The charted cosmos


I think in a certain way I approach comics differently from other people.  Of course I appreciate the characters and the stories as much as anyone else, but there is a bit of vicarious pleasure for me in them.  This is not in the sense that I like to project myself on their actions but rather on their destinations.  Most people know me as someone somewhat addicted to travel, I think there is no better way to expand one’s mind.  What comics therefore allow to me is this sense of exploring the unknown and in many cases in a way that would otherwise be impossible.  This takes on different forms, for instance Wonder Woman allows me to see a mythological world where things like Themyscira or Mount Olympus or the Cavern of Souls actually exists.  In a difference sense the mod girl of Wonder Woman allows me to visit not only a place but a time as well.  My favourite application of this vicarious visiting of other places though is in the cosmic stories.  Although such things as mythological places or places in a different time seem foreign to me, there is still some grounding in reality as they are based on either aspects of ourselves that we see in a different way (the myths) or something which we have done (time).  I prefer DC to Marvel for a reason that I can’t say, probably mostly because I read them since I was a child and my favourite character (Wonder Woman) belongs there, and so my appreciation for cosmic stories also veers towards DC.  Recently though I have been reading 52, the massive story arc with numerous different plotlines and one thing struck me in reference to one of them (the one where Starfire, Animal Man and Adam Strange are lost in space).  Some accounts vary on this as the exact scope of the knowledge of the Guardians, in that they might be only be all knowing about the galaxy we are in, but generally speaking they are regarded as all knowing about the entire universe (as there name implies) and that the universe is tidily cut into 3600 pieces each of which represents a sector.  Of course the logistics behind that are a little off, as some sectors would be mostly empty, but the underlying idea of it is that there is nowhere in the universe that they don’t know about.  I am a little more lost when it comes to Marvel cosmic, I am not as aware of it as I am of cosmic DC stories, but as far as I know this is not the case, or if it is, this knowledge is not as accessible for the average characters as it would be for someone at DC to just ask any member of the Green Lantern Corps.  Thus while I do like the DC cosmic stories they are still lacking a little bit of this sense of the uncharted void which Marvel has.  Of course, reading through any number of issues there is always a new planet showing up, it just seems that the Corps is never very far.

2 Comments
2 Comments
Posted by SC

Great blog! I have similar appreciation for the unknown via way of just the sheer scope of the Universe. I am not sure why, but as cool as something like a Source Wall sounds to me, the idea of it also sort of robs me of a certain mystery. In most of the Marvel stories I read there is often implication that well there is more out there. That even the big technological powers, mystic powers, cosmic powers aren't that well versed in everything out there. I like the uncharted Void, and the things that might hide there. Still, I view this as how writers approach things. Good writers can inject mystery and surprise in ether scenario. 

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Posted by KingofMadCows

I would guess that the reason why the Guardians know so much about the universe is because they were around when the universe was much smaller. A lot of what they know about the present day universe could just be based on calculations made using the data they gathered billions of years ago when the universe was a fraction of its current size.