A black and white collage on the cover. One human skull image repeated and several guns shown although they all appear to be different types. Upper right hand look like toxic waster barrels, at the bottom troops at war, including one man comforting another. Statue of Liberty on the left sort of matched by masked man with gun upraised, two poor black children walking towards us, World Trade Centre and American flag visible, also note the face visible just under Promethea’s right eye.
Interesting use of lettering from Todd Klein. R as in registered trade mark and C as in Copyright sign. Letter O crossed towrds the right whilst number 0 crossed towards the left. Pound Signs used for capital L’s, two different types of E’s.
Don't they know it's the end of the World
(It ended when you said goodbye)
are the last two lines of a song entitled
The End of the World
with music by Arthur Kent and lyrics by Sylvia Dee. Artists who have covered it include Hermans Hermits, The Carpenters, Skeeter Davis and Vonda Shepard
The original ad for this issue ran as follows
Don't they know it's the end of the world (it ended when you said goodbye)? After three years on the run in Millennium City, Promethea returns to New York to commence the apocalypse and is reunited with her mother, Jack Faust, Stacia, and others from her past.
"We all looked up to blinding spectacle…with two towering absences more visible…New York’s gaudy hot-ass fabulous apocalyptic angel spirit, three years gone, entered again into her city…and everybody suddenly remembered that each brick, each busted tail-light in this mad stampede of world and time was Holy, to be loved, and there was no more and so on and so on, no more yadda yadda" – Narration , pg. 1
"I think our time-perception’s slipping…Drucker’s weeping. Vanderveer’s practically catatonic…My guess is that Ms. Bangs is generating a strong electromagnetic field as she approaches" – Agent Hansard, pgs. 2-3
"…that Smee in the CORNER, losing my religion…" – Smee, pg 3
"Now the world finally needs ‘em, where are all the science heroes?" Lucille Ball, pg 3
"I think something’s wrong with time" - , pg 5
"She ran across the sky like brilliant paint whereafter everything we touched came away wet yellow, sticky blue…as if that night were sweating poetry…the language in our mouths turned heavy as uranium…clattered through the flimsy paper backdrop of this world…she scrawled herself, a crayon line on fire that everyone could read" – Narration, pg 6
"It was created to destroy Promethea and it’s all we have" – Agent Hansard, pg 7
"Please Mother. Please don’t punish me." – Smee
"Poor child. You were not born, but only fashioned, as a scourge. Don’t be afraid. It is not punishment I bring. It is release. Go, little one. Go and be universe again" – Promethea, pgs. 8-9
"Don’t let…me fall…into the floor…" – Karen Breughel, pg 8
"It’s a temporal lobe seizure" – Agent Hansard, pg 12
"This is the happiest day. Of my life" – Stacia Vanderveer, pg 13
"That rooftop. I’d seen it before. I-it’s where we all are. It’s reality…" – Karen Breughel
"It’s like she’s had some massive breakdown in her whole sense of what’s real. Maybe that’s what "End of the World" means. Maybe it’s when agent Breughel’s condition becomes pandemic" – Agent Hansard, pg 13
"…as if all the cities of the Earth were made one simultaneousl place…this boundless Universe a glittering mere town, a blackout street, a galaxy-stuffed house, a solitary beloved room…" – Narration, pg 15
"There’ll be a lot of individual destinies arriving at this place in the times ahead. Converging…Coming together." – Promethea, pg 15
"Well, my government contacts recommeded some Midwestern fellow that they’re flying here now. He’s frightfully dangerous, apparently" – Cobweb, pg 16
"Great Darn! So this is the Big City…And I guess you folk are real crackdealers and prostitutes!…I hear the laws of physics popped a spoke…and that calls for some hard-hitting, potentially violent science!" – Jack B. Quick, pg 17
"…this unique light of our mythical, our holy personalities, each of us singular, each unrepeatable in the immensity of Spacetime and right there we all remembered we were real, were lovers, gods or fiends in our own burning sagas so we cried, "What are those dreary yards that we have built? What lives are these that drape us gray like shrouds?" and understood we were all heroes in our souls…" – Narration, pg 18
"It was a trademark dispute. Bruno Smiliac’s murder. The Painted Doll killed Smiliac because Jellyhead was infringing on his intellectual property" – Marvin, pg 19
"Smiliac was ripping off the Doll without realizing it…Multiple bodies controlled from a distance" – Marvin pg 20
"…so in a sense we were all right here in this one familiar room amongst these faces that we know so well and you were Jack Faust sitting trying to comfort Dennis Drucker, thinking "Jesus, this is really it," and hoping you were ready and me, I was Trish Bangs thinking she could use a drink right now and realizing that she didn’t need one, and do you remember how we all looked round when Stacia said…" – Narration, pg 21
"Are we all gonna have sex?" – Stacia Vanderveer, pg 20
"The Dolls ain’t remote control drones like Smiliac’s pieces of @#$*. They’re all independent artificial intelligences, following a simple set of behavioral programs. They like to kill things. They do this based firstly upon practical considerations…and secondly on the principle of novelty…and I sent the "activate" command just before Ladyboy here grabbed my cap. Oh, and do you know the recall command? There isn’t one." – Stand, pg 23
NOTES & ANNOTATIONS:
still to be completed properly
First a review of this issue at The Fourth Rail
Another one at Silver Bullet Comics
Discussion at Barbelith Underground
Finally from Comic Book Resources
Page 1: Apart from the obvious b&w pyramid another building visible is the Empire State Building.
TL writes that:
the many city buildings put together remind me of a famous photo collage by the Bauhaus artist Paul Citroen in 1923. The original is in the collection of graphics of the Museum at Leiden/Netherlands
But JHW3 writes that
They are actually not influenced by any one collage artist. It's more of an homage to collage art in general. so I did not reference anyone. I just wanted to capture what I had vague recollections of in my mind from things that I have seen elsewhere without fully remembering where I had seen stuff like that. all very free flowing and instinctual. I had great fun doing those.
Pages 2-3: Most of the double-spread pages in this issue (apart from 10/11, 16/17 and 22/23) are meant to be read across from the first page to the second for the first row of panels then back to the first page for the second and then the third row (if there is one). Because of this I’ll just refer to the panels as Pages 2-3, Panel 1, etc.
Also the "ghost panels" above and below the regular panels are treated as background and not numbered.
The ghost panels on these pages are always either the first tier of panels on the next page or the last tier of panels on the previous page except for the very first set of ghost panels which comes from the last tier of the final page with ghost panels and also the final set of ghost panels comes from the first page
2-3 Above shows pgs 14-15 bottom
Below shows pgs 6-7 top
6-7 Below shows pgs 8-9 top
8-9 Above shows pgs 6-7 bottom
Below shows pgs 12-13 top
12-13 Above shows pgs 8-9 bottom
Below shows pgs 14-15 middle
14-15 Below shows pgs 2-3 top
Panel 6: The Smee is quoting lyrics from the REM song Losing my Religion.
Pages 3-4 Panel 1: Hi-5 has now been renamed Platform Four.
Panel 4: Note the portrait on the wall has only 4 swell guys in it so it dates from after Bob’s death.
Panel 5: After we lost Bob at the WTC
Looks like Bob died along with more than 3,000 other people on September 11, 2001.
Pages 6-7, Top Panel: I can recognize the Parthenon building but can other people name some of the others shown?
I have no idea who the woman on the right hand side with green dress and purple hair might be.
Pages 8-9 Panel 2: Green and red primary colors on either side of Promethea with images from the previous and next panel either side of her.
dialogue bubble has a cone instead of the usual dialogue tail and the bubble itself is exactly circular. The same words are repeated as the last bubble on the next page but with different lettering.
Page 10-11: Does anyone know who the 3 blue cloaked and gloved figures with invisible bodies and the Grecian Urn/Spinning Top type heads are, because I don’t? I thought they might have been the fates but only one of them appears to be female.
Hellblazer32 says they're from the Invisibles but he can't remember which issue.
When I asked JHW3 about this panel his reply was
the 2 page spread in question is not referencing any comic at all. It is actually based on descriptions of an event that alan actually experienced himself. So no we are not referencing anything from published source.
Alan and I would never reference anything without it being blatantly obvious or stated in someway (like the covers for example). I just think that many of the ideas cross because of shared interests outside of comics.
lonepilgrim writes that:
I would imagine that the figures represent God manifested in male/father, female/mother and othe/son form - I'm not that familiar with the theology behind this. The multiple faces possibly represent the different ways in which these archetypes are manifested in different religions. Karen is transported from the 2 dimensional world of the comic book into a 3 dimensional world - which is why the speech bubbles are spheres and cones.
Karen Breughel is totally naked except for a nappy fastened by a safety pin. Note that as she emerges from the comic panels the black borders are still on her legs
Grass on the rooftops obscures some panels. The very tall towers remind me of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and a Gerald Scarfe animation sequence from Alan Parker’s Pink Floyd: The Wall
Dialogue from the entities
Pages 12-13 Panel 6 Note the reverse order of the green and red coloring
When Promethea arrived it was green on the left and red on the right. Now that she departs it’s red on the left and green on the right
an epidemic that is geographically widespread; occurring throughout a region or even throughout the world
Pages 14-15 Top Panel: The Eiffel Tower is the most obvious building here. People running may be taken from footage of Sept. 11th, 2001. On the womans' T-shirt it looks like
h R C
b&w illustrations include a couple kissing and a boy holding a candle (Does anyone know where the boy is from?). Also an owl, blue bats and moths
JHW3 writes that
the kissing couple is a random drawing that I did for the collage and the little cartoon boy is Wee Willie Winkie, a children's book character
The boy with the candle may be Wee Willie Winkie from the nursery rhyme of the same name - which hints that the characters in the comic world have been wandering like sleepwalkers in a dream. It could also refer to another strange nursery rhyme - 'How many miles to Babylon?' which would fit with the idea suggested by the imagery and text of every city being the same city - an idea incidently that is explored in 'Invisible Cities' by Italo Calvino - Babylon also features in 'Snakes and Ladders' - and may also be 'the radiant heavenly city'
"...and it's August with Chemical Ali caught alive, it's April with him dead..."
Ali Hassan al-Majid or Chemical Ali the Defense Minister of Iraq during Saddam Hussein's regime was mistakenly thought to have been killed in April 2003 but was eventually captured alive on August 11th, 2003
Panel 1: Trish is looking through a School Memories book.
Pages 16-17: Tom Strong and Jonni Future appear slightly more realistic than all the other characters who look cartoonish
On the middle panel we can see icons for: