Jun 11, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 473: Final Crisis #5, December 2008

http://www.comics.org/issue/528859/

"They have only ever face the idea of a god before. Now is god incarnate come among them!"

I have a couple of board games based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft - Arkham Horror and Eldritch Horror. In each of them, one of the Great Old Ones, main enemies in the game, that one can face is Azathoth, the nuclear chaos at the center of creation. When (if) he awakens, unlike the other Old Ones that are options as enemies, the game immediately ends. Unlike the others, he (it) is a GOD, all-caps, unbeatable - its will is creation and destruction themselves. For the majority of the game, the players are facing the influence of the god, the idea of it, but not the god itself. When that happens, the world ends.

So what does it say of the heroes of the DCU, from A-list to Z-list, that they do indeed stand against not simply the idea of Darkseid, but against the god himself? I have been, unsurprisingly, thinking about this a lot over the last few weeks, as I prepare to write the book that might be my dissertation, but that might simply be a book, about the incarnation of the mythic in reality. In the DCU, it is an actual presence, thinking, moving, living, that incarnates as Darkseid, an idea become flesh in two dimensions. But the DC heroes (and, as we'll see, villains) stand against this incarnated idea, proving themselves if not gods then mythic figures at the least. And if that's the case, if these are mythic figures, ideas, stories, how do they incarnate in our lived reality? I have what I think are the beginnings of answers to that question. I'll keep you apprised.

There is, in one panel, in one speech bubble, of this issue mention of Batman. Remember him? How we were reading through his final days? Tomorrow we'll see exactly what happened, what it means that the "Batman psycho-merge killed the clone army" that Mokkari and Simyan were trying to build.

To be continued.

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