Monday, August 25, 2008

Comics & The New Mythology

Our god is better than your god.

The old god can call down the lightning, the old god can call down the thunder. The old god cannot contend with the man who can see through walls, create fire from his eyes or breathe with the force of a hurricane.

The old god never stood a chance.

The old god lay broken and battered. The hammer of the god lay silent, in need of a champion.

"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor."

The man from another planet reaches down, grasping for the power of a god. He is found worthy.

With that, the war is won.

With that, a war we had no idea was being waged had been won. Superman, the champion of our new mythology, won.

Comics, won.

That was my first thought upon reading the final issue of JLA/Avengers, issue 4. Comics are the new mythology.

In this mythology, men like Maxie Zeus, with his delusions of godhood, ultimately defers to the guise of one of America's greatest contributions to the new mythology, the gangster.

In our medium the gods are secondary. The gods grant power and get out of the way. Solomon gifts a young boy with wisdom. Mercury hands the daughter of Zeus sandals, allowing for her to become Wonder Girl. Hercules has to side with The Hulk in order to receive his gift and to remind everyone of how incredible he is. In the pages of Captain Britain and MI:13, Excalibur, sword of King Arthur, is now in the hands of a daughter of immigrants.

Sometimes, we forget.

Sometimes, we forget we're the keepers of this new mythology. The new mythology is Jack Hawksmoor of The Authority, born and bred to master the urban settings of glass and steel. The new mythology is Local, where a young woman creates her own story.

The new mythology comes in four-color and in black and white.

The new mythology is yours. Comics are the new mythology. How we keep it is in our hands.


Benhatt said...

Brilliant post, my friend.

Sleestak said...

I agree...except in the new mythology the followers aren't sacrificing prisoners captured in raids on other villages on altars.

Devon Sanders said...


Well, you've never been to a Second Printing writers meeting, have you?

Good to "see" you again, Sleestak!

Bill said...

I cannot agree more. The seventy-plus years of the superhero genre have forged new stories that seventy-plus years from now will be discussed as seriously as the Roman and Greek mythologies are now.

Great post.