Thursday, February 10, 2011

Issue Nineteen: Assasin

This is late - I've been depressed. Also, no detailed summary - KM tricks Sir Miles, he and Fanny break free. Ragged Robin, Jim Crow, and Boy locate them magically. Miss Dwyer turns into a monster beetle, and Fanny and KM are still trapped in the base with her.

Everybody has a secret origin, and they all suck. Bruce Wayne is a crying little boy, Clark Kent is a farmboy. King Mob was a rebellious kid in a band.

That's why you wear the costume. You can talk all you want about "protecting your loved ones," but the truth is: Nobody would be impressed by Peter Parker fighting crime in jeans and a T-shirt. When you wear the costume, you become an icon. You take on meaning, become more than human. Hilde puts on a wig and leather and becomes Lord Fanny. And Gideon Starorzewski wears a suit made of pop-culture deities and rebellion and Michael Moorcock stories and magical traditions and becomes King Mob.

And the question remains: Is King Mob a good person to be? Dude destroys SOULS. Not in a "I shall destroy your soul, verily, let us wax wroth" way, but in a "I just ripped your aura out of you, and now you are going to cease horribly" way. I mean, it's right there in the title of this issue. ASASSIN. He's not a magician, not a shaman. If he's got the mirror stuff inside of him (and we can assume he does, since it seems to go hand-in-hand with having a Barbelith/magic stone experience), he doesn't seem to be using it.

Fanny runs through lust and filth because that's how she connects to the gods she uses as an interface between "her" and "the magic" (which is also her). King Mob is way more straightforward - his idealized version of himself is a badass superspy from a convoluted conspiracy thriller, and thus he lives a life where he gets to be that. That means he shoots dudes in the head, rips off auras, tosses off cheesy one liners. James Bond as totem animal.

Jim Crow drives around in a big hearse, because Jim Crow walks with death. And we keep getting told that death is no big, because life is a transitory existence and we're all going to wake up into infinity and blah blah blah. But, you know, just because a man's "initiated" doesn't mean he's good. Sir Miles is initiated. He's wearing a costume made up of aristocracy and he does some pretty crappy things with it.

So the question stands: Is King Mob a good guy?

I mean, it's not like the "scorpion gods" are other, evil gods messing with us. We keep getting told that ALL the gods/aliens/whatever are masks being worn by Barbelith. Is "Dude what kills better than anybody" a vital component in a team whose job it is to save the world? Is King Mob a necessary, aggressive part of the defensive program? Would you read a comic book if it didn't have awesome gun fights and explosions?

Once you've seen the big circle in the sky, once you have your magic stone, is that the end of growth? You pick your totem and you get your superhero costume and then you just fill that role for the rest of your life? Because King Mob just got tortured within an inch of his life. Yeah, it was a trap, but he was crying. He was close to broken. Does he just get back up and start shooting people again?

Or has all of this just been the secret origin of something even better?

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