Maybe tomorrow, woman.

April 30th, 2007 by | Tags: , , ,

From The Invisibles volume 3: Entropy in the UK:

Have you ever wondered why we talk of “spelling”? There is a spell word implanted in the brain of every English-speaking child, the root mantra of restriction, the secret name of a mighty hidden demon: “eybeesee dee ee eff geeaitcheye jai kayell emenn ohpeequeue are ess tee youveedouble you ex wyezed”. That name and all the names it generates were designed to set limits upon humanity’s ability to express abstract thought. What you see depends entirely upon the words you have to describe what you see. Nothing exists unless we say it.

Ever read Orwell’s 1984? The idea that no one will ever be able to revolt if they cannot think of the ideas to revolt is this in action.

There is an issue of Morrison’s JLA that deals with this, though I’ve only just now realized it. A robot named Tomorrow Woman is created by T.O. Morrow and Professor Ivo for the purpose of infiltrating the Justice League and wiping their minds with an EMP bomb.

The trick is that they didn’t want her to have free will, so they left the word “freedom” out of her programming.

In the end, she chooses to be a hero anyway. As she lay dying in Superman’s arms, the only thing she can say is something like “Term not found *klik*.” It was really kind of a touching scene, despite a robot (robotette? gynoid?) dying in Electric Blue Flavored Superman’s arms.

Interesting stuff. Just thought I’d put that out there. I don’t think that these ran at the same time. This would’ve been issue 19 of Invisibles, putting it at what, 95? I think Morrison’s JLA started in 1996. Maybe these were done around the same time.

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8 comments to “Maybe tomorrow, woman.”

  1. A friend of mine who was exposing me to comics again gave me that particular issue of JLA. I did and still do appreciate the idea of optimism in the face of something like that Orwellian concept of hopelessness.

    Anyway, sort of reminds me of the experiments Warren Ellis was doing before he wrote “The Authority”, what with that whole analog of the damn team in the last few issues of “X-Man.” Along with X-Man jumping to different worlds and such.

  2. brothers: I remember wanting to be moved by the Tomorrow Woman stuff.

    I think her introduction and induction were too quick for her departure and demise to warrant much of an emotional response.

    rotor: I didn’t know about the JLA analog at the end of X-MAN. I was so disappointed that the book was fell so low after reaching such heights (of fun and purdiness, anyway), that I dropped it and only looked back long enough to keep from turning into a pillar of salt.

    I should finish the run, one day, just cuz.

  3. West: I do agree that she is one character that would’ve benefitted from today’s more decompressed stories.

    I read the last half dozen or so issues of X-Man a while back, and I’ve got to say that they were much, much better than the beginning of the Counter X run. Good ideas, okay to good execution, mostly. Well worth finishing, if only to look at it with today’s eye.

  4. Thanks. I’ll see about scooping’em up.

  5. Not my first choice, as far as how that just went… but hey, cool.

    I only read the issues of X-Man where Ellis began co-writing. And I would say, based on that, that hermanos’ assessment is spot on. I did attempt to read the rest of the issues that were in my possession at the time; however, I didn’t and don’t quite have that kind of fortitude.

  6. Didn’t Ariel Olivetti do the art on those X-Man issues, too? it’s interesting to compare the Olivetti of X-Man (IIRC) and the Olivetti of Punisher War Journal/Space Ghost. Same thing with Pasqual Ferry, his Superboy stuff is wildly different from his Ultimate Fantastic Four/Adam Strange stuff!

  7. Yep, it was him. The art definitely is something to compare then and now, though I haven’t read War Journal past the first issue and I’ve only glanced at Space Ghost (nothing against the book, juat some circumstantial stuff). It’s such a change/evolution/buzzword.

    What issues of Ultimate Fantastic Four did Ferry do? Is it worth reading?

  8. He did the opening arc of Mike Carey’s run “God War,” which was kind of like What If the Forever People Were Marvel Characters and Thanos was Awesome.

    I dug it. Carey is doing great things with that book. He’s on for the next arc, too, “Silver Surfer,” which begins shipping next month.