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  1. #91
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Here we go again. Answers that lead to questions.

    As we surmised a way back Ananke is not just a really old god, she contains a legacy element. Presumably she sent the letter to Minerva, but even that seems odd because she could have hand delivered it. And my theory that she may have sent it to Dr Blake is also off because he is right there in the scene, disguised, so again she could have given it to him.

    How reliable is the word of Minerva? What exactly does she mean when she declares herself to be Ananke? Are we to believe Ananke was never actually a primal goddess of necessity but actually a goddess of wisdom and strategy, or was the name, and the owl all a cover?

    The 'Talking Heads' are a shock, but tie into the notion expressed by "Mimir" that the machine doesn't do anything. All along the heads were being teleported to an alter with Mesopotamian numerals.Either way Minerva is convinced that four heads equals averting the Great Darkness. This suggests that the three gods Lucifer, Tara and Inanna are not actually dead, unless they are 'repackaged recordings' to extend the record company analogy.

    Who we believed to be Woden wasn't a deity at all! Mimir is a bit of a deep cut. Even Cassie seems to struggle to associate him. He is also depicted as a disembodied head which imparts wisdom to Odin, referred to here as "The Sky King's greatest treasure", and he was beheaded in Vanaheim, where he did indeed "Walk among your foes for the sake of love" or at least peace. He has an association with the World tree when named Mímameiðr, which sends a root into Mímisbrunnr or Mimir's Well, which Odin sacrificed his eye to. We see that dagger again, possibly he is being beheaded at this point by his father. We also see a pink headless body in the room, which begs the question where is the head.

    Gillen suggests rereading in the light of revelations, and I suspect this may indeed be a good time to go back, but I seem to do that so many times with this book.

    The explanation from Persephone also gives new meaning to the pun of The Faust Act. She actually belives she made a deal with Ananke, and that the deal necessitated her family dying.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 11-15-2017 at 12:14 PM.

  2. #92
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    There is no comic out today that has me going 'WTF did I just read' like WicDiv. And of course now I have to go read it ALL again, especially the Blake bits. Love it.

    Edit: Also, belatedly occurred to me that Ananke just lives the rest of the 90 years of the cycle the hard way. That's why there's always a young one? Always Minerva-who-becomes-Ananke? It was definitely a child-size glow when she was telling the story. Sure, we saw the young one from the 20s get blown up in the first issue (we thought) but we've been misled before. I just hope we have a revelation like what happened when Laura became Persephone. "And now you know the rest of the story..."
    Last edited by Ryochan; 11-16-2017 at 10:17 PM. Reason: additional thought

  3. #93
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryochan View Post
    There is no comic out today that has me going 'WTF did I just read' like WicDiv. And of course now I have to go read it ALL again, especially the Blake bits. Love it.

    Edit: Also, belatedly occurred to me that Ananke just lives the rest of the 90 years of the cycle the hard way. That's why there's always a young one? Always Minerva-who-becomes-Ananke? It was definitely a child-size glow when she was telling the story. Sure, we saw the young one from the 20s get blown up in the first issue (we thought) but we've been misled before. I just hope we have a revelation like what happened when Laura became Persephone. "And now you know the rest of the story..."
    As an important part of the underlying premise is the idea that human culture necessarily totally renews itself every 100 years or so because nearly everyone dies, I also wonder if that is the implication. I don't think it is coincidental that we will soon see the background story surrounding that last cycle.

    A note from my own observations, Wotan was brought into the pantheon, so he is technically a god, but he strikes me as a dangerous wild-card for Ananke to introduce. An older guy in a young person's game. Especially one with his own strong views on what the pantheons were for. The sex side of his personality certainly seems even less savoury now! I almost don't want to reread it thinking of his face under the helmet. The whole things feels even more exploitative and less consensual than ever. But then his son didn't exactly consent to being beheaded.

    There is now an interesting theme on sacrifice in a more Vedic context. Sacrifice maintaining the world, and therefore being the most important thing. But why Babylnian numbers and not a nod to the Vedic era? I might need to research Mesopotamia and Sumerian sacrificial practices now. Certainly there was a strong culture of sacrifice being consensual in the Vedic thinking, which we don't seem to see here, unless the four heads are made to see reason in some hard to imagine manner. First Hickman and now Gillen are forcing me to reread my more dusty book shelves.

    The pink suit is even more confusing now!

  4. #94
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    So was Mimir the actual god of the Pantheon, and Woden was just a mortal who was acting as an interface? Presumably, that's why Woden couldn't actually do anything himself and why he had to rely on the Valkyries. But wouldn't the beheaded Mimir then give Ananke the one more head she needs to fight off the darkness? Where is Mimir's head, anyway? (In the myths, Odin carried it around with him to give him advice whenever he needed especially wise counsel.) Also, is Minerva always a youngster who can maybe live until the next Pantheon? Does Ananke always become her, to live on until the next time? Is this because Minerva is the goddess of wisdom, and Ananke's role to preserve the ancient knowledge and impart it to each new Pantheon?

  5. #95
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seismic-2 View Post
    So was Mimir the actual god of the Pantheon, and Woden was just a mortal who was acting as an interface? Presumably, that's why Woden couldn't actually do anything himself and why he had to rely on the Valkyries.
    We can't be sure. In #14 we appear to see him reflect on his apotheosis. But do we? Is he just bathing in self loathing. He is described by Ananke as "But the pet of a god." Is that a reference to Ananke or his own son being his keeper?

    But wouldn't the beheaded Mimir then give Ananke the one more head she needs to fight off the darkness?
    She clearly gives Woden the head and responsibility. She does not claim it for herself. We can't tell why but I doubt it is entirely strategic. Mimir wasn't singing or performing when he was decapitated. Ananke didn't snap her fingers. She wants him to do his work. He has been making the artefacts as far as we can tell, not Wotan.

    Where is Mimir's head, anyway?
    Right there in the secret room of the machine. On an artificial body. Next to a pink artificial body. That is weird. We learn who the other suited guy is. We expect him to be female but he isn't. Then we see another suit that is actually pink. Just weird.

    And from the last panel of #14 the power dynamic is odd. Woden promises 'she' won't have his son's head, but he replies "After everything? Of course you won't." That sounds like an implied threat.

    Also, is Minerva always a youngster who can maybe live until the next Pantheon? Does Ananke always become her, to live on until the next time? Is this because Minerva is the goddess of wisdom, and Ananke's role to preserve the ancient knowledge and impart it to each new Pantheon?
    Yep you are asking the same questions we all are. Nice to have some questions again.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 11-19-2017 at 09:07 AM.

  6. #96

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    So did anybody read the xmas special?! Tehehehehe.

  7. #97
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    I did read it. It was amusing but felt relatively tangential to the narrative. It gave us a few background insights into characters but not much really. It felt a little fan service focused. Indeed some moments felt like slash fiction, perhaps deliberately.

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    I did read it. It was amusing but felt relatively tangential to the narrative. It gave us a few background insights into characters but not much really. It felt a little fan service focused. Indeed some moments felt like slash fiction, perhaps deliberately.
    Yeah, I think it was mostly intended as a light-hearted little breather, to treat us after all the trauma Gillan has put us through.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinjonator View Post
    Yeah, I think it was mostly intended as a light-hearted little breather, to treat us after all the trauma Gillan has put us through.
    Indeed, although the Tara scene was far from lighthearted. It was a reminder that even if Anake is doing something important she is not going about it in a good way. She is unreconstructed evil in that scene.

  10. #100
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    Hmmm. I have to admit, I wasn't super crazy about 1923, especially given the amount of time it took to read it. Didn't feel worth it. Probably a lot to analyze in it though maybe (which I am lazy, and inattentive to details when reading, so I won't be doing that myself). What did everyone else think?

  11. #101
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    I haven't waded through it yet. Too many clauses in the sentence structure. If Gillen is deliberately trying to evoke the style of the times he is failing abysmally. The writers were mostly much better than this in the twenties. Only once before have I been quite so frustrated with prose in a comic, and that was the interminable gazetteer in the back of the Moore's LoEG.

    Some people say readers that don't like prose in comics are just lazy. I would point out that if it was well written prose it would be a lot easier! This reads like passable fanfic.

  12. #102
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    Yeah, this wasn't the best prose-in-comics. A.D. comes to mind as an example of it done very well.

  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinjonator View Post
    Yeah, this wasn't the best prose-in-comics. A.D. comes to mind as an example of it done very well.
    Not through it yet, but the style does settle down a little as he moves into his Agatha Christie plot. I did like their self referential inability to encapsulate their number into a title. The momentum of the story curbs the language a bit. Gillen starts to focus on the action and less on flowery language and visual stuff. The frustration comes when he gives visual cues and it makes you think how good a comic mini series might have been with the right artist.

    Notes so far.

    Is this where Ananke first learns to get the gods fighting each other?

    She is clearly concerned that their time is nearly up but nobody is dead, does that suggest she was lying all along and they don't have limited time?

    I guess we didn't need to learn it but Ananke is pure evil in this story, I can only presume at some point we will get better context as to why she is so driven to do this.

    I am undecided about Set. I kind of like the pun that she is a Virginia Woolf analog that has centuries of name dropping and 'more knowledgeable that you' opportunities, but it gets wearing after a while. I imagine VW did too but she had the intellectual acumen to back up her attitudes. Set just seems a bit of bore. At least Gillen didn't decide to go with stream of consciousness. Overwritten Christie is better than a poor imitation of Woolf.

    The overall style seems to be early modernism in all of its forms. I like this but choosing to make the setting a kind of electro-chrome-punk house lessens the impact a bit. Modernism doesn't easily fold onto that punkish aesthetic, even if Metropolis does.

    With the references to German modernist cinema, I am surprised Set hasn't had her say. I have not finished the story yet but Gillen seems to miss the opportunity. Woolf on Cinema was one of the most interesting things she contributed to modernist thought.

    It is interesting that so much of this era seems to be focused on light. Not sure what that means yet.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 02-09-2018 at 02:09 AM.

  14. #104
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Initial stabs at some of the analogues:

    Baal - Ezra Pound
    Amaterasu - Clara Bow
    Lucifer - Frank LLoyd Wright
    The Norns - W.B. Yates
    Set - Virginia Woolf
    Woden - Fritz Lang
    Dionysus - Pablo Picasso

    Maybe Susanoo is Chaplin?

    I cant get my head around Neptune. So much suggests a Captain Nemo figure but Verne would be too early. Hemingway is too late.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 02-09-2018 at 10:53 AM.

  15. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    Initial stabs at some of the analogues:

    Baal - Ezra Pound
    Amaterasu - Clara Bow
    Lucifer - Frank LLoyd Wright
    The Norns - W.B. Yates
    Set - Virginia Woolf
    Woden - Fritz Lang
    Dionysus - Pablo Picasso

    Maybe Susanoo is Chaplin?

    I cant get my head around Neptune. So much suggests a Captain Nemo figure but Verne would be too early. Hemingway is too late.
    Gillen confirmed on his Tumblr that Neptune is a mix of Hemingway (with his Spanish Civil War experiences converted to WWI) and Captain Nemo.

    I guess we didn't need to learn it but Ananke is pure evil in this story, I can only presume at some point we will get better context as to why she is so driven to do this.
    From the description of the next issue, it looks like we're going to be seeing the very first iteration of the pantheon. So I imagine this next arc is going to answer a great deal.
    Last edited by Jinjonator; 02-09-2018 at 07:43 PM.

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