Yes, there's a new Mary Poppins movie in theaters, a sequel that's actually a remake of the original in disguise, replicating every beat of the beloved Julie Andrews version from 1964, and it's doing gangbusters at the box office. But did you know that a few years ago, in a highly-anticipated comic, Mary Poppins killed Harry Potter?
Not a dream! Not a hoax! This happened.
In a comic written by Alan Moore.
Of course it would be Alan Moore.
The book in question was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century, collected into a graphic novel in 2016.
The book was Alan Moore's commentary on the deteriorating standards of pop culture as the 20th Century came to a close, so it's characteristically pessimistic and hilarious. He takes Harry Potter and reconstitutes him as a psychopathic teenager with world-destroying powers who has to be put down.
In the book, Harry Potter (with no mention of his actual name) has become a world-warping psychopath, a Kevin the Teenager with god-like powers who threatens the world because he's throwing an epic tantrum. He was raised by the fictional manqué of Aleister Crowley in Alan Moore's exploration of Crowley's recurring appearance throughout 2oth Century pop culture as an archetypal mystic bogeyman in various novels, comics, movies and TV shows, with Voldemort being the latest version.
Only God can put him down and who should turn out to be God?
Why, Mary Poppins, of course.
Of course she isn't called Mary Poppins outright. No more than Harry Potter is named in the story because of rights issues. This was meta-commentary, even fanfiction, but with both serious and mischievous intent on the writer's part.
This is not the warm, charming Mary Poppins as played in the Disney movies by Julia Andrews and now Emily Blunt. This is the severe, colder, more remote, terrifying version as depicted in P.L. Travers' original books.
If you ever read the original 8 books by Travers, you might find that Mary Poppins isn't known for being warm and fuzzy. She can be vain, strict and the way she treated the children might be construed these days as outright abusive. Those were different times in England after all, when parents still believed children should be seen and not heard. P.L. Travers herself was not known to be warm and fuzzy either. She was played by Emma Thompson in the Disney movie Saving Mr. Banks, where Walt Disney (played by Tom Hanks) wooed Travers and ultimately melted her heart so that she would let him make a movie out of the books. The movie is considered entirely fictional. Travers reportedly hated the Mary Poppins movie.
In Century, Mary Poppins is even more terrifying because she is God. God who's every bit as strict and stern as Mary Poppins was in the books.
That's right, heathens. God is a woman and she is Mary Poppins. She tolerates no naughtiness. She will put you in your place, child. Without mercy. Without supper.
Because she's Mary bloody Poppins, bitches!
If you want to experience the true majesty of Mary Poppins and an epic story about pop culture in the 20th Century, you can still buy The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century at bookshops and online.