Page 45 Review by Stephen
"Oh, God. Oh, this light in everything. This is reality. This is it."
"Oh, God, baby, I love you...."
I cannot think of another instance when we'd have chosen the final volume of a series as our Comicbook of the Month, but that really is how highly both Tom and I rate this moving testament to the miracle of life, the power of the mind, the wonders of the imagination, and the art of communication. Mark adored it too.
As soon as I dip into any of these books, I am enormously affected almost to the point of tears, and if any one of them is going to do it, it's this one, as the world experiences the most beautiful apocalypse you can imagine: a joining of minds, a rapture of emotion, and a wave of revelation.
Here's Promethea. She's talking to you. To us. To everyone.
"Ah. It's you. Good. I've been waiting a long time to talk to you. Come and sit by the fire."
"Thank you. But... But I'm not really here, am I? This room isn't real. Nor are you. This is all a story, something I'm dreaming or reading..."
"Hmm. Perhaps you're right. Although isn't having a dream or reading a book a real experience? After all, real or not, this room is where your awareness is currently centred. And someone's talking to you."
"Well, yes, but... I mean, if it's a dream, it's my own subconscious talking. If it's a book, it's just some writer. Either way, you're a fiction."
"Ha ha! You're wonderful. You're always so difficult. Ohhhh... don't look hurt. I just meant that's one of the reasons I love you. You're stubborn. You don't just accept things. Okay, now listen to me. Yes, PROMETHEA's fiction. Nobody ever claimed otherwise. I never lied. I'm at least an honest fiction. A true fiction. A fiction that can enter your dreams, possess her creators, talk through them to you. I'm an idea. But I'm a real idea. I'm the idea of the human imagination... which, when you think about it, is the only thing we can really be certain isn't imaginary. No, don't say anything. Just hold my hand and listen. Your hand's warm. That's nice. It makes this all sort of girlfriendly. See, I'm imagination. I'm real, and I'm the best friend you ever had. Who do you think got your all this cool stuff? The clothes you're wearing. The room, the house, the city that you're in. Everything in it started out in the human imagination. Your lives, your personalities, your whole world. All invented. All made up. All the wars, the romances. The masterpieces and machines. And there's nothing here but a funny little twist of amino acids, playing a marvelous game of pretend. Nothing here but me and you. Me and you, little lifesnake. By the fire where we've always been since this room was a cave. Do you remember? When you first thought you saw things in the flames, in the dancing shadows... and you need me to tell you a tale. A story grand and glorious."
Of course, it didn't start out like this. It started out with a young girl in a science-obsessed city researching the myth of Promethea. It looked like it was going to be a bizarre sort of WONDER WOMAN series, with running gags like the Weeping Gorilla adverts on billboards - and all very entertaining it was too. But as Sophie Bangs learned about Promethea, and became Promethea, and as she embarked on her own journey of spiritual understanding, the series itself underwent a gradual transformation into something far more metaphysical. And in spite of my aversion to psychobabble, it never lost me once. Quite the reverse. There's a sequence where Sophie and Barbara (a former Promethea) enter the fifth sphere of Geburah, Mars, and - it being the nature of that sphere - fall prey to their own anger. At that point I was struggling in a self-absorbed anger trap of my own, and it actually pulled me out of it. As Promethea says here, "That's how it is with stories. They're always really about you, aren't they? And they always have a beginning... and there's always an ending. For all stories. For everyone."
"The sun is rising. Know yourself."
And I do, a little better, for having read this.