One of my favourite genres of fiction is that of the post-apocalyptic world, but it is also a relatively uncommon one as it is hard to set a functional story in them. The concept of a post-apocalyptic world is one which is a sort of variation on the dystopian one (another favourite genre) that of a future world gone wrong. Although it has its roots in themes which are constants through fiction the very concept is sort of reliant on the technology or the advanced society of the world destroying itself. The genre has been better represented since the end of the Second World War as mankind unleashed the destructive power of the atom, but other reasons for apocalypse other than doomsday devices exists including destruction of the environment, society run amuck, the rise of robots or messing with aspects of science that we don’t understand. The only exception to the post-apocalyptic world as a reflection of our own actions is that of the combination with another genre of fiction, zombies (though even in some cases the zombies are as a result of our own folly.) In terms of post-apocalyptic stories though I came across an interesting one while I was reading 52 recently. A sector of the universe is overrun by some great evil, and the people look to Lobo to lead them as their religious leader. This touches on a couple of other concepts which are common in the genre. The first would be that of total destruction and hopelessness. This was a theme within The Road which sort of ties into things which are happening here. Lobo’s followers have lost all hope and they are burning their cultural artifacts to stay warm. Of course this is not as depressing as The Road was which shows mankind as hanging on to seemingly nothing, but it is kind of the same point if well beyond it. The other interesting aspect of the events in 52 is that of religion. Of course religion serves to give some direction to a group facing annihilation, but the interesting aspect here is finding religious guidance from such a strange leader. The Mist (both the novel and the movie) is arguably a post-apocalyptic movie, but even though it is intended as a horror, there are elements here of post-apocalypse, at least in a microcosm as a group of individuals are trapped inside a grocery store when a dimensional portal opens up and out pops a bunch of monsters. The plot here follows basically how to survive, and one of the characters takes it upon herself to be their spiritual leader. Of course she is in most ways nothing more than a raving lunatic, but faced with their own destruction these people look anywhere they can for guidance. Of course there are many different aspects of this genre of fiction, just I found it interesting to have two of them presented here in such a manner from a series for which this is not the main focus.
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