Holy Socks! Itís Promethea!

Jim Dirig

Hi! Iím Timmy Turbo, Strongmen of America member 2059. You may recognize me from the greatest comic magazine of all time, Tom Strong. Iím here today to talk about one of the stars of the ABC universe, Promethea. I normally wouldnít be fond of an assignment about a superheroine, but she hangs out with the Five Swell Guys, and I think that they areÖwellÖswell! Iíll admit that I donít know too much about Promethea. Sheís hardly ever seen at the studio, and she doesnít even perform her own voice (thatís done by some lady named Maise Parks!). So I decided to put my Strongmen knowledge to use and do some research. Just donít tell Fortnum or Mason!

I walked around the ABC offices looking for some assistance on research materials. The First American was no help because he was too busy looking at his partner through a peephole. Tom Strong was too busy to help, what with working on two books. Then I found Jack B. Quick. He certainly wasnít busy with his comic book work. He was, however, trying to find the connection between superstring theory and knot theory. (He said something about topological frequencies vibrating into higher dimensions and fourth dimensional DNA.) Jack was, at first, annoyed by my interruption, but then he mentioned that I look into the following books: The Book of Promethea by Helen Cixous, Magick Without Tears by Aleister Crowley, The Power of Myth by Joseph Cambell, Wisdom of the Kabbalah, and Snakes & Ladders by Alan Moore. Whillickers! I couldnít get through these books! I was starting to become frustrated.

I decided to go to the source and read the Promethea comics. The story started off great. The idea is that a young college student writes about a hero and then becomes that hero. She actually becomes a fictional person! She probably went bonkers when she met a fictional character. The action is great when a shadow beast attacks her. Then the Five Swell Guys show up! Promethea was turning into one of the best superheroines, but not quite as good as Dhalua and Tesla. As I kept reading I noticed that the book was getting really weird. And I donít mean Paul-Saveen-has-switched-minds-with-Tom-Strong weird. I mean weird weird! The action went away and was replaced with pages and pages of magic stuff. Boring magic stuff. I almost put the whole project away whenÖHoly Socks!ÖPromethea was getting naked. As a younger reader, I probably should have stopped reading, but a Strongman should never shirk his duties.

Reading through these Promethea books started to give me a sense of never-ending wonderment. She had an opportunity to visit all kinds of magical places. Donít get me wrong, Tom Strong visits all kinds of places, but they are mostly based on science and technology. Promethea, though starts off in a city of wonderful and scary science, but then visits realms where only stories can live. The Land of Faerie, Hy Brasil, and Misty Magic Land are places where real people cannot live, but real fictional characters can. In fact, as long as there are people reading and writing about these fictional places and characters, the characters themselves will never die. Immortality for fictional characters is easier to achieve than for real people. A fountain of youth is not needed; only an interest in a character is needed. In a way, the magic of fiction allows characters to exist potentially forever as long as they are not forgotten. Forgotten characters, however, can become as dead asÖwell the dinosaurs. (Holy Cow! Even dinosaurs have stood the test of time! Real dinosaurs are extinct butfictional stories of dinosaurs are alive and kicking.) The thought of characters dying or ceasing to exist when they are forgotten is not new. Grant Morrison and Neil Gaiman are just a couple of writers who have explored this territory in the world of comics. I think, then, that Alan Mooreís ďbig ideaĒ with Promethea is that ideas do not die; they only become lost for a while in the Immateria. For those of you who donít know (like I didnít), the Immateria is a place where all ideas originate. Like I said, I had a great sense of wonderment!

Well, I suppose I better get back on track and talk about Promethea. Sheís a great character, as Iíve said before. However, her supporting cast is definitely worth talking about. Although he scares the bejesus out of me, the scary omnipath known as the Painted Doll is as exciting as ever. He takes on the Five Swell Guys, and actually eludes them. But Iíll bet that if Tom Strong came in, he could take on the Painted Doll. Itís funny, behind the scenes in the studio, I have never seen the guy who plays Painted Doll. Some people say that he really is a psychopath from Neopolis on a work release program. Golly! Wouldnít that be cool! And I also wanted to tell you that in the 26th episode of Promethea some people who resemble me and some of the other Strongmen of America briefly appear. Trust me folks, we were NOT asked to work on any Promethea episode. Heck, Iím not even drawn properly. Iíll bet Chris Sprouse was too busy to be bothered!

Well, I have to say that I think I like Prometheabetter than I did before. Sure, she stars in a book that is populated with symbols and ideas, but she is also has a staff with moving snakes. I know that I was supposed to talk more about Promethea, but gosh darn it, I really can say that most of the magic stuff goes over my head. Itís probably teenage girl stuff that Sue Blue would understand. But (ulp!) Iíd never ask her. Oh, before I go, I thought that I might tell you a rumor that I heard from Weeping Gorilla. He claims that Alan Moore will feature Little Margie in his next League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series. Maybe sheíll be the teamís sidekick! Weeping Gorilla then went on to say, ďLife is too short to wait for the six issues of Volume 3.Ē Well, this is Timmy Turbo, Strongmen of America member 2059, signing off!