiar terrain. On either side of the city, and beyond it, stretched the fertile meadowlands, with cattle browsing in the distance where fields and vineyards checkered the plain. The western and northern horizons were dotted with villages, miniature in the distance. A lesser distance to the southeast a silvery gleam marked the course of a river, and beyond that river sandy desert began abruptly to stretch away and away beyond the horizon. Conan stared at that expanse of empty waste shimmering tawnily in the late sunlight as a trapped hawk stares at the open sky. A revulsion shook him when he glanced at the gleaming towers of Khauran. The city had betrayed him--trapped him into circumstances that left him hanging to a wooden cross like a hare nailed to a tree. A red lust for vengeance swept away the thought. Curses ebbed fitfully from the man's lips. All his universe contracted, focused, became incorporated in the four iron spikes that held him from life and freedom. His great muscles quivered, knotting like iron cables. With the sweat starting out on his graying skin, he sought to gain leverage, to tear the nails from the wood. It was useless. They had been driven deep. Then he tried to tear his hands off the spikes, and it was not the knifing, abysmal agony that finally caused him to cease his efforts, but the futility of it. The spike-heads were broad and heavy; he could not drag them through the wounds.


A surge of helplessness shook the giant, for the first time in his life. He hung motionless, his head resting on his breast, shutting his eyes against the aching glare of the sun. A beat of wings caused him to look, just as a feathered shadow shot down out of the sky. A keen beak, stabbing at his eyes, cut his cheek, and he jerked his head aside, shutting his eyes involuntarily. He shouted, a croaking, desperate shout of menace, and the vultures swerved away and retreated, frightened by the sound. They resumed their wary circling above his head. Blood trickled over Conan's mouth, and he licked his lips involuntarily, spat at the salty taste. Thirst assailed him savagely. He had drunk deeply of wine the night before, and no water had touched his lips since before the battle in the square, that dawn. And killing was thirsty, salt-sweaty work. He glared at the distant river as a man in hell glares through the opened grille.


He thought of gushing freshets of white water he had breasted, laved to the shoulders in liquid jade. He remembered great horns of foaming ale, jacks of sparkling wine gulped carelessly or spilled on the tavern floor. He bit his lip to keep from bellowing in intolerable anguish as a tortured animal bellows. The sun sank, a lurid ball in a fiery sea of blood. Against a crimson rampart that banded the horizon the towers of the city floated unreal as a dream. The very sky was tinged with blood to his misted glare. He licked his blackened lips and stared with bloodshot eyes at the distant river. It too seemed crimson with blood, and the shadows crawling up from the east seemed black as ebony. In his dulled ears sounded the louder beat of wings. Lifting his head he watched with the burning glare of a wolf the shadows wheeling above him. He knew that his shouts would frighten them away no longer.


One dipped--dipped--lower and lower. Conan drew his head back as far as he could, waiting with terrible patience. The vulture swept in with a swift roar of wings. Its beak flashed down, ripping the skin on Conan's chin as he jerked his head aside; then before the bird could flash away, Conan's head lunged forward on his mighty neck muscles, and his teeth, snapping like those of a wolf, locked on the bare, wattled neck. Instantly the vulture exploded into squawking, flapping hysteria. Its thrashing wings blinded the man, and its talons ripped his chest. But grimly he hung on, the muscles starting out in lumps on his jaws. And the scavenger's neck bones crunched between those powerful teeth. With a spasmodic flutter the bird hung limp. Conan let go, spat blood from his mouth. The other vultures, terrified by the fate of their companion, were in full flight to a distant tree, where they perched like black demons in conclave. Ferocious triumph surged through Conan's numbed brain. Life beat strongly and savagely through his veins. He could still deal death; he still lived. Every twinge of sensation, even of agony, was a negation of death.


"By Mitra!" Either a voice spoke, or he suffered from hallucination. "In all my life I have never seen such a thing!" Shaking the sweat and blood from his eyes, Conan saw four horsemen sitting their steeds in the twilight and staring up at him. Three were lean, white-robed hawks, Zuagir tribesmen without a doubt, nomads from beyond the river. The other was dressed like them in a white, girdled khalat and a flowing head-dress which, banded about the temples with a triple circlet of braided camelhair, fell to his shoulders. But he was not a Shemite. The dust was not so thick, nor Conan's hawk-like sight so clouded, that he could not perceive the man's facial characteristics. He was as tall as Conan, though not so heavy-limbed. His shoulders were broad and his supple figure was hard as steel and whalebone. A short black beard did not altogether mask the aggressive jut of his lean jaw, and gray eyes cold and piercing as a sword gleamed from the shadow of the kafieh. Quieting his restless steed with a quick, sure hand, this man spoke: "By Mitra, I should know this man!"


"Aye!" It was the guttural accents of a Zuagir. "It is the Cimmerian who was captain of the queen's guard!" "She must be casting off all her old favorites," muttered the rider. "Who'd have ever thought it of Queen Taramis? I'd rather have had a long, bloody war. It would have given us desert folk a chance to plunder. As it is we've come this close to the walls and found only this nag"--he glanced at a fine gelding led by one of the nomads--"and this dying dog." Conan lifted his bloody head. "If I could come down from this beam I'd make a dying dog out of you, you Zaporoskan thief!" he rasped through blackened lips. "Mitra, the knave knows me!" exclaimed the other. "How, knave, do you know me?" "There's only one of your breed in these parts," muttered Conan. "You are Olgerd Vladislav, the outlaw chief." "Aye! and once a hetman of the kozaki of the Zaporoskan River, as you have guessed. Would you like to live?" "Only a fool would ask that question," panted Conan. "I am a hard man," said Olgerd, "and toughness is the only quality I respect in a man. I shall judge if you are a man, or only a dog after all, fit only to lie here and die." "If we cut him down we may be seen from the walls," objected one of the nomads. Olgerd shook his head.


"The dusk is deep. Here, take this ax, Djebal, and cut down the cross at the base." "If it falls forward it will crush him," objected Djebal. "I can cut it so it will fall backward, but then the shock of the fall may crack his skull and tear loose all his entrails." "If he's worthy to ride with me he'll survive it," answered Olgerd imperturbably. "If not, then he doesn't deserve to live. Cut!" The first impact of the battle-ax against the wood and its accompanying vibrations sent lances of agony through Conan's swollen feet and hands. Again and again the blade fell, and each stroke reverberated on his bruised brain, setting his tortured nerves aquiver. But he set his teeth and made no sound. The ax cut through, the cross reeled on its splintered base and toppled backward. Conan made his whole body a solid knot of iron-hard muscle, jammed his head back hard against the wood and held it rigid there.


The beam struck the ground heavily and rebounded slightly. The impact tore his wounds and dazed him for an instant. He fought the rushing tide of blackness, sick and dizzy, but realized that the iron muscles that sheathed his vitals had saved him from permanent injury. And he had made no sound, though blood oozed from his nostrils and his belly-muscles quivered with nausea. With a grunt of approval Djebal bent over him with a pair of pincers used to draw horse-shoe nails, and gripped the head of the spike in Conan's right hand, tearing the skin to get a grip on the deeply embedded head. The pincers were small for that work. Djebal sweated and tugged, swearing and wrestling with the stubborn iron, working it back and forth--in swollen flesh as well as in wood. Blood started, oozing over the Cimmerian's fingers. He lay so still he might have been dead, except for the spasmodic rise and fall of his great chest. The spike gave way, and Djebal held up the blood-stained thing with a grunt of satisfaction, then flung it away and bent over the other. The process was repeated, and then Djebal turned his attention to Conan's skewered feet. But the Cimmerian, struggling up to a sitting posture, wrenched the pincers from his fingers and sent him staggering backward with a violent shove. Conan's hands were swollen to almost twice their normal size.


His fingers felt like misshapen thumbs, and closing his hands was an agony that brought blood streaming from under his grinding teeth. But somehow, clutching the pincers clumsily with both hands, he managed to wrench out first one spike and then the other. They were not driven so deeply into the wood as the others had been. He rose stiffly and stood upright on his swollen, lacerated feet, swaying drunkenly, the icy sweat dripping from his face and body. Cramps assailed him and he clamped his jaws against the desire to retch. Olgerd, watching him impersonally, motioned him toward the stolen horse. Conan stumbled toward it, and every step was a stabbing, throbbing hell that flecked his lips with bloody foam.


One misshapen, groping hand fell clumsily on the saddle-bow, a bloody foot somehow found the stirrup. Setting his teeth, he swung up, and he almost fainted in midair; but he came down in the saddle--and as he did so, Olgerd struck the horse sharply with his whip. The startled beast reared, and the man in the saddle swayed and slumped like a sack of sand, almost unseated. Conan had wrapped a rein about each hand, holding it in place with a clamping thumb. Drunkenly he exerted the strength of his knotted biceps, wrenching the horse down; it screamed, its jaw almost dislocated. One of the Shemites lifted a water flask questioningly. Olgerd shook his head. "Let him wait until we get to camp. It's only ten miles. If he's fit to live in the desert he'll live that long without a drink." The group rode like swift ghosts toward the river; among them Conan swayed like a drunken man in the saddle, bloodshot eyes glazed, foam drying on his blackened lips.

GO READ THE STORY......NOW!

6 comments:

Benito Gallego said...

Hey, take a look at my own interpretation of Conan's crucifixion here: http://benitogallego.deviantart.com/art/CONAN-CRUCIFIXION-Day-120407014
And here: http://benitogallego.deviantart.com/art/CONAN-CRUCIFIXION-Dusk-120407421

Cheers!
Benito

Mikeyboy said...

Know what Benito?...I am going to add it to the slew of pics.....it's righteous!

Marqs said...

All fine, but the main problem is - it isn't the cross described by Howard...

Mikeyboy said...

especially when it's a tree...in the ground....in the desert...where nothing grows..... ?

Erich Kuersten said...

Damn, nothing gives a barbarian character like a little crucifying. That Frazetta Lampoon cover is hysterical, and touching.

Crom, I have never prayed to you before.. but I'm glad I stumbled on you via the morass of the web. I'll never leave you again, maybe even I'll dig up my old Robert E Howard paperbacks, like Sword of Sharazar or something and re-read it. Gwant me Wevenge!

Mikey D. said...

I'm pretty sure the other Conan pages on facebook use my blog for resources... Some images used were exclusive only to me. Which I shared....here. Then they turn up on facebook. lol no biggie. It's flattering