His initials are J.C., and here you see him on the cross. note
Imagine if the world's nations started an entirely different arms race. One where they strove to create the most powerful superhuman, either to solve some problem plaguing the nation or, more obviously, as a weapon. This is the world of Supergod.
Created by Warren Ellis
, this is his third miniseries for Avatar Press
that deals with superhumans. Black Summer
had superhumans who were too human
, and No Hero
's superhumans were inhumane. In Supergod
, the superhumans just aren't human at all anymore. They don't see the world the same way you do. Their thinking and morality is claimed to be on an entirely alien level, and their ways of solving problems are truly monstrous.
Or at least that's what the drunken, drug-addled, guilt-ridden, suicidal Unreliable Narrator
keeps telling us.
The mini-series lasted for 5 issues, from October, 2009 to December, 2010.
This comicbook provides examples of:
- After the End: The series starts with a scientist (Simon Reddin) recounting how a war between the superhumans destroyed the world.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Krishna is a fusion of super-genius AI, human DNA and molecular nanomachines. He's programmed to save India from its various domestic problems. He fulfils his mission...to apocalyptic effect.
- Apocalypse How: Class 3 A. Possibly leaning towards Class 5 in the end since the only sure survivor is an Eldritch Abomination. Pockets of humanity are holding out in bunkers, but the world is pretty much finished.
- Arc Words: "Mushrooms grow on dead things."
- Beware the Superman: A running theme in Ellis' work for Avatar Press thus far. See also Black Summer and No Hero.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The "supergods".
- Body Horror: This is Maitreya's specialty. His first act was even transforming dozens of humans into a musical instrument, and the rest into a biological space probe.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Dajjal seems to be talking to the reader during his introduction.
- Cool Versus Awesome: Just about every battle qualifies, but issue two gives us a dead astronaut versus a dead cosmonaut. The astronaut is a cyborg, the cosmonaut is a human brain inside of a robot body.
- Covers Always Lie: See the page picture? That guy on it never really makes an appearance, or at least, none of the "heroes" wear the traditional superhero garb.
- Crapsack World: And the supergods only made it worse.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Every battle against Krishna ends up being one of these. Until the end, that is.
- Cyborg: Jerry Craven and Perun.
- Did You Just Curb Stomp Cthulhu: Krishna vs. Maitreya. Doubly funny/awesome considering that Maitreya's flesh-construct literally looks like Cthulhu.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: The scientists kneeling in prayer and masturbation before the undead abomination Morrigan Lugus. Shown on-panel, thankfully not in graphic detail.
- Deity of Human Origin: Lots of them.
- Driven to Suicide: Reddin. The final panels show him going to sacrifice himself to his undead "God", Morrigan Lugus.
- Also, Dajjal, who sees/exists across all possible branching timelines, blows himself up and takes Krishna and Jerry Craven with him, because their decision not to fight but rather to work together to save the world was going to make it all so damn happy and boring he couldn't stand it.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Malak, panicking after being thrown into space by Krishna, extends his matter-destroying field to its maximum extent, accidentally smashing the Moon into gravel in the process.
- Not quite Earth-shattering but certainly apocalyptic – Dajjal detonates his internal power source, wiping out most of Eurasia in a single gigantic flash.
- Eldritch Abomination: Morrigan Lugus. Physically it's a three-faced giant composed of the bodies of a trio of unfortunate astronauts fused with a mass of alien mushrooms. Mentally it's an entity beyond human comprehension whose mere presence warps the human mind. Also, in the final issue Maitreya builds Cthulhu out of an untold amount of people and rides on its shoulder to do battle with Krishna.
- Festering Fungus: Morrigan Lugus to a truly horrifying extent.
- From Bad to Worse: From the beginning we know that the world ends up getting wrecked, but somehow Ellis manages to make each issue hit harder and harder until the very end. Ras goes nuclear in Somalia. Libertador goes nuclear in Venezuela. The environment is ruined. Chunks of the moon are raining down on Earth. Coastal cities are flooded. Parts of continents are lost. Humanity is mostly extinct. Jerry Craven surrenders to Krishna, who kisses him on the lips - then Dajjal shows up and basically says, "The Singularity is boring! Kill 'em All!" - and detonates his power source, destroying most of Eurasia along with Jerry Craven and Krishna. And in the words of the narrator: "Finally, things got as worse as they could." Morrigan Lugus, the last surviving superhuman/weaponised god, inherits the Earth. Just as planned. Mushrooms grow on dead things.
- Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: One of the creepiest aspects of Morrigan Lugus. In spite of being a huge bloated undead abomination, its presence biochemically forces human brains into a state of religious and sexual ecstasy, making the humans kneel before it in prayer and masturbation. Oh, and the same spores that have this effect on the brain also destroy the lungs – the first groups of scientists studying Morrigan Lugus died when their lungs literally started talking to them.
- God Is Flawed: The concept of "God" is a flawed concept caused by a biological flaw in the evolution of mankind. Thus, trying to create Gods would have been a very very bad idea... even if you didn't weaponize them... and base them on flawed humans.
- Godzilla Threshold: Letting Morrigan Lugus out. Letting any of the supergods out, really.
- Good Is Not Nice: Maitreya is initially portrayed this way, with him brutally liberating the political prisoners he was ordered to murder. And let's not forget Krishna, whose idea of "saving India" involves killing nine out of ten Indians. For a start.
- Hive Mind: Reddin has the (probably foolish) hope that Morrigan Lugus absorbs mental aspects of the (now billions of) people it grows on.
- How We Got Here: The entire story is Dr. Reddin narrating how the world got as bad as it did.
- Hope Spot: Most of Chapter 5 - Krishna, satisfied that he's decreased India's population to sustainable levels, stops killing and starts rebuilding, infinitely better than before. He Curb Stomps Maitreya. Jerry Craven surrenders without a fight, saying he's tired of war. Then...
- Humanoid Abomination: Several of the Supergods, especially Maitreya, Malak and Dajjal, although Dajjal's pushing the limits of "humanoid".
- Humongous Mecha: Conspicuously averted. Dr. Reddin even comments on how he is surprised that Japan didn't have one.
Reddin: You know what really surprised me, in all this? That the Japanese didn't have some giant nuclear god-Jesus death robot up their sleeves. Right up until the end, I really did hope that something like that would show up.
- I Love the Dead: The scientists kneeling in prayer and masturbation before the undead abomination Morrigan Lugus. Shown on-panel, thankfully not in graphic detail.
- Jesus Was Crazy: The narration about "JC" builds up in this direction, but ultimately averts it as JC instead turns out to be the Only Sane Man who tries to make peace with Krishna.
- Let's You and Him Fight: The superhuman's motivations for going at it are... not always well-explained.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: "Libertador" in Venezuela blew up the facility in which it was made before it was released, or the project just had another kind of error, leading to it not actually coming to fruition.
- The Omniscient: Dajjal can see emergent timelines and the new timelines born from every action. To the point where he actually responds to and corrects the narration because he can "see" Reddin talking about him in the future.
- Organic Technology: Morrigan Lugus to an extent. The narrator claims that it's a mycological computer on a meat substrate; in other words, a fungal computer.
- Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Defied to the point of mankind's extinction. Morrigan Lugus claimed that faith itself is a biological flaw, and implied that a technological civilization that fails to transcend this flaw cannot survive.
- Porn Stash: When asked why he exists, Morrigan Lugus says a lot of unflattering things about mankind and himself. His concluding remark is that he is their stash.
- He's also referring to being their drug stash; "Religion is the opium of the masses," after all, and he explains how acts of worship induce the production of naturally occurring in the body drugs.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Morrigan Lugus gives one to a younger Reddin. One of Warren Ellis' better speeches in a career full of great ones, this one on the failure of religion to encourage ethical behavior and the failure of humans to transcend that failure. See the quotes page for the whole Wall of Text.
- Rule of Creepy: Basic premise for the entire work, it seems. And the author really goes out of his way.
- Space Is Magic: Part of Morrigan Lugus' origin involves three astronauts with minimal radiation shielding encountering a mysterious space-born fungus.
- Sliding Scale of Unavoidable vs. Unforgivable: The narrator ponder this a lot, especially regarding the actions of the various supergods.
- Stealth Pun: The narrator comments on Maitreya making a "musical instrument" and a space probe shortly after his awakening. They resemble a penis, or "meat whistle", and an over-sized spermatozoa, respectively.
- Surrogate Soliloquy: Simon Reddin records his thoughts for an unseen listener (on what would appear to be a tape recorder) as if he's actually having a conversation with the other person. Considering that the other person is said to be in America, the world is ending and the human race is pretty much gonna die, the chances of the other party receiving the message are pretty low.
- Taking You with Me: Dajjal takes this to genocidal levels, killing off a billion people and dooming the world as a part of his suicide. To make it worse, he claims to do it simply because he's bored with how perfect the world is about to become with JC and Krishna working together.
- The Extremist Was Right: If Dajjal is to be believed and based on evidence toward the end Krishna truly was making the world a better place and solving all of its problems.
- Unreliable Narrator: Reddin's drunk, depressed, hungry, medicated, traumatized and horny. He does mention that his actual inside information is limited, and some of the stuff we see is just his speculations. He also mentions that he wasn't exactly considered sane before things started going to hell either.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: How Krishna approaches India's problems.
- Walking Wasteland: Malak.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Krisha was programmed to solve India's problems and protect it. It truly seeks to carry out its orders in the most efficient way possible. Virtually every action of Krisha's has a reason behind it that in the long run is intended to improve it. If Dajjal's comments are any indication Krishan was right.
- What the Hell Are You?: A younger Reddin once asked this of Morrigan Lugus. It answered with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, concluding that it is humanity's "stash" – an object of worship allowing humans to feed their addiction to gods.
- Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": At the end, JC claims that he doesn't think Krishna has done anything wrong at all. After Krishna did his own little Final Solution on a large part of the population of India. And yes, this earns JC an Only Sane Man pedestal from the Unreliable Narrator (although it's pretty clear that neither are exactly sane by that point).
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Pretty much all of the scientists, politicians and bureaucrats behind the various Supergod projects.
- Zeroth Law Rebellion: Krishna is, among other things, a super-advanced AI programmed to protect India. Naturally, he starts with protecting it from overpopulation.