In the great play, the play of the world, the one I always return to, all emotional souls occupy the stage, whereas all creative people sit in the orchestra. The first are called mad (alienated); the second ones, who depict their follies, are called sages (philosophers). The eye of the sage is the one which lays bare the follies of various figures on the stage. — Denis Diderot

Ayo, to find out Joel AKA The Direct Marxist’s theorem’s you must peer ‘neath the cut

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We’re back.

Round 2

Fight!

BOOM

“How long would you say Heroic Ages last, Wally?”

- Jay Garrick, the Flash (I)

“Twenty years, according to Jones and Jacobs. The Golden Age lasted until 1955, the Silver Age until 1975, but the Dark Age just ended in ’95. That’s why it’s still too early to say what this new age is going to be called yet.

- Wally West, the Flash (III)

Flash #134, cover-date Feb 98, script by Mark Millar & Grant Morrison

It always comes back to the Flash, in the end: from a purely DC pantheon angle, it’s easy to see how the missing middle mantle above, Barry Allen, and his death (“outracing the tachyon at the heart of the Anti-Monitor’s anti-matter cannon…[he] became one with the other side of light.” – so impossibly romantic, that) resonate with the term “Dark Age”, certainly as used pejoratively.

More after the jump

So. Mindless Ones is good name for a comic blog, isn’t it? (I didn’t come up with it.) Conjures the notion of a ravening* horde, slavering* devotion to Dormammu, the Dark One, battling NeilAlieN on some etheric plateau adrift in this noosphere. Perhaps that’s exactly what we are. Perhaps we really are just that.

*Having no mouths to eat, only hands to type, I’m not so very sure a Mindless One such as I really can raven“? I can surely slaver, though.

Anyway, enough bullshit. I came here today to talk about the entire history of superhero comics because, well, better to start big and THEN drift into meandering personal vendettas and general self-loathing with a little credit hopefully in the bag, you know? Oh, and the love. Of the thing. Because they’re important to me, no matter how – generally, if the internet is to be believed – repugnant the fandom (like, whenever there’s a fan ‘outcry’, I’m like, “good”; I love seeing these risible chuds bathing their innards in acid,) how venal the publishers, how dubious the sexual and racial politics… there’s a massive iconic energy these things harness, or can harness, thousands of cultural, thematic and generic worlds they (can) straddle in bright, tight trouserpants and they’re just. my. favourites.

More after the jump