In case you missed it, the last (and possibly best!) part of our epic annocommentations for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 1969 went up on the Mindless Ones site last night.
O’Neill, it seems, has never taken a trip in his life, but you’d never know it – the quicksilver sheen Mina sees everywhere, like the first signs of coming up, the traces and the echo, is another classic psychedelic effect (and as for those cardboard cut-out eyes…. I’ve seen those things on every trip I’ve ever had). But, unlike many of the concert goers’, Mina’s first TAD experience has breached the tipping point and plunged headlong into cosmic horror. She’s not wrong about the atmosphere, however. The atmosphere around Tom Riddle probably *is* objectively evil. She’s definitely picking up on something. Afterall Tom, here, with his transformation into a forked tongued snakeman, is actually manifesting his true nature as not only a graduate of House Slytherin, but as a brother to snakes, a Parselmouth. Another devilish candidate then. As the song lyrics explain, ‘I’m Mephistopheles in my most up to date disguise’ – the old serpent is here, his human disguise sloughed at last.
And the crowd, the crowd are transforming from hippies to riot police……
I know I may be reading too much into this (me? Never!), but this feels to me like the first intimation of a grim future. The undirected hatred of punk, the rise of the far right, the three day week, ex flower children voting in a, quite possibly, literal Iron Lady in 1980…. Poll tax riots, May Day riots, Qurac, Afghanistan…… all of it spinning out into the deadly cultural malaise of the present, whose discontents are firebombing the streets of London as I write this.
Even before the riots, it was always there, for me, in this panel.
It’s possible, isn’t it, that Haddo, that red eyed devil, really does own/eat souls? Just check out all the blinking eyes inside his, err, mouth. I say ‘err mouth’ because it’s not really a mouth at all though, is it? I’m reminded of the Pretas (the Tibetan Hungry Ghosts), with their mouths the size of pinpricks, not fully alive or dead, desperate to incarnate and taste the pleasures and pains of living once more. It appears they have a correlate in the Judaeo Christian traditions too, the children of the demonic Grigori, who, again, with no mouths to eat but an insatiable lust, roam the earth searching for weak willed men and women whose bodies they can possess. While Haddo may justify his serial possession as a holy mission to bring about a new aeon, it’s possible that on one level at least he’s simply terrified of death, and with every new body claimed he becomes more addicted to mortal incarnation, more ‘hungry’, and more corrupt.
Reminds me of someone else, whose name I shall not speak.
That’s amypoodle there, doing what he does best - everyone’s done great work on these posts, but our amy’s done more than most!