Moooo!

ozymandiasThis is the third and final post for my Watchmen musings, the previous two being Whom were they watching? and A hero shall appear. Judging by the responses to those, it won’t be winning me any friends, and I know why. This is a most sanctified bovine. Watchmen is the talisman, the go-to, for more than one generation of superhero fans to legitimize themselves – to say “this stuff is mature,” “this stuff is literature,” “this stuff is not just for kids.” Yeah? Well, I can say something about that too. I’ll be hung for the goat, thanks.

But first the topic: Ozymandias and Doctor Manhattan, at face value, the biggest gears in the story. Whatever you think Watchmen says about or does to superheroes, how it compares to other superhero comics at any historical scale, and what it means as a commentary on the genre, these two are where the fuel for your point must be. [as with all these posts, I’m discussing the 12-issue original series only]

Ozymandias. I’ll open with goggling fanboy acknowledgment: when it comes to style, Ozymandias rocks the house, ten stars, no question.

  • Public identity + corporate monster + celebrity
  • That awful, wonderful smirk accompanying every humble statement
  • Catches a fucking bullet, with the classic build-up dialogue, a challenge to the reader and other characters, which still surprises both when he does it
  • “I did it thirty minutes ago,” which frankly should have shown up in comics some time in the 1960s, or in a Gerber Defenders story, or at the very least, in the X-Men of about 1980

Now for what he does. Beginning with, he decides he can save humanity from itself by giving it a good scare.

  • He kills people to keep it secret, including one who may well deserve murder for his past crimes, but perhaps more relevant, whom he hates.
  • He kills everyone who helped him with it afterwards, nominally for said secrecy, but even those who are apparently fanatically loyal to him.
  • His “scare” annihilates much of New York including all the people the reader has come to know personally.

Think, please. This isn’t new territory. Ozymandias as a story presence doesn’t reinterpret or cast light on anything. He is a classic villain, a murderer and the wielder of a WMD, for all his superficial disdain for their tropes. This is a fine thing, but in the context that he’s only a pretty good one, not a truly great one, succeeding mainly on the above-mentioned style.

Don’t even give me that shit about the Greater Good and whoooah how ambiguous. He kills all the scientists and artists, that’s your moral event horizon, as discussed in Bootin’ the pooch. You want more? OK, right there on the page is the reminder that he is the pirate-comics guy (ass-pull as this device may be), meaning that his whole plan is perfectly conceived and immaculately driven but actually deluded and homicidal.

Laurie’s got it right: he’s an asshole. And that’s all he is. Which unfortunately means, as I implied above, that he’s not a truly great villain, because the best villains are grounded in something more. This is important ’cause I have to talk about the late 1970s, the early 80s, and this thing called the Bomb. As of Ronald Reagan’s first term in office, SALT II was dead. Haig was detonating Lebanon; Central America was in flames. Take it from me – my generation of American mid-teens lived in terror of nuclear annihilation to a degree not felt since the Cuban Missile Crisis, and with considerably more justification. If anything, Adrian Veidt’s conviction of inevitability fell short of that felt by those a hair older than me, who’d hit 18 in the heady 1978 days of massive Soviet-U.S. accords and cooperation.

I almost went into a big discussion of the geriatric Nixon in Watchmen and the geriatric Reagan in The Dark Knight Returns. Obviously a post of its own waiting to happen. All I’ll say here is that it’s relevant.

Given that, Ozymandias’ genuine political presence would merit serious elevation to the greatest status of the best ultra-villains in comics. He doesn’t quite make it. Why not? Because nothing else about him, specifically nothing he does, concerns real live stuff: he uses a non-real world thing to do a non-real-world event with non-real-world effects. He’s not combating the fucked-up political history of Nixon, the arms race, and Reagan’s idiotic administration at all. Science fiction has to have something in it that’s not fiction, and I don’t mean the “science,” to be good. Granted, my favorites like Doctor Doom and Magneto don’t quite make it in application either, so if I’m to call him out as “not the perfectest bestest,” I acknowledge that he’s in good company.

The point: he’s a supervillain, and a pretty good one, in ways we know well.

Exactly.

Exactly.

Doctor Manhattan. And now for the event horizon of comics, meaning, something which isn’t anything, a huge presence of nothing. “Nothing” in the sense that although there are panels which him illustrated in them, and that he is given dialogue, you could take ordinary scissors and snip the character completely out of the plot and nothing would change.

I sense bafflement and anger out there. Fine. Work it through, in two parts. First, the biggest one: that each piece of his presence in Ozymandias’ story and scheme cancels another piece out.

  • Ozymandias is worried about Doctor Manhattan interfering
  • He engineers his departure
  • He (Doctor Manhattan) comes back – negates the above point
  • Ozymandias convinces him his plan is a good thing – negates the first point

See? The whole thing is a closed loop. Ozymandias might as well have just started at the beginning, “Hey Doc, I wanna do this – here’s why. Sound OK? Yes? Cool!” Or more precisely, his supposition (first bullet point) is incorrect, so the entire plot about this – a substantial portion of the title’s page count – is merely seeing it be corrected. Might as well even have had Ozymandias think, “gee would Doc Manhattan care? I bet he’d be OK with this,” and be right.

The second part of my argument concerns his personal interactions, in that he influences no one and takes no important action in any way which relies on him being exactly who he is.

  • Laurie’s discontent with her life and personal history – a scuzzy boyfriend named Lester or Thor would have done fine here, maybe bringing a buddy in for a threesome or something like that
  • Revealing to Laurie that the Comedian is her father – anyone could have done this, or if she weren’t such a raving [insert preferred term], she could have figured it out herself, e.g. with a flashback to her recent conversation with her mother
  • Killing Rorschach – replace with a sinister guy who always hovered at Ozymandias’ shoulder until this point, or hey – logic! – have the killer be Ozymandias himself, which is no more than what Rorschach predicted earlier anyway
OK, I'll grant you "innovation" for that part.

OK, I’ll grant you “innovation” for that part.

No wonder he got naked. Without that big blue dick to look at, the absence of character would be impossible to ignore. As with Ozymandias, I fully concede that this, and all other details of his appearance and comportment, were excellent and brilliant. I am also fine with his fun narration of “this is happening/will happen/has happened/what?” stuff straight out of Slaughterhouse-Five.

Every effort to discuss the character’s alleged philosophical significance runs aground on the fact that, to discuss a character in a story, the character must actually be doing something in it, however minor. Doctor Manhattan does no such thing in any way specific to his personality, motivations,  goals, and general agency. He has none of those. I am not talking about in-fiction free will/predestination, I’m talking about action and impact on anything else in the story which required that specific character and no other.

This is why any verbal space near him is full of sophomoric noise about free will/predestinaton, which is to say, the competition of equally physically impossible things in the first place. Discussing a narrative non-entity instantly become abstract to the point of 1:11 AM dorm room yap.

If you want to wax away about how significant that is in terms of extra-super-crazy powered characters or in the changing landscape of American idealism or God alone knows what else, go right ahead … somewhere else. I talk about characters and stories.

Hey bovine, BANG! Time to debunk the myth: no, Watchmen didn’t introduce the darkness, no, it didn’t change superhero comics, no, it wasn’t “more mature.” Marvel and intermittently, DC had been doing this for over two decades. You don’t get more dark, edgy, political, and reflective than:

  • Nixon committing suicide by pistol in the Oval Office
  • Galactus’ parting comment: And at last I perceive the glint of glory within the race of Man! Be ever worthy of that glory, humans … be ever mindful of your promise of greatness! … For it shall one day lift you beyond the stars .. or bury you within the ruins of war!! The choice is yours!!
  • Thundra and Ben Grimm killing Mahkizmo
  • Peter Parker walking past his convulsing, pleading best friend on his way to kill a supervillain
  • The final moment of the original Doom Patrol
  • Green Arrow facing down the “crypto-fascist” Green Lantern about racism
  • Pip’s death, and therefore Adam Warlock’s final words
  • Magneto being willing to kill Kitty Pryde, and then realizing what he’d become
  • The Hellcat disfiguring her husband’s face – bear in mind their backstory was a happy-ending romance comic in the 60s
  • The original Luke Cage, full stop
  • Mar-Vell’s death by cancer
  • And a lot more!

I contend the mid-late 80s comics were less of all these things, not more, with only a few exceptions, and most of those written by imports. Watchmen‘s genuine virtues do place it with these comics. And these are my favorite comics. Got me? Watchmen is up there with my favorite comics. But it’s not better than them, and it’s not special in comics’ meaning and history, with the possible exception of the blue penis. It only looks amazing because the 1980s superheroes comics were so consistently poor in these specific virtues.

Aside from that, it had good PR, specifically Roger Sabin and his whole “low art becoming high” patter, and the generational timing to get a bunch of people their Masters degrees. A good line of bullshit in the 1980s had some kind of metaphysical power akin to Doctor Manhattan’s perception of reality: it became past and future simultaneously. Hencebackward the older comics couldn’t be as meaty or more so than Watchmen; henceforward, the newer comics all owed their weight to it, or even better, could “be mature” even when they were as stupid and vicious as a Nazi or Bircher tract.

See what I mean? Maybe you don’t. Once more in hope: Watchmen is great because it recovered the virtues of 1960s-70s Marvel and some DC (as did Swamp Thing, to be discussed another time). I love it for doing that. I criticize it for not doing it enough and over-layering it with pomposity. I criticize the fanbase for refusing to entertain critical thinking about it. I am disgusted with the idea promulgated by others, not by Moore (none of these posts are about Moore), that other contemporary comics and those which followed represent some kind of “advance” in superhero comics, whereas I regard most of them as politically and narratively infantile.

Funny, we all wanted to see Smart Comics so bad, but they had been sitting in front of our noses for over twenty years.

Next: And I’m not the bad guy

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About Ron Edwards

Game author and publisher via Adept Press / Biology author and former professor

Posted on August 6, 2015, in Politics dammit, Storytalk, The 80s me, The great ultravillains and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I wish you’d been at the GenCon panel where Pat Rothfuss and I got into a (very humorous) argument about whether Ozymandias achieved anything meaningful and lasting (I argued no, Pat argued yes). The audience was rolling in the aisles because of the way we were gesticulating at and mocking one another (in the way two friends do), but there was a serious philosophical discussion at the heart of it all.

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    • Maybe I’m having a cranky day, but at the moment, I’m glad I wasn’t there. I probably would have made like Rorschach and gone after the both of you with a fork.

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    • Steven, assessing the ending of Watchmen is a lot harder than it should be, because Moore and Gibbons create a world that supposedly works a lot like ours, until you open up the hood of the car and see all the stuff that doesn’t make sense except that Moore and Gibbons insist that it does.

      Adrian Veidt is an international celebrity of the first order, the Madonna or Schwartzenegger of this world. He enters Eddie’s building–apparently unmasked?–and there are no witnesses who remember seeing him?

      Everyone who was a part of the Doctor Manhattan smear campaign was employed by Dimensional Developments. Somehow the FBI-CIA-NSA doesn’t figure that out, and who owns Dimensional, within at most an hour after Janey’s story goes public?

      (For that matter: Jon and Laurie stay together twenty freaking years? What in the world can Laurie possibly say or do that would interest Jon for twenty seconds? And, aside from maybe an attraction to emotionally unavailable men owing to messed up father issues, what’s Laurie getting out of it that would persuade her to spend two entire decades on that relationship?)

      Nobody at NASA asks what these particle beam emitters are doing on these satellites that Adrian’s company wants to launch?

      No witness thinks, “Hey wait, the guy who tried to kill Adrian never put his hand to his mouth, so how did the suicide pill get there?” No police think to track down who this guy was, or where he worked, or the sudden deaths of several people at Pyramid Deliveries? Daniel and Walter are both intelligent people, but the two of them literally solve this case in one evening.

      When confronted by psychic alien blink-bombs, the U.S. response is, “Oh hell, alien invasion” rather than “Soviet biological warfare”? (After all, we know radical genetic engineering exists in this world.) And the response to alien invasion is nuclear disarmament?

      (Oh, and by the way: psychic alien blink-bombs are real.)

      By the end of the story, credibility is strained almost to breaking. Moore and Gibbons are good enough at their job that most readers will want to play along with them and give them the benefit of the doubt . . . but it becomes extremely difficult to say what’s “plausible” or “likely” given everything that’s gone before.

      I think you’re then stuck with what the creators likely intended to say–that is, an argument about themes and symbols–and on that level it’s pretty clear that Ozymandias is… well, Ozymandias.

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  2. “If you want to wax away about how significant that is in terms of extra-super-crazy powered characters or in the changing landscape of American idealism or God alone knows what else, go right ahead … somewhere else. I talk about characters and stories.”

    This may be exactly what I am doing. But just wanted to ask if maybe Dr. Manhattan’s irrelevance is intentional (well, Moore wrote it thus, so obviously), i.e., makes a point about the nature of “real” supermen and how it’s nonsensical tat they would continue to care about humanity, being so far beyond it. Laurie makes some comment near the end about how Manhattan could have just vaporized Ozy or snapped his fingers and fixed everything, but Manhattan honestly doesn’t really care; he moved on long ago.

    Again, that may be the exactly what you’re saying is for some other venue.

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    • I think we can talk about that without bringing author intention into it.

      1. As I mentioned at G+, that is a fuckload of pages, dialogues, interactions, changes of opinion, and attention to spend on a single abstract point. One could include a conversation about how the super-superman left long ago, or not have one at all, to achieve that point.

      2. James pointed out at G+, how Jon’s long build-up to caring about her and humanity _after all_, and shifts whiplash-quick to not caring _after all_. If the point were to show that he “simply doesn’t care,” well, again, then why have all this see-sawing, and what for some time appears to be a primary plot-hinge that he does.

      I think the whole argument is better off merely acknowledging some lazy, or emergent-but-not-successful features of the writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sooner or later, I want to talk about the intersection between spandex and real-world humanitarian crises. But right now I wanna talk about Super Villain Technique.

    Adrian has a really weird agenda.

    Think about it: he’s got an incredibly resilient biosphere that apparently can be maintained by three Vietnamese peasants, situated in one of the most remote and difficult-to-locate spots on earth. He’s got cloning techniques to bring extinct animals back to life, and some kind of way to imprint memories onto cloned tissue. He’s got a network of satellites that can cover the entire world in particle beam of exotic matter. He’s got the ability to fire ‘blink-bombs’ anywhere on Earth. He’s got enough cash to make this all happen. He’s got some kind of self-help group which, via rudimentary ‘memetic’ techniques is poised to grow like hell in the final pages of the book.

    Now: you’ve got all of that. Who gives a damn about the human race?

    The smart money would be to pull a late 70’s James Bond Villain move: sequester yourself away with your cult followers, and either wait for end of the world or provoke it. WTF does nuclear winter mean when you’re already living in Antarctica? WTF does mass extinction mean if you created Bubastis? WTF does a conventional military mean when you have a teleport-bomb complete with psychic aftershocks? He’s got his own snowy Latveria if he wants it, and could easily wait out the inevitable.

    (To totally cover your ass, you can still drive Jon into self-imposed exile. Despite a logical demeanor, at core he’s horribly unstable, and might flip out during a nuclear war and disintegrate the entire planet, shift it from orbit, or who knows what.)

    The really curious thing about Adrian is that he does not do that. He really does want to save the world, either out of compassion or to out-class Alexander the Great. And, if you’ve got any sympathy for utiltarian ethics, killing a few million people to save a few billion isn’t an unreasonable choice (if those are the only options).

    You write, “He’s not combating the fucked-up political history of Nixon, the arms race, and Reagan’s idiotic administration at all.”

    Well: no, he’s explicitly combating the arms race, by creating a straw-man super villain (the aliens) to end the Cold War, while the real super villain lurks behind the scenes to mold the society.

    How well that maps to something “real” depends on how much you buy the “oh jeez the world is so fucked” assessment. Guy isn’t fixated on Palestinian statehood, prison reform, or government surveillance, Watergate, or any single issue, but rather the really sick feedback loops that link white supremacy, imperialism, the arms race, extractive runaway capitalism, financial crises, passive consumerism, and civic impotence. Adrian’s goal is expressly, explicitly stated to create a world where someone like Eddie cannot exist. That’s not a bad thing to take aim at, IMO.

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    • That’s a great final paragraph. I’d go with it if “the plan” weren’t so otherworldly and full of ass-pull details – you’re right about the blink-bombs for instance. And more important, so reliant upon the dubious proposition, treated not only as supposition but flat fact, that the forces we’re talking about could possibly be “scared straight.”

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  4. Given the discussion about who is, or isn’t, necessary to the plot, my take on the plot of Watchmen is like this:

    Adrian wants to help others, even if he has to go outside the law.

    BUT! Street-level vigilante stuff can’t solve the structural flaws implicit in the latter stages of the Industrial Revolution.

    THEREFORE Adrian devises a far-out “scared straight” plan to remold civilization.

    BUT! Jon is a rival who might interfere, and cannot be stopped by conventional means.

    THEREFORE Adrian launches a campaign of psychological warfare against him.

    BUT! Eddie accidentally learns about Adrian’s schemes. (Plot hole: and does nothing about them.)

    THEREFORE Adrian kills Eddie, supposedly to preserve operational security but also, fuck that guy.

    BUT! Kooky ol’ Walter decides to investigate a “Cape Killer.” (Plot hole: fucking cut Rorschach’s grapple-wire while he’s climbing down your building in Chapter 1, Adrian! Jeez.)

    THEREFORE Adrian frames Walter for murder and gets him incarcerated. (Plot hole: shoot Walter, you dope!)

    MEANWHILE, Jon’s ex Laurie is furious and distraught. (Plot hole: shoot Laurie, Adrian!)

    THEREFORE Laurie turns to Dan, and they’ve got something going.

    THEREFORE It’s been so long since Dan got laid, he ejaculates a Nite Owl costume all over himself. (Plot hole: set Dan up with his dominatrix.)

    BUT! Laurie and Dan don’t know much about the Cape Killer.

    THEREFORE they jailbreak Walter to help crack the case.

    BUT! Jon kidnaps Laurie, basically to talk him out of his depression.

    THEREFORE Laurie talks Jon out of his depression. The contingent nature of human existence shouldn’t really come as a shock to a guy with Predestination Vision, but this chapter is both necessary and boring; so long as it ends, we’ll agree to be charitable.

    MEANWHILE Dan and Walter unlock the “Time to Wrap This Up” achievement and realize what’s going on. (Comment: the actual investigation is comically brief and simple-minded. Let’s search the victim’s office! Eureka!)

    BUT! Adrian’s monster-baby is finally ready, so he blows up New York. (This isn’t quite a plot hole, but it’s really lucky timing.)

    THEREFORE Dan, Walter, and eventually Laurie try to kill Adrian.

    BUT! As a high-level monk, Adrian is immune to all non-magical weapons.

    THEREFORE Jon is the only hope of directly taking this guy out, and he’s supposedly real concerned about ants after all.

    BUT! Adrian neutralizes Jon with the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

    THEREFORE, reading charitably, Jon’s newfound love of life mixes with his detached perspective, making him a cosmically compassionate utilitarian. Meanwhile his prediction-sense is gone, so Jon chooses not to gamble with 5 billion lives.

    BUT! Walter kept a stick up his ass during his time in jail, and God knows he’s not going to lose it now.

    THEREFORE Jon is so committed to life that he murders Walter.

    BUT! Walter, the world’s most unreliable narrator, submitted an expose to the world’s most untrustworthy news source, and everyone will end up believing it because otherwise Adrian’s super hero name wouldn’t be ironic. (Plot hole: apparently a maladjusted vagrant with no friends, money, or clean clothes, is a better investigator than the world’s combined law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Yay torture!)

    In other words, I don’t think that Jon’s storyline is pointless to the plot. Jon is the only one able to thwart Adrian’s goals, so his ratification matters: in fact, it’s really what’s at stake in Chapter 12. The reasoning behind it is screwy in exactly the way you’d expect it to be given Jon’s personality, perspective, motivation, and situation at that moment.

    I do agree that a really sharp editor could have written Jon out of the story, making a lot of changes along the way. But a grimdark update of the Charlton Action Heroes needs a Captain Atom analogue, and Jon’s bewildering sense of time is a rare treat. Frankly, Laurie and Dan are even more disposable. It’s not like Walter couldn’t have broken out of that jail himself during the riot, and finding Adrian’s plans is mostly a question of ransacking his office–and paying a visit to a murder victim is literally Walter’s first trick.

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    • Actually, let me clarify: it turns out that since Walter has a cunning back-up plan known as “the United States Postal Service,” the debate and murder in Chapter 12 is moot in terms of making a difference to the world at large, and nothing is truly at stake except the extent to which these characters are willing to become accessories to mass murder. (Jon: totally on board; Dan: a little shaky but sure okay; Laurie: kind of having an off day.)

      Still, none of the other characters know that at the time.

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  5. The main advantage I see in Watchmen compared to the superhero comics Ron references is that it’s in self-enclosed novel form, presenting its characters, milieu, plot in definitive ways and coming to a conclusive end at the end of the book (with which I mean the trade paperback). This was, and is, unfortunately uncommon for American superhero comics. The meandering and indefinite serial form has its virtues, but something like Watchmen is very refreshing in comparison.

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  6. Caveats: again, I’m not a big comics reader. I read Watchmen in, oh, ’93ish? Re-read it a few times, not recently. Its’ blessed bovinity needs no skewering for my sake, but it did (and does) impress me. My lit theory cred (if any) is decades old, and it’s pretty obvious Ron is insightful and well-read on the subject. The criticism of Ozymandias and Dr. Manhattan is fine, as far as it goes, and I guess I’m fine with leaving the author out of it (folks do go WAY too far with that). Not inherently better/special, OK; owes a lot to the 70’s, sure. All that said …

    You know who I’m NOT willing to leave out? The reader. Great Caesar’s Ghost, Ozy and Dr. Manhattan do EXACTLY what they need to do in this story – they piss me off. In meaningful and individually distinguishable ways, grounded in their characters and the story being told.

    Frikin’ Jon, a veritable apex of wish-fulfillment, who just oughta FIX a problem. ANY problem, pick one – Laurie (a woman loves me – what a problem!), the Cape Killer, World Peace – whatever, pick something and FIX it. Do something! But he doesn’t, and it PISSES ME OFF. Perfect.

    And then he does pick something (killing Walter), and that pisses me off even MORE. Not necessarily because he was wrong, and even if he’s right I’m still pissed. Because he, in his particular arc and with that particular action, reminds me how absolutely and utterly pissed off I am that something like Adrian’s plan even begins to make sense. Global nuclear annihilation? That’s on the table, really? Yes it is, and it pisses me off.

    And Veidt – oh, the love-hate of all he is and represents pisses me off SO much. He IS doing something, but yeah, has unquestionably crossed that moral event horizon. Hand-waving away all the (pardon me) comic-book absurdity of the details, he’s an end-justifies guy, which makes his something more annoying, and insufficient for some purposes – but just exactly the right flavor of sanctimonious grimdark to piss me off.

    You know who’s pissed off in the story? Yeah, Rorschach – and yeah, he does the wrong thing with it, for a long time. “Get pissed off, and don’t do the wrong thing” by the way, is the only hopeful impact I see from Walter’s manifesto. Revealing the sekrit planz isn’t the point, angryvillagemobbing the perpetrators isn’t the point. Actually, I suspect the point is that while “what comes after Get Pissed?” is exactly the right question, there’s not an easy answer. As shown by Ozymandias, Dr. Manhattan, and … everything, from the Comedian to vigilantes to the Black frikkin’ Freighter. From Vietnam to 70’s New York to nuclear brinksmanship.

    I think Watchmen does fine with how it uses its’ story and characters to impact the reader. Over-rated/over-hyped? Maybe (all right, I’ll give that a “HELL yes!”, if only for absurd hype). Particular failings? Sure. But Jon’s indifference? It WORKS. Adrian-the-asshole? It WORKS. In the story, to produce an impact. That’s all I know to talk about.

    Hope that comes across as a heart-felt, alternate, overlapping analysis, neither refutation – not remotely seeking refutation – nor full agreement.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Santiago Verón

    I think Moore is probably just as much of a genius as everyone think it is, and Watchmen still has some bad writing in it – like a crappy whodunit, it’s pretty obvious Ozymandias is the culprit before the revelation.

    I feel this ties into you earlier post about Watchmen not having villains, in that now we can read Watchmen as the origin story of that universe’s first supervillain.

    I actually like the character of Manhattan a bit more now that you point all that out. He was already all-powerful and detached. Now that you’ve proven he’s actually causally, mechanically isolated of the rest of the story as a character, well, I get that this is me trying to keep on liking it, I get that for you it is bad writing (probably for everyone, objectively bad writing), but I can’t help to think of the final dialogue of The Name Of The Rose. God as encompassing all possibilites, therefore probably not existing at all, not influencing any event.

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