Jul 10, 2018

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 1231: Kid Eternity (1991) #2, 1991

https://www.comics.org/issue/49038/

Things get Dantean.

As I noted yesterday, the comic reads a bit like Grant Morrison aping Alan Moore, and today's journey through judgment in the afterlife, and then down into the depths of Hell are not unlike many of Moore's Swamp Thing stories.

I don't want you to think that this should come across as necessarily a bad thing. Bear in mind that there was once a time when it wasn't so much the originality of the tale, but the way in which it was told. That was the key to Shakespeare's success. And that's why I offered the comparison to Dante's Divine Comedy. What I'm trying to figure out is which is Dante and which is Virgil, the Kid or Jerry (our focal character). So for Morrison to be telling a "Moorean" tale, told in his style, isn't so far-fetched an idea. Doing while Moore is still a going concern is a bit cheeky, but then so is Mr. Morrison.

One thing I will say is that Morrison's Hell is awful. Duncan Fegredo weaves a body horror nightmare of stairs that are alive and walls that reach out and touch you. Reading this section, and given that it was written at the same time as Doom Patrol, I can't help but see Hell here as a bloodier version of Orqwith, inhabited by strange creatures and damned souls. What might Orqwith have looked like had Fegredo been on the art for it. Not that I am in any way disparaging Richard Case, of course.

Although the comic takes us to some very non-linear, ethereal and infernal realms today, the chaos of the art seems to have settled somewhat. I'm wondering if, in some ways, the chaotic nature of the art was reflective of the state of the universe as we enter this story. Jerry is obviously, as is revealed in today's issue, destined for something big, and the Kid, though ostensibly serving his own purposes, also seems to be shepherding Jerry to a certain extent. And as he starts shepherding, the chaotic nature of the universe settles as Jerry moves back toward the path he's destined to walk.

Perhaps. I'm sure I'll have more to say after the conclusion, which will no doubt be both dazzling and obscure. More to come...

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