SO it was that on April 23, 2018, the universe was emptied of half its living beings by the titan known as Thanos. It was the midnight of life. “Apokalips, Apokalips, Apokalipsapokalips”, goes the maestro, M. Nasir.
And weeks later, the realm called Malaysia lost a mighty host of Barisan Nasional lawmakers. It was the dawn of new life. “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die,” so says wicked Cersei.
The telling of these portentous events, of what was to come, was done on a forested hill in Jenaris, and of these words you may discover at https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2018/04/359399/election-story-....
The truth is, the end of the world did it seem to be in Avengers: Infinity War. For men, women and children cried and shrieked as favoured heroes dissolved into the abyss of nothingness. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
But Thanos and Death’s victory is incomplete. The final revelatory chapter is soon to be upon us; its heralds are already among us. In the social media cosmos, these souls speak without end about the deaths that were, and the deaths that are to come, and the mourning that must follow.
Wretched words such as these are commonplace: “We’ve often explained that Endgame, like Infinity War, will break our hearts…” and, “[w]e’ll soon get the answers we’ve been waiting for. Just make sure you bring enough tissues”.
But for those who have lived long enough, and read comics for an eternity, there is no need for weeping and gnashing of teeth. They know this. And I, too, for I am one of these ‘old souls’, and much do I know of the lore of comicdom.
In the worlds of Marvel and DC, many have died. Their names are known well enough by those who live in this superhero-dominated age; Superman, Batman, Nick Fury, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Iron Man and Bucky.
There are more. Among them, even the immortal scion of Asgard, Thor. In a battle with Jormungand so colossal that it silenced the blazing stars and the gods, he was reduced to an unliving mass of flesh, and fans were reduced to tears. “Odin’s son embraced his doom without despair, slew the serpent, broke the world’s silence.”
But the story arc, money, a new generation of writers, and more money, brought all of the dead back to life.
In the comic world then, death is certainly not the end, not even the epilogue. And so it is in the cinematic universe. Not if fans and capitalism can help it.
Two score years from now, if cinemas still exist, and Hollywood, too, and if imagination and ideas are as scarce as they are today, expect your favourite heroes to be resurrected. Their work will be to fight more villainy, and to bring in more money.
As it is in comics and cinema, so it is in politics. Barisan Nasional was evicted from the seat of power, and shattered and scattered into the howling winds of dismay.
But those who rejoiced, or wept, over the passing of House of Barisan, must needs wipe away the smirk and the scowl.
From other lands the lessons come. Some politicians and parties never really die. They, unlike the old soldiers, don’t even fade away. Peron, Trudeau and Gaulle are among them. The citizens’ wrathful storm wrenches them away, but the untameable winds also bring them back.
This may one day be the tale of the House of BN too. Scattered in the wind it was, but I think it will not be reduced to irredeemable ashes, as was the terrible fate of House Tyrell in Game of Thrones. The ambition of women and men, and the vicissitudes of the voters’ moods, may yet resurrect the coalition.
Indeed, it is within the power of mortals to accomplish such resurrections. In the comics, movies and in the ephemeral real world. So do not linger in sadness if your favoured superheroes/politicians ‘die’. Did not maestro Nasir also say in his apocalyptic song, “Bila-bila boleh naik dan turun” (Life goes up and down, anytime)?
The writer is NST production editor
* Picture is of the cover of ‘Marvel Super-Heroes’, May 1981