Monday, November 14, 2011

Demon Knights #2 Annotations

Yeah, yeah. Issue #3 is already out, so I have some catching up to do...


Our heroes (Jason Blood/Etrigan, Madame Xanadu, Vandal Savage, Shining Knight, Al Jabr, and Exoristos) are enjoying a pint in the small town of Little Spring when it is attacked by outriders from the Questing Queen's Horde. Meanwhile, our other hero (Horsewoman) is traveling to the town to warn its citizens that the Horde is approaching.

Page 1, Panel 1

The people of Little Spring are referring to what we would think of dinosaurs as "dragons". A popular theory, posed by Stanford folklorist Adrienne Mayor, is that fossil evidence of prehistoric creatures, such as dinosaurs, may have inspired many of our mythological creatures, such as dragons.

Some Young Earth creationists argue that dinosaurs and humans did live simultaneously. For example, Whitcomb and Morris in The Genesis Flood.

Of course, the scientifically agreed-upon theory is that dinosaurs went extinction about 65.5 million years ago.

Panel 2

The "strangers" are no doubt our very own Demon Knights.

Page 2

When has Vandal Savage eaten dinosaur before?

Of course, eating reptiles is not unheard of, even in our culture today. Snakes, alligators, and turtles are all relatively common delicacies.

Page 4, Panel 1

Al Jabr makes the distinction between "true" dragons, our dinosaurs, and "heraldic" ones, which we will see later.

"They're rumored to still live". Enough sightings of dinosaur-like creatures occur in the present that some people believe this may be true.

Panel 2

Al Jabr appears to be using something similar to a taser. Tasers were developed in 1969, so Al Jabr is far ahead of his time.

Panel 3

Madame Xanadu having "used up all [her] prepared magic" reminds me old-school roleplaying games like Final Fantasy I, where the casters could only cast a small number of spells before resting.

Page 5, Panel 1

Shining Knight's comment parallels that of many comic book readers who wonder about the practicality of the skimpy costumes of so many female characters.

Page 8, Panel 1

Alaric may be named after Alaric I, King of the Visigoths and leader who sacked Rome in 410. We've already seen that the citizens of Little Spring are very proud of the invasions of Rome, based on the name of the inn seen in the last issue. The name is derived from the Gothic "Alareiks", which means "ruler of all".

Theod (or þéod) is Old English for "nation, people, or tribe". Theodism is the name given to modern Germanic paganism. Although, based on Father Theod here and the monk seen last issue, Little Spring appears to be populated by Catholics. Historically, the Goths converted to Christianity by the 4th Century, fives centuries before this story takes place.

Panel 3

Recall that Horsewoman was sent to Little Spring to warn the town of the Horde's approach by a monk she saved last issue.

Page 9, Panel 4

Osric is an Anglo-Saxon name, combining the words for "god" and "rich, powerful". There were at least four Anglo-Saxon kings named Osric.

This is the first time on-panel that the citizens of Little Spring are identified as Goths. The Goths were a Germanic tribe, originally from what is now Sweden, who immigrated to Eastern Europe before launching raids on the Roman Empire. They eventually established kingdoms all across Europe.

Saracen was a catch-all term for Muslims in the Middle Ages.

Page 10, Panel 1

The Goths split into the Visigoths and Ostrogoths in the 3rd century. Basically, the Visigoths were the western Goths and Ostrogoths the eastern Goths. The citizens of Little Spring are thus probably Visigoths.

One of Vandal Savage's main character traits is claiming that he took part in pretty much every major event in history, so it's not surprising that he claims to have been a general in the Horde at one point.

Page 12

The attackers appear to be riding pterosaurs, which, contrary to popular belief, are not actually dinosaurs.

Page 13, Panel 3

Horsewoman appears to have found the "heraldic dragons" which the Questing Queen summoned several pages ago. Heraldry was the emblazoning of arms. Perhaps "heraldic" here is denoting the more traditional appearance of a legendary dragon, which these mechanical beasts have.

Page 14, Panel 1

Telescopes were invented in the Netherlands in 1608.

Emir was a title in the Muslim world meaning "commander", "general", or "prince".

Panel 2

Father Theod is likely talking about chess, which began as the Indian game caturaṅga and spread to Europe in the 9th century.

Septimus is a Latin name meaning "seventh".

Panel 3

Pigeons have been used to carry messages since the Egyptians and Persians started using them around 1000 BC.

Page 16

Notice that Vandal Savage is blocking arrows with a haunch of dinosaur meat!

Page 17, Panel 2

Enter Vanguard, Shining Knight's faithful steed.

Page 20

"Maleficent Seven" is a play on Magnificent Seven, which Cornell has stated in an interview as being an inspiration for Demon Knights. "Maleficent" means "harmful or evil in intent or effect".

No comments:

Post a Comment