THE QUEST FOR POWER

WHY POWER IS ALREADY IN OUR HANDS..OR IS IT?

“In brightest day,

in blackest night,

no evil shall escape my sight,

let those who worship evil’s might,

beware my power,

Green Lantern’s light!”

-Green Lantern ‘Creed’

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I never could wrap my head around the desire of villains for power as a child. I always thought that they were just being dumb and irrational. Not until I realized how wrong I was. If ever any one of you have had this same question at the back of your minds, well, this is your lucky day. The desire for power is a very familiar desire…in fact, an all-too-familiar one. Ever since men could begin telling tales and handing down fables, we have been experts at conveying our deepest needs through these avenues.

There have been others who throughout history have observed this peculiar trend. It is not an unfamiliar desire to the world, but rather an innate, relatable desire that each of its own shares. Ancient world comic playwright, Terence, had this concept grasped well. He is recorded as saying, “I am a human, I consider nothing human alien to me”. This is what I feel is  going on with this phenomenon.

Strange as it might seem, the villains/antagonists in many tales are not exactly that far off from what we can relate to. They are embodiments of the same desires we have as most, but corrupted in one way or the other. I hope we get to see it, that villains, like we ourselves in the real world often times have very good motives but there’s a small difference between them and the protagonists: They are willing to give up everything.

As a certain man in a popular play once said, “the strongest man, is the man who is willing to stand alone”. This, he said when he knew that the town had turned against him because of one thing, the truth. It always seemed unfair, I thought, that villains never quite got their comeuppance the way they thought they would. What’s sadder is that no matter how brilliant or powerful they were, they always failed! Till today (although they aren’t quite villains in my books and it’s still an arguable point), Pinky and the Brain from the Animaniacs have never quite taken over the world.

Self-pursuit is crucial in these tales but not at the expense of others. If you’ve noticed by now, the world’s greatest figures gave up a lot. As a Christian, I see that more in Jesus. I see him as the culmination of all these great historic figures because he did the impossible; he lived it out his entire life and died and humiliating death to prove his devotion to his divine cause. Stranger still there is no one in history who is forgotten for making the sacrifices they did to help others reach their destinies and Jesus is at the peak of this hierarchy.

So, we see that power is really no power. As the Green Lantern, Hal Jordan from DC Comics demonstrated in the Darkseid War, true will power is not pursuit of power but giving it up. In this he demonstrated true strength. I had been thinking about this for a while now and that’s why I feel that it’s the right time to share this insight. For as Hal Jordan relinquished his godlike power, so do I see Jesus “consider it nothing to be equal with God and went ahead to make himself nothing…making himself a slave”.

“Surrender to selfish gain is the beginning of the path to peace, incorruptibility and happiness.”

NB: Fun fact; Hal Jordan is the most celebrated of Lanterns for his ability to lead by example. I am no big fan of Hal or the Lanterns but I find some co-relations remarkable to my own faith.

DC’s KINGDOM COME: MESHING UP THE PULPIT AND THE COMIC BOOK

PART 2: WHEN BIG QUESTIONS ARE RAISED ON THE PULPIT OF THE ARTS

“The meek would [indeed] inherit the earth…but God didn’t account for the mighty”

-Dodds to Minister at hospital bedside

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What a powerful way to begin the story. Kingdom Come, like the Dark Knight Returns series (i.e. the comic books) came in a multi-part series. The setting of KC is in a dystopian future where the heroes have come into the fore and have demonstrated to the ordinary, regular person that power is everything. This is seen in how reckless they have become in how they dish out justice to criminals and villains; a matter that had brought one of DC’s main characters, Batman to loggerheads with Superman–another one of DC’s top heroes.

Bruce Wayne (Batman’s alter ego), broken, aged and disenchanted with the current state of affairs, criticizes Superman for his failure to be an example. Bruce goes on to state that because of Clark Kent’s (Superman’s alter ego) failure to mentor the growing number of young heroes who had taken it upon themselves to fight crime, that he is to blame for the social unrest that has taken over the world. With the revelation that Superman’s failure has resulted in global consequences, Bruce wages war on Clark, declaring that he is unfit to lead. With Batman’s aides and allies by his side, they take up arms declaring the end of the reign of the unchecked forces and combat them.

Meanwhile, Dodds looks on as the embodiment of God’s wrath in the DCU (DC Universe), the Spectre, prompts him to look on from a distance and judge the actions of these vastly powerful beings. Therein lies the crux of the story, does absolute power in the name of fighting for good necessarily bring security? For as the narrative shows the reader, all this came about when one young hero of this alternate timeline decided to murder the Joker in cold blood after a court proceeding. But this act alone made many question whether men and women who empowered vastly like Superman were truly equal.

Many were in fear wondering if truly, the Law would apply to such beings. For as Dodd’s rightly asks, “Does the Law apply to those with immense power? With those more privileged than others?” Jail them, they can break out. Threaten them and with their bare hands, they can kill you. Ignore their actions, and there is civil unrest. Confront them and danger looms like a shadow?

Is it truly possible to speak out against injustice in this world. Because, if so, how terrifying is it to be the average mortal who is given the power to sway things in his favor given the power of the Wrath of God. How terrifying it is too for when God’s people pray so are they made like Dodd’s for they are in his position, demonstrating that truly, the meek will reclaim and not only inherit the earth.

-END

DC’s KINGDOM COME: CONTROL AND THE IMAGE FACTOR

PART I: INTRODUCTION TO THE POWER OF SPEAKING TO SOCIETY’S ISSUES THROUGH COMICS

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Hey everyone, as some of you have already noticed, I have two separate blogs running concurrently right now. I apologize if it has caused some confusion but I am here to tell you that it happened by accident. But, since it has happened, I’ll work with this. I’ll use either for my posts but I know you’ll still have a blast taking this journey with me. Now, for the matter at hand, for the issue concerning DC’s Kingdom Come comic book, let’s get right on to it shall we?

DC, home of the world’s most iconic superheroes. It actually seems to me that the more it seems we get older (fan or not) we still get to hear some commotion about their characters; whether it be Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Cyborg…e.t.c. We encounter them from nearly everything we can see, feel or hear. Whether it be You Tube, TV, cinema, comics, newspaper articles or blogs like this one (wink wink, nudge nudge) we can’t escape them. Odd, right? Why should these things that we should discard as childish be of such relevance and entertainment value, especially to adults?

DC’s Kingdom Come is one of the graphic novels that has been hailed by many fans as well as critics over history as a classic comic book tale. I do not want to spoil the narrative of the comic and give its best parts but I feel that it has a great value, seeing that it comes right off the Bible’s Sermon on the Mount: A sermon that has been recorded as being spoken by Jesus and here’s the gist of it, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”