Friday, July 14, 2017
Fourth World Friday - Forever People!
I see it now. Reading Jack Kirby's The Forever People, it's astonishingly clear what the "Anti-Life Equation" was. For some reason or other when I read the Fourth World material as a teenager this obvious fact escaped me time and again, and I imagined not the Anti-Life was merely slavery but must have been some sort of more literal death. But for Kirby it's clear that a loss of free will is "death" of a sort and so it's perfectly sensible to call such power, a power hidden in the minds of some few humans "Anti-Life".
Reading The Forever People today is a bracing experience as the parallels to modern day political realities is all too painfully obvious. The Forever People are space-age hippies fresh from the utopian "Supertown" come to Earth to help fend off Darkseid's forces. Among those forces are Glorious Godfrey, a red-haired huckster who convinces his legions of marks that the petty emotions, their fears and hatreds and jealousies are just fine in this world and responding to those dark aspects of themselves if fully justified. Acts violence and murder are merely part of the new way forward and by sacrificing their will to a greater glory they are to wallow in their prejudices with a mind free of conscience. We sadly live now in a world where what was once considered universally to be base is now elevated and celebrated as merely frank and honest. We are on a path which rationalizes fear and the yearning for violence it promulgates.
Sadly reading The Forever People I discover that this epic element of Kirby's famed tetralogy is a tale for our modern times. Produced in the years of Nixon we have a story which we find insightful in the days of Trump. It's a pity the land that we love has come to this, but The Forever People show the way forward, at least in part. Be strong amigos.