Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday Comics: The Price (part 4)

We continue our examination of Jim Starlin's Dreadstar Saga with The Price. The earlier posts in the series can be found here.

The Price (part 3)
Eclipse Graphic Album Series #5 (October 1981) Story & Art by Jim Starlin

Synopsis: While Syzygy Darklock is claiming the power of the gods, Sister Marian waits--and worries. She knows she could get excommunicated for helping Darklock, but she cares for him too deeply not to. She reminds herself that she has taken vows of absolute chastity...

Suddenly, she hears Darklock call. He's back:

Darklock winds up in the hospital. He's lost an eye, an arm, and both legs. He has burns all over his body. But he's also healing at an incredible rate and he's grown half a meter. Bandaged up and in a hospital bed, he explains to Sister Marian what happened: The power was too much for his human frame and his body nearly burst trying to contain it. Bailgesuard closed the iris and saved him, but not before the damage was done.

In addition to the power, Darklock has inherited his brothers estate. The cybernetic specialists comes in and:

That done, he's ready to go after Killgaren. Sister Marian agrees to be his anchor once again, but after this is done she thinks they should discuss their feelings. Darklock agrees, not really paying full attention to her feelings. He's focused on revenge.

Things to Notice:
  • The doctors are puzzled by Darklock's condition but not all that freaked out. This sort of thing must not be that unusual in the Instrumentality.
The Price now reveals itself as a superhero origin story of sorts, in the Marvel mode. Darklock gains great power (at great price), but he's not paying enough attention to his relationships, and it seems likely he'll live to regret it.

This is probably as good a place as any to discuss Darklock's first name, "Syzygy." It comes from a Greek word σύζυγοι (syzygoi), meaning literally "yoked together." In some forms of Gnosticism, this was the name given to male/female pairs of emanations of God. Carl Jung used the term to mean "a union of opposites." It also is used in astronomy to mean a straight line configuration of three celestial bodies. Starlin may have chosen the name just because it sounded cool, or perhaps he had some of these meanings in mind.

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