Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wednesday Comics: Dreamsend

Here's the next installment of  Jim Starlin's Metamorphosis Odyssey. The earlier posts in the series can be found here.

"Dreamsend (Metamorphosis Odyssey Chapter XII)"
Epic Illustrated #8 (October 1981) Story & Art by James Starlin

Synopsis: The light cutter arrives at Dreamsend and finds Zygoteans already there. Aknaton and crew fight their way toward the temple built by the ancient (now disappeared) Kalloombrians. There the Infinity Horn is hidden inside.

A stairway opens in the floor at Aknaton's command, spiraling into black infinity. It's actually a multi-dimensional corridor leading to a plane where the Horn will work and also the conduit by which its power will be transmitted back.

On the other end of that corridor is...

With the Zygoteans on their heels, they make their way into the skull. Before them they find:

Juliet says she can't go through with it. She's only 15 and she doesn't want to die. She, Whis'par, and Za will survive to be the future of a new mankind. Vanth and Aknaton will not be a part of this new world. They will hold off the Zygoteans until the Horn is blown.

Aknaton asks Vanth why he didn't come in to see the Horn. Vanth says he realizes he didn't belong there--and neither did Aknaton. They are yesterday's mistakes; the other 3 are hope. Vanth summons his sword. The Zygoteans approach. Aknaton asks Vanth to stay close...

Things to Notice:
  • Vanth is still not completely convinced Aknaton's solution to the Zygotean menace was the only one.
  • Kalloombrians?
If there is a silver lining to Aknaton's plan (other than the obvious extinction of the Zygoteans) its that intelligent life in the Milky Way will live on through the three horn blowers. What that exactly means isn't clear.

Vanth believes (or at least hopes) they violence and killing won't be part of their new world. He doesn't have see the Horn they've come so far to find. Aknaton doesn't really express these same hopes; His revenge against the Zygoteans apparently just ends in his death, joining his extinct people at last,


garrisonjames said...

I think Aknaton is too dead-set on destruction to see any other possibilities. He wants to die and to go out in a blazing apocalypse that leaves a mark. Cloning Vanth to form a cadre of Zygotean-killers makes more sense than blowing up an entire galaxy. Maybe there might have been a way to subvert the Zygoteans either culturally or possibly genetically--modify them with some sort of plague that altered them into something more positive, or at least acceptable by Aknaton's standards. It's a shame that Aknaton's people were the pinnacle of technology and civilization a this time, in this case...which I still don't entirely buy into. They were far to ineffectual in the face of a real threat to be that powerful; a common enough trope in much of Science Fiction and Fantasy--the failure of the 'civilized' empire in the face of the barbaric onslaught. It would have been interesting to see an alternative, but Starlin probably wasn't interested in that sort of thing. This is all about the Big Bang at the end...

garrisonjames said...

Someone should do a Tumblr for all those Skull Caves featured in so much fiction...