PREVIOUSLY: MAID OF NAILS and BOTSWANA BEAST opened a door and then walked through it.


‘Like a plant, or an oyster, or John Byrne’

BB: NIX & PAX, hmm

complete this sequence… LUX actually works at the start

MoN: as in Lumina Lux (going back to Inc here)? Is it Lux –> Nix —>Pax then, or Lux —> Pax —> Nix?

BB: LUX NIX PAX light no peace

    no just because L M N O P and U O I E A are reverse/sequences in the alphabet… I’m just thinking of silly titles

MoN: haha I was about to mention LOX

   either in relation to the Ruff Ryders, or bagels

BB: Jada, Styles P… ghost

The Lox were good

MoN: even if the name did make me think of smoked salmon

not the most gangsta fish

are there balancing opposites to Nix and Pax in MV, like with Lumina Lux <—> Nero Nykto?

BB: it’s >>}}\\actually//{{<< from warlocks, did you know. that joke only works with a US audience, I think. I tried a Jason Momoa Aquaman fanny batter joke today with Sean Collins, didn’t work

MoN: did he not know what “fanny batter” was

BB: he did not

MoN: did you explain it

did you explain the joke

BB: I did, it was very sad

MoN: fanny-battered Aquaman + chips

I don’t know if that was the joke; I’m just placing an order

BB: I totally forgot who Lumina Lux was, terrible fandom

had to google smh

MoN: fake geek guy alert

BB: some Grant Morrison fan I am

MoN: also can we use those characters to bracket the word “actually” in the actual post

BB: yes

MoN: I mainly remember the name because it was so Morrisony

“No one in the history of anything has ever been named Lumina Lux,” I thought

BB: he always has characters say Fiat Lux which sounds like a car to me, not “let there be light”.

MoN: The Fiat Lux: the most efficient way to roadtrip across the multiverse

BB: hmmm hmmm hmmhmmm hmmm hmmm, I actually researched who the statue was in the Pax Institute, now… no I didn’t shit …

hmm, she is a bit boring tbh… Janus the god of gateways though

MoN: Pax —> spring —>renewal though

and re Pax’s temple: “The monument as a whole serves a civic ritual function whilst simultaneous[ly] operating as propaganda for Augustus and his regime, easing notions of autocracy and dynastic succession that might otherwise be unpalatable to traditional Roman culture.” (thanks, Wikipedia)

BB: this is a whole other angle,though, do the dates correspond to Roman calendar dates… hmm; ah so Pax and Janus represent transition… not really, the Question visits the Pax institute on the eve of Alan Moore’s 62nd birthday, 17/11/15, and our November is the Roman Ianuarius, so there’s bits.

MoN: yeah but the visuals on the Ara Pacis conflict with those ideas of transition/change by promoting ideas of dynastic rule

BB: but Janus’ head is the murder weapon, I feel there is some ritualistic aspect to this

MoN: oh totally

murder —> unnatural endings

Pax may be associated with renewal, but the Ara Pacis visuals were concerned with making people okay with the maintenance of a dynastic status quo

Members of the Augustan imperial household – south face of the Ara Pacis

and the imposition of autocratic/authoritarian ideals

pretty reminiscent of criticisms of superhero comics

BB: or superheroes

in that this would create an ultra-class of human etc

MoN: I was thinking more about legacy characters though

like how the endurance of certain characters makes it very difficult for new ones to enter the market

BB: this is the thing with Watchmen too, there is only one superhuman in the universe and once he is gone it is no longer a superhero universe

MoN: oh yeah! I forgot about that

ok the Wiki for the temple of Janus says that it was open during wartime and closed during peacetime, and the first “See also”/related article is “Pax Romana”

BB: just on a purely mechanistic level, yeah it does feel – it is separate from MV – no-one from Earth 4 is in MV #2, the only Earth in which this is the case

MoN: Pax Romana, which was established by Augustus: the emperor who commissioned the propaganda friezes on the temple of Pax

BB: no conflict, no comic

MoN: that’s why it feels cut off from the other Earths

this came up earlier I believe

btw the temple of Janus I’m referring to here is the Ianus Geminus, aka the Portae Belli, which as far as I can tell means “war doors” or something

I’m spitballing but it might be that, since “casus belli” means “cause for war”

BB: I noticed under Pater some similarities with Chronos — insofar as while there is no Greek equivalent to him (& Saturn to Chronos) he is considered “father of the gods”?

MoN: yeah Chronos is the father of Zeus et al

and Janus is ‘Pater’ & gatekeeper

the father is the gatekeeper is the killer

BB: this wiki page is a mess… buut sez Ovid associates Janus and Saturn also

MoN: see?

BB: is father gatekeeper?

MoN: Janus is the gatekeeper

in terms of being called upon to open the gates or whatever between mortals and gods during worship

according to a thing on the Internet

and Janus, looking to both the future & past, is a god of time

BB: gates, gates, and there’s the black hole… hmmm, it does reprocess all these Dark Age comics to the extent I often think a bullethole cover might have thematically worked


MoN: (the gatekeeper function is something you also see in Afro-Cuban religion with Elegua, and in Vodoun with Legba)

BB: ooh I don’t know the Afro-Cuban stuff

MoN: also remember that variant cover with Batman walking with dead Robin across some kind of hellscape



the father is the killer

BB: he is a god of time Kelly, my word… so but what did I say, time is suspended like the snow globe, like Watchmen, it is complete and immutable but can be viewed from many angles

MoN: if Janus ~= Chronos then the father/Pater ~= time

and time is of course a killer because that’s how mortality works if you’re human

BB: watch men


MoN: so omg

that’s why the Janus head is the murder weapon

BB: and the primal scene of the son killing the father

ohhh this is good stuff

MoN: Wikipedia says: “Romans regarded peace not as an absence of war, but the rare situation that existed when all opponents had been beaten down and lost the ability to resist”

Pax is the breaking of the opposition’s spirit

and the closing of the gates

thus rendering Janus semi-nonfunctional

so the dual head (the geminus) is broken

BB: ah, but this is the distinction made by Harley, it is not a Pax Romana… hang on

no you was right again


MoN: I think we’re both right

the Pax Romana transitions into the Pax Americana in Harley’s speech

and again, the invocation of the (dead) father — the broken Pater, if you will

Wikipedia tells me that the idea of the Pax Americana started to become a thing after the Civil War

BB: my god this is possibly the most searing indictment of Mark Millar yet

MoN: yeah Morrison & Quitely basically tell the reader how the Pax Americana was maintained there

which goes back to Peacemaker being the killer

of Nora I mean

as well as of Harley

in this context, he kind of has to be the killer because that’s what a peacemaker does

BB: trigger words… peace, key, and… maybe kid, remember we talked about a series of hypnotic inductions? I know I am meandering and digressing here a bit

MoN: no I was wondering about the “key” bit myself

Janus being the god of gates/entrances, and the father being unable to enter his own house normally

BB: very Janus, the two faces, lover and killer

plus the guy fucking looks like him

MoN: haha

he does

BB: yeah, I didn’t think of the key there before except in this context now

MoN: me neither

in peacetime (Paxtime) the gates of the temple of Janus were shut

BB: the father literally at the gateway


BB: dual identity dad

MoN: Paxtime means the Pater is barred, sort of, from his own dwelling place

also YES, totally this

BB: he is also in the wrong guise, trangressing the borders

MoN: yeah his identities are muddled

or the relationship between his identities and their contexts is muddled

and thus “forgot my key”

BB: so Peacemaker killing the president echoes this, as the president prepares for disarmament somehow (or, like Kennedy, some vague non-proliferation)

MoN: I somehow keep forgetting the disarmament part of the story

both the Pax Romana and the Pax Americana got started because one force beat another in internal conflict

Augustus beats Mark Antony in battle; the Union beats the Confederacy in the Civil War

well Actium wasn’t entirely an internal conflict, what with Egypt getting involved, but hopefully this still works

BB: well it’s just basic dualities, it’s a peace sign aflame on the cover, but maybe the algorithm means he can only ensure this is passed thru’ martyrdom…?

MoN: I would argue that the martyrdom isn’t due to the algorithm itself but to the breakdown of the order in the algorithm

BB: Actium?

My history knowledge is bad

MoN: Actium was where Mark Antony was defeated

that’s what the Internet tells me anyway

BB: ah, I have seen Rome but forgot the name, I thought it was Pyll-something, probably not

MoN: plus Antony was a representation of an older order, being political bros with Julius Caesar

his defeat symbolically cemented Augustus’ “new” rule, which it sounds like led to a lack of renewal in practice

…anyway, the algorithm and martyrdom: I’m thinking of the superhero mask in the 8-shape with the hole in it

BB: dang Kelly, this is the hook though… another turn of the hypercube here

MoN: and the series of tiny tile-like panels that illustrate Harley musing on his father’s death and post-Vietnam trauma and a lot of other stuff I probably missed

they’re ordered but yet disordered

BB: yeah this is the portal hole, the door

the – well not technically but – exit wound

MoN: they don’t form the coherent pictures that the other algorithmic (?) panels do

in Pax an exit wound from one world/dimension/context/frame of reference is an entry wound into another

the black hole etc

BB: ah but Pres Harley is shot in the back of the head

MoN: and it goes out through his mouth

or it messes his mouth and jaw up really bad anyway

the bullet goes in through the thinking mechanism and messes up/exits via the speech mechanism

technical medical terms for the readers there

BB: this is it literally in reverse, so it is an attempt to reverse this act and undo it


emphasis on “attempt” though

the son kills the father in this case

BB: caged doves there, hmm, doves and Roman festivals

MoN: Peacemaker’s emblem is a dove

oh of course, it goes two ways

the father is the gatekeeper is time is the killer, but because of the whole Janus deal it can’t just go one way

…the bullet isn’t a/the key, is it?

am I just way out in left field here?

BB: this is what I am thinking, or a bullet and key are being posited as symmetries anyway

MoN: it’s a physicalization of the opposite of forgetting

when you forget something, it goes out of your head

the opposite of something going out of your head is something going into your head

which the bullet literally does

BB: as does an idea

MoN: exactly

and Morrison is all about the weaponization/strategic deployment of ideas

(I’m using “weaponization” in a superheroic rather than martial way here)

BB: mind bullets

MoN: ooh another thought: there are 3 heads – all of leaders – with holes in them: President Harley, his father Yellowjacket and Captain Atom.


BB: Atom is the recursive hole, he is in a hole… trigger image, concentric circles…?

the dude is a hole

MoN: I was going to write “he’s the only one who knows how to use the holes” but uh

Atom’s 4-Dness also positions him as a Janus figure: going forward/back, “walk[ing]” to the past or future

BB: my fanon is that, because Pax is structured backward, Atom appears in Superman Beyond having gone through the black hole

the multiverse map is concentric circles too

he has literally exited the world through a portal in any case

MoN: yeah there’s definitely something there re concentricity

BB: resonating spheres

MoN: also b/c of the reflection in the water, when Dr. Eden is talking to Atom about going forward, they’re visually in the same place they started from, sort of

in the structure of that page, and maybe in a larger sense, they CAN’T go forward because of the circle, the reflection, etc

also for Atom, to whom all time is basically the same, it’s probably impossible to feel like he’s going forward/backward anyway

BB: this isn’t real but is somehow true: the nature of the self-contained story

MoN: This is a thing of beauty — “like a plant, or an oyster, or John Byrne”





MK Ultra Conclusions: – this am boring waste of time,

& other Tales from the Underverse



“everything’s gone 2,5 dimensional, stop playing with the vertices in the room”


Can You Afford to Miss Our Titanic Conclusion; a story we had to call “Same Present, Different Wrapping”??!!


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