Today, Warren Ellis' big new project from Avatar comes out, Supergod.
There have been many treatise on the idea of the superhero as a godlike creature. From Marvelman/Miracleman to The One, to Watchmen to Tha Nazz to Maximortal to… need I go on? Probably.
So superheroes and gods, what's that about? Dan Jurgens, Thor writer, states;
In many respects, superheroes are today's Greek mythology. The exploits and frailties of both are generally on the same level. The thing that made Thor most appealing to me is that he was a god, which allowed for a whole different approach to storytelling and potential.
The ancient stories of Greek and Roman gods feel like superheroic adventures from Stan and Jack. But it would take the eighties till the potential for showing superheroes as mighty vengeful Old Testament gods would become de rigeur. Add a little politics and you got The Authority, The Ultimates and all that jazz.
While Neil Gaiman, writer of Sandman and Eternals told me;
Sounds a very odd thing to do. What kind of crazy people would do something like that? They want locking up, they do. Gods as superheroes indeed.
Er, I learned all I know on the subject from Roger Zelazny.
A terribly good reference point there folks. Zelazny's Lord Of Light is a sixties sci-fi story featuring people who have become gods, a constant theme in much of his work, spanning beliefs across the world. And there's a lot of Zelazny bubbling under the surface of Supergod. Rick Veitch tells me;
I haven't seen SUPERGOD yet but just the title sounds as if Warren has nailed one of comics' biggest taboos to the cross.
Certain characters, like say BATMAN and WOLVERINE, are creatures of the repressed Id (and you can see why in today's world they are so successful). But the bigger cheeses, like SUPERMAN and GALACTUS, are variations on deep-self archetypes which have always defined the gods and, of course, God. In the course of my lifetime, it seems as if people have become more and more distracted from the god-realms of consciousness as technology and entertainment fill their minds with fluff every waking hour of every day. But all that energy is still in there; a smoldering psychological volcano ready to erupt.
I can't wait to see how SUPERGOD taps into it. Put me on the comp list?
I'll ask William.
The first issue begins with Miracleman #15 and starts to work its way back, a super narrative to ourt destruction, taking in not only US and UK superhero programmes, but more importantly the Indian programme. That's India as in India not America. And yes, with their Hindi culture of a pantheon of gods, and a technological drive despite the poverty of its citizens, well yes, that would be a good place for a terrible mistake to be made.
If Anna Mercury is an example of empire's living up to ther responsibility, Supergod shows a world where they did not. Our world. Just with superpowers and superconsequences. It's a story of nuclear apocalypse, where the nukes walk around in a rather confused state.
Expect your usual Warren Ellis sexual fetishes, technology being used and abused, international politics and a sense of world history, and a choice mix of swearwords and heresy.
Game on sirs, game on.