Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday Comics: The Price (part 5)

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

Synopsis: Leaving Taurus Killgaren a smoldering skeleton, Darklock returns to Sister Marian. He tells her he killed his brother's murderer, but the man was not the bloodthirsty fiend he had imagined. Sister Marian doesn't understand, but Darklock says it doesn't matter.

Instead, he asks her a question about a hypothetical moral quandary. If she could play a major part in an event that would change humanity's destiny for the better, but it required her to sacrifice her own life--and her death would be painful and horrible: Would she do it?

Sister Marian doesn't know what he's going on about, but she's a nun of the Instrumentality: If the gods' required she lay down her life for the betterment of humanity, she would.

Darklock was afraid she would say that. She asks what's wrong and calls him her love. He acknowledges that he loves her, too. He had never dared speak of it because of their vows. The truth is, he has never been a pious man; the priesthood was just a means to comfort and power. But she did believe, and her piety rubbed off on him. He would never have soiled that with his lusts. He loved her, though--and will to the end of his days...

Marian is in a dark room, confused. Then she remembers Darklock was never one for hypothetical questions:

First Darklock hears her prayers. Then come her screams.that seem to go on forever. Finally, there are her last, choking sounds. What he hears last is even more horrible: her body being eaten. When  it's done, and the door opens, he enters the room and takes the power:


Things to Notice:
  • Always wise to be careful who you answer hypothetical questions.
And so, Sister Marian pays "the price"--and so does Darklock. She gives up her life or is tricked into doing so, and Darklock gives up the thing that he loves the most. In fact, Darklock has paid a series of prices for power: he does not pursue a relationship with Marian in the name of his vows (which by his own admission give him access to power), he sacrifices much of his body to gain the power to kill Killgaren, and then this.


Jim Shelley said...

I remember the sacrifice of Marian really threw me for a loop when I read this originally.

The Angry Lurker said...

Quite unexpected.