Dissecting The Monarchy
In this month's edition of my "Adamant Support of the Monarchy", I present the thoughts of "kukinage", a member of the Wildstorm discussion boards. Monarchy's "villain" is a cancer that is corrupting our reality and one character, Morro, is obsessed with postmodern mythologies and the role of heroes in his world.
kukinage states as follows:
"[T]he essential post modern worldview is that there is no central meaning to the universe, no master narrative or driving myth or meaning to creation, only endless nested layers of interpretation that can never be proven or disproven... who is to say what is 'truth' when we all invent our views on the world?"
[Refering back to Morro's] monologue in issue two...
"taken in the context of superhero stories, the postmodern worldview fragments heroic myths into meaningless endless interpretations. Batman is a psychotic sociopath. Superman is a nietzchean fascist symbol. Captain America is a jingoist propaganda. Wonder Woman, overwrought bondage fantasy... and so on and so on...I think what [the author, Doselle Young,] is trying to say is that allowing this philosophy to destroy the central myths and archetypes of our human souls IS the cancer. This is where the doctor fits in. His powers are drawn from the jungian archetypal unconscious, from the great well of myth and meaning that animates human history."
"Quantum Mechanics tells us to believe in an observer created reality. If we are led to believe reality has no meaning, then we will create a meaningless reality. You can see it over and over again in the Monarchy. All the characters are not looking to win a battle or defeat an enemy, they are LOOKING FOR MEANING. The highest good in this story is not to crush the bad guy in the biggest crater possible, but to live a life of awesome significance, of archetypal MEANING, and the battle to cure the cancer, for the members of the Monarchy, is a battle to restore meaning to being a superhero."
"To rise above being wounded dysfunctional postmodern shells, devoid of any deeper significance. One might say the Wildstorm universe is the epitome of this fragmentation, created as a kind of post-modern Marvel. In that sense Monarchy is a meta-textual comment on its own publisher, and the trend it started. The solution is to shift one's focus away from thinking of reality as endless unprovable interpretations, as endless lies, essentially, and instead think of it as endless truth, of endless layers of significance..."
Well, I wish I had been the one to say it, but ego aside, I thought this post was so insightful, it trounced anything I had to say this week. Don't think I'm going to give up the podium completely however. The few points I do want to chime in with springboard off of kukinage's point.
I enjoyed the development of the young boy, Matt and the Monarchy's struggle for the young boy's "soul" and his concept of hero. Matt's parents check in on him and wonder why he is up so late. The father asks if Matt is reading a wrestling magazine, which he loved as a kid. Matt wants to be left alone because he is reading. Matt is left dreaming of a better world.
What Young did in that moment was juxtapose the concept of "wrestlers as heroes" against the more traditional concept of a comic book hero. In this case, Matt is reading Ultimo which for me at least, is reminiscent of The Iron Giant. (Side note: for those of you who have not seen The Iron Giant, SHAME ON YOU! Go rent it right now and all will be forgiven. You can thank me later.) This struggle of inspirations and expectations and of course, significance, is central to the whole book and this was a subtle but define payoff.
Bendix returns this issue to affirm the above discussions quite clearly. Wanting to matter and wanting to reweave the stories and myths that build our world, a theme injected in his first issue 5 appearance, are all central to a strong Bendix monologue.
Finally, the puppy is introduced, though not fully explained, the chimeran war continues and all elements are set to converge next issue. As always, I really enjoyed it, and do recommend it.
Oh, before I forget, thank you kukinage. Please take a bow. If you provide me with your "true" stats, I am happy to credit your true name with the above quote, but thanks for providing such interesting reading.
Got a comment or question about this Soapbox?
Leave at message at the Silver Soapboxes Message Board.