Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Connecting Sontag, tsunamis ... and Sue Dibny

In The Washington Post, columnist Jabari Asim ponders the death of Susan Sontag, the conclusion of Identity Crisis, and, well, the human condition:
... As the team struggles to identify and capture a slippery opponent, they are seen grieving, feuding and lying to each other just like ordinary mortals.

In the course of their efforts, a debate emerges between those in favor of striking first against their enemies with overwhelming force -- a shock-and-awe kind of thing -- and those more comfortable with a cautious, coalition-building approach. Green Arrow, who favors the first option, portrays the conflict as a war on terror: "They'd love nothing more than to know where our wives are ... where our children sleep. If they knew where your mother lived, they'd slice her throat, then go out for a beer." Flash, on the other hand, argues for kinder, gentler crime-fighting techniques.

A gifted synthesist like Sontag would know how to draw a profound connection between the mysteries confronted in a comic-book series and the massive, unpredictable mysteries of the real world. As for myself, I can only put down my reading and wonder: One day, 100,000 people are going about their daily tasks. The next day they are gone.