Supergirl. Wonder Woman. And the Usual Suspects. Heralds of the Luciferian Age?
At least one of the people on this forum, and several elsewhere, have asked me what I've thought of DCnU, the current roster of characters, and how storylines seem to be developing. I've not been overly impressed for the most part, at least not in terms of general goings-on.
I have been struck, however, at the rather ... eclectic motifs and strange brand of symbolism that seems to be at work now. Most of it was already present, and that from day one, but ... something seems ... different now.
To the point of being jarring. To the point where some of the stranger things I've come across and read don't seem quite so strange as they once did. To the point that I'm beginning to wonder, at the very least, where DC writers and art staff are getting their weekly inspiration from.
How, for instance, does a character created, ostensibly, to represent "Truth, Justice, and the American Way", a conservative figure who respects the law and traditional values, become an unmarried and irresponsible father, who sleeps around with women, rejects identity with America, stalks his ex-lover, and executes criminals that, in an earlier time, would have been stopped creatively without bloodshed?
How does this man's cousin go from a gentle girl raised by foster parents, helping in matters as small as getting cats out of trees, become, in one incarnation, a child-killer, in another, a demon-worshipping murderess, and, in the current one, a wild, lost, and rebellious figure threatening the death of everyone on Earth for the "boy" she likes, and the illusory chance of reconciling with her parents?
There's far more than this.
It will take time to develop.
I'm interested in knowing what some of you think.
Where IS the creative staff of DC coming up with this stuff?
Is it the direction of it's own leadership, or that of Warner Bros?
Is it really only driven by money, or is there some template they're actually following?
For now, considering questions like the above, but there are many more concerning NUMEROUS other characters at this point, I'll provide the following link, and, as time goes on, provide some images that seem quite singular in light of long-ago written articles like this, and more than a little puzzling regarding what we've been seeing these past few years:
A ten year old article as your basis for an argument?
All DC has ever done is try to update Superman and his supporting cast for the modern age. The world is a much more complicated place, and the readership of comics is much more sophisticated than when Superman got started in 1938. The only problem has been DC getting reboot happy since the first big one in 1985, which has led to several different overhauls of Superman.
What Superman did while being possessed or mind controlled has no bearing on his character, like when he was brainwashed into doing a porno with Big Barda (did you miss that one? ) The readership has actually found Superman's (and Batman's) attachment to the no-killing rule unrealistic at times, when the circumstances are extreme (like with Maxwell Lord.)
"I'm not smart so much as I am not dumb." - Harlan Ellison
Really not sure what you're getting at. Elseworlds and alternate versions have almost no connection to main universe. And they're generally written by people who aren't the regular writers on the series.
It was 20 years between COIE and IC. During that time there was ONE Superman.
The reboot in 2011 being considered, I still don't see where "reboot happy" comes from.
Other attempts to change Superman's origin in the past decade include Superman: Birthright (which Mark Waid wanted to replace John Byrne's Man Of Steel origin) and Superman: Secret Origin by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank. Then the New 52 happened, with positive and negative changes (Better costume, but no Ma & Pa Kent.)
"I'm not smart so much as I am not dumb." - Harlan Ellison
I'm going to presume this part of your message was aimed at me.
You correctly identify that my specific examples for Superman were and are references to the 2 most recent movies, if so.
I alluded to them, however, because:
1) This is the comic book movie forum
2) The movies command a viewership of millions and reach many times more than the comic book readership of several ten thousand. The movie version of Superman is what the general populace knows best.
For the part about Supergirl of my first post, though, none of that was alternate reality OR elseworlds. All of it was mainstream when written:
"gentle girl raised by foster parents ... getting cats out of trees" Silver Age Supergirl
"in one incarnation, a child-killer" Jeph Loeb's Supergirl, as depicted by Joe Kelly ... roughly Supergirl #16-18 arc
"in another, a demon-worshipping murderess", Peter David's Supergirl, late 1990s/early2000s
"and, in the current one, a wild, lost, and rebellious figure threatening the death of everyone on Earth for the "boy" she likes, and the illusory chance of reconciling with her parents?" DCnU Supergirl. Recent H'el story arc.
Birthright and Secret Origin were many years apart, and had little actual effect on Superman in a day to day sense. He was still considered by DC to be the same Superman. Little retcons happen to most characters over time.
Did you bring up Man of Steel in that? I didn't see. Also, Superman Returns was crap, but that's neither here nor there.
I think the summation of David's run is a bit OTT, tbh. Though as regards post reboot Kara, she's still growing, so her acting like a moody teen is to be expected, I think. I'm not saying Supergirl fans have to like it; just that I see where it's coming from.
One, it challenges sacred cows by its very nature. It cannot do otherwise.
Two, it deals with symbolism, which, by its nature, is open to interpretation, and, even where it really isn't, was designed in such a way as to defy conventional explanation.
Third, I'm actually talking about something more general than the title will probably lead a casual reader of this particular forum to understand. The fact that I'm going to be using specific examples will throw people off, but cannot be helped. Without specific examples, it will be impossible for people to see what I'm talking about, relate to what I am currently thinking. Your input will be appreciated.
If you have questions, ask. Likely, perhaps starting this week, though perhaps not, I will focus on answering things on Tuesdays ...
I've not really made an argument. I suppose if I were to make one it would be something like: "Comic industry characters and scripts seem to be reflective of, and are perhaps to some degree influenced by, lesser known Judeo-Christian writings. This is perhaps to be expected given the background of the people who originally created the industry to begin with."
I'm not going to worry about any particular order until perhaps page 3 or so.
Default format in the meanwhile will be:
1) Judeo-Christian writing passage.
2) Comic book image that brings that same Judeo-Christian passage to mind, and why it does so, if appropriate.
3) Invitation to readers to provide an alternative explanation
A lot of this thread will depend on people giving an honest examination to visual symbols. So, it only makes sense to start by presenting some of those visual symbols and rhetorical questions for posters to answer for themselves.
I'd already begun writing another response to you, Cogito.
So I'll go ahead and present what I'd already had ready to send here:
Comic book readers such as yourself should have little trouble understanding what a "herald" is. Powerful messenger. Preceding the arrival of someone (usually) even more powerful. In fact, so powerful that ordinary men and women can only dream of being like the herald, let alone like the one the herald is announcing to the world. The Silver Surfer and Galactus are the classic case, with Silver Surfer being the equal or superior of Superman himself in almost any incarnation, but Galactus being so far above that as to make Supes irrelevant.
No, it's the word "Luciferian" giving all the trouble.
But explaining what that term actually means, let alone how and why I'M using this phrase, is going to take time.
For not everything can be explained in a single, tweet-length posting.
Have patience. I've already begun, and presented source material that can be perused now at leisure.
In the meantime, enjoy the following clip concerning the fallacy of enforcing concision on every presenter. It concerns a slightly different field, but the general lesson is worth noting.
(Noam Chomsky on the vital role of concision in the American Media)
I'm going to let you present your argument before I respond in depth. You've already seen my response to concision last January (I never heard back from you young man), and I'll give you a quick personal observation on the S Shield question. As I mentioned, I'll wait to see where the greater argument is going, but when I first encountered Superman comics long before I could read or knew the alphabet I didn't observe a snake, my mind focused on the opposite field and I saw two yellow fish swimming in an ocean of red.
What does it say that the visual symbolism my mind perceived worked this way? Concision depends on common accepted visual or verbal cues to impart a greater meaning than is contained in the abbreviated raw message that appears on the surface, did I unintentionally subvert the message by having a different mental shorthand?
We haven't defined "Luciferian" yet. It doesn't mean what the average person probably thinks it means. In popular culture, Lucifer and Satan may or may not be synonymous, but Satan is generally regarded as The Devil, a horned, evil-looking malevolent figure. Presumably, Lucifer, as Satan, looks like that type of monster.
Judeo-Christian writings, the lesser-read ones, sometimes give us a slightly different picture. Not a twisted misshapen being, but one who appears beautiful, in fact, nearly perfect in beauty, greater than nearly all others.
"... I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
I'm not sure how you're using the term "subvert" here, and I'm not quite sure you're understanding why I posted that Noam Chomsky clip in this particular thread. The first part of your "Concision depends ..." sentence?
I think it is a good insight.
I don't quite get the 2nd part.
Unless you're saying you didn't as a young girl have the context to give the picture any meaning? Maybe because you had seen goldfish before that point but not snakes, too young to even know what a snake was, let alone looked like?
If that's what you're saying that would actually be a great help to this thread.
For few people understand what "Luciferian" actually looks like. And I can't show it with one image, I have to show a great many. Until people recognize the pattern.
That can't be done in short order.
It can't be done concise.
(At least, if it CAN be done "concise" I don't personally know how to turn the trick.)
But again, it's not really an argument I'm making.
It's just something I've noticed. And noticed this year especially, in light of developments with some of my favorite characters.
'Bout your fish:
"Dagon" came up in some of the material I was researching for this topic. Besides that, I was going to present this image regardless of what other responses I got.
Your comment demands this image be presented now and not later ...
I promised I would explain the title as time goes on, and have begun doing exactly that.
Last night, for instance, I defined "Heralds" for you reasonably well.
The entire thread is devoted to explaining the "Luciferian" part, as time goes on.
You may be wondering why the exact phrasing of the title.
Why Supergirl? Why Wonder Woman?
I'll explain that later.
For now, I'll reveal that the exact phrase "Heralds of the Luciferian Age" was chosen NOT solely to reflect what the majority of the thread entries would concern themselves with, but to make this topic search-able on Google.
In point of fact, until today, the phrase "Heralds of the Luciferian Age" typed IN QUOTES gave this particular thread as the lone result ...