Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Death Of God

In recent posts, I have focused on Miracleman, no 1 (New York, 2014). However, having read the entire original run in Eclipse Comics, it is difficult not to reflect on the series as a whole.

Apart from the superman, another Nietzschean catchphrase is the death of God. In Thus Spake Zarathustra, God has died either metaphorically or literally, i. e., has either turned out never to have existed or has literally ceased to exist, I am not sure which. In either case, his death is a problem to which the superman is the solution.

In Miracleman, this sequence is reversed: the public regards the emergence of the Miracle Man as having caused the deaths of all the old gods and annually celebrates this collective divine death, I think on 25 December? (The answer as always is in a box in the cellar.) In a later episode, there is a right hand page on which Moran identifies himself with God, I think ironically, i. e., that he is articulating public perception, not necessarily self-perception. Nevertheless, the facing left hand page displays the chapter title: "Hubris."

Hubris is over-arching pride inviting Nemesis, the Greek goddess of retribution. The original writer ends his run ambiguously - was Moran right to change the world or was Liz right to reject his gift of superhumanity? Nemesis follows in Neil Gaiman's Silver Age which is to be followed by a Dark Age.

The phrase "God is dead" is the turning point of James Blish's two part fantasy, Black Easter/The Day After Judgment.

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