Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Discourse - Lucifer: Mansions of the Silence Volume 6 by Mike Carey

At first, it seemed that this was a fairly plot centric volume: find Elaine. Talk to God the Father.

And then wham.

Surprise visit of Holy-Shit-They-Actually-Went-There.

Yes. That is a literary term.

Meet Jill Presto:



mother to be of a magical baby because the tarot people raped her and impregnated her with it. Throughout the course of the story, the boy has become corporeal and is trying to cozy up to mother dearest, declaring his love for her and trying to convince her that she must love him too:





Then he becomes injured in the course of the story as he steps in to protect his vessel/mother.



And she does make her decision:




Please, Jill. Tell us how you /really/ feel. This is where I first began to stagger. I mean, you just don't see mothers acting like this in a lot of pop cultury things. I mean, even Gabriel still loved her demon spawn from Xena: Warrior Princess.

But then this took the cake:



Excuse me while I have a holy-shit moment.

Perhaps this doesn't seem so significant if viewed in a bubble -- but consider:

Take Fringe for example. Where "abortion" is never even mentioned as an option (even when it's later revealed that the pregnancy would probably kill both mother and child).

Then there's another show called Invasion -- it's about aliens, but what's the first symptom that aliens have been fiddling with the humans? When women stop acting like mothers. So -- you have a mother abandoning her kid (side character played by the chick that plays Peggy on Mad Men, btw). Then you have another primary character who's a doctor. She doesn't seem to be Off because she stops being such a good job. Oh no. Something's wrong because she stops being a good mom. She doesn't call her kids and tell them that she's going to be late after a big ass hurricane.

It's the Monstrous Mothers trope -- women so far perverted that they reject the very fiber of their being -- their motherhood -- and thus become irredeemable monsters.

And here this is being subverted in a glorious fashion.

Jill doesn't want to be a mother. She wants to have a career and have good sex. She is furious when someone tries to tell/force her that she needs to love this child. I really appreciate how they position love as a choice, as an action springing forth from someone's agency, instead of something natural.

It's self-validating. Individuality first, role second.



But the volume wasn't just about motherhood -- it was about fatherhood too. Because God the Father is abandoning the Silver City and randomness/chaos is about to ensue. Gabriel feels betrayed, Lucifer is hardly surprised. Though perhaps my favorite line so far in regards to Lucifer and God the Father is this:

FOR YOU ARE THE KING OF CONTRIVANCE AND MANIPULATION, MY SAMAEL, BUT IN THAT, AS IN ALL THINGS -- YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR FATHER.

Slytherins! The lot of them. And I fucking love it. I'm hoping the fatherhood theme will play out more in further episodes, but I just find the juxtaposition of a masculine character and a feminine character abandoning certain roles society has thrust upon them to be fascinating.

And, of course, I like the subversion of the typical concept of God so prevalent in Judeo-Christian societies. I mean, I don't think that "contrivance" and "manipulations" would be the first adjectives the average person would use to describe "god."

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