Does "Hellboy in Hell" Finale Signal the End of Mike Mignola's Time With the Character?
The miniseries 52: more than it appears. Oh yes. Yes indeed.
Among the godfathers of the project is Grant Morrison. Morrison, a man who loves to tie his works into larger ideas, such as the tarot card links to the Arkham Asylum graphic novel, or the Kabbalah/Mystic Spiral parallels in his Seven Soldiers of Victory maxiseries (a theory forwarded here).
Do you think that in the giant miniseries 52 he would simply abandon such methods?
Of course not.
The significance of the number fifty-two is manifold, but I believe the most obvious connection is the correct one: the standard Anglo-American deck of cards.
Stay with me. I’m going somewhere with this.
Each character in the miniseries represents a single card in the deck, and reflects the values connoted by that card. Take series star Booster Gold. A cursory examination of the character would lead one to believe that Booster, with his mercenary outlook and general foolishness, is clearly the Jack (formerly known as the “knave”) of diamonds. Diamonds=money, knave=dumbass.
You could think that…but you’d be wrong.
According to the Rouen deck, the Knave of Diamonds is Ogier, a knight of Charlemagne; according to the Parisian deck, he is Hector of Troy. Hector, the last hero of a dying city, is clearly not Booster. Ogier, a man whose name is silly, could indeed stand in for Booster Gold, another man with a silly name, but the Ogier of legend is a Dane. Booster is clearly not Danish, as his speech is free of that cool “o” with a slash through it, a telltale sign of Danitude.
So what card does he represent? What aspect of humanity is Michael Jon “Booster” Gold? Without question, he is the Ace of Clubs. Duh. The numerological significance of the number one fits Booster–it symbolizes the individual, the aggressor. Booster, stripped of his friend and his ties to the superhero fraternity, is truly a man alone. The club? The club is not a weapon of war, but rather the abstraction of an acorn. What is the acorn, but an oak waiting to be born? Who is Booster Gold, if not the individualist who is unready, the seed ready to become the mighty oak, albeit a mighty oak in yellow ski goggles? He is the One, the Solitary, both the highest and the lowest, the key to a royal flush or a really good blackjack hand.
Then we have his companion, the robot Skeets. Skeets is clearly the nine of diamonds. Hell, he just looks like the nine of diamonds, doesn’t he? As we all know, the nine symbolizes…
(SFX: deet deet!)
Wait, wait. Hold on. Time for meds. Doot dee doo…
(HJ rereads the first four issues of 52)
But I stand by my theory that the series ‘Mazing Man was all an elaboration on the deeper allegorical meanings of Connect Four.
“Pretty sneaky, sis.”
Pretty sneaky, indeed.
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