Filmdom's favorite golden boy is looking genuinely super-heroic in this year's commemorative poster for the 74th Academy Awards, looming protectively over Hollywood from atop stone eagles and ready to swoop down with his gleaming sword at the first sign of trouble.
Oscar's crusading appearance was definitely by design: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences recruited the comic book industry's leading artist, Alex Ross, known for his hyper-realistic, intricately detailed painted comics featuring iconic characters such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man.
Ross is as familiar with Hollywood as he is with Metropolis and Gotham City, having contributed conceptual designs to comics-inspired films like X-Men and drawn an illustration of the WB's Smallville cast for the cover of TV Guide.
He was tapped to create a legendary look to celebrate the awards show's return to the geographic capital of showbiz, Hollywood.
"When they told me Oscar was designed to represent a knight crusading on behalf of the movies, I had my hook: the Gold Knight returning to reclaim his title as Hollywood's resident superhero," said Ross. Thus his gleaming golden crusader was born.
No word yet on whether Oscar will be getting his own comic book.
Oscar statuette AMPAS / Hollywood sign TM 2002 HCC/GI