Thursday, November 08, 2018

The mind parasite

How do you trap the most powerful being in the world?

In the classic story Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow, writer Alan Moore has Superman attacked by an alien parasite which attaches to him and puts him a coma, trapped by a dream.
In the dream, Superman is back in his home world Krypton, living a happy life in a world which has not exploded ever (unlike reality, which is why he is exiled here on Earth).

But very gradually, irregularities start kreeping in, and the dream becomes less and less happy. This eventually leads to Superman being able to wake up, freeing himself.

I was thinking: why does the plant not simply make the dream perfect, so he would want to stay there?
Simple: it’s not the plant making the dream after all, it’s Superman’s mind. And he wants to wake up. So he makes the dream unpleasant enough that he *wants* to wake up.

I thought that this explains a lot.


Ol'Ben said...

I prefer the explanation that the Mind Parasite is incompletely adapted to Kryptonians. The perfectly adapted parasite is the one which allows the host to live on, albeit impaired. In this case that means sufficiently in touch with the waking world to continue gathering food (or mental stimuli?) for the parasite to produce several litters of offspring.

Fortunately, since there are so few Kryptonians left, it can never adapt further ... to Kryptonians, anyway! Now what is the current human population of Planet Earth?!? Something seems to be infesting our minds with violent delusions these days!!!

Joe Dick said...

I hated that story. Although I've liked a few Alan Moore comics, mostly I think he's overrated. Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow was not the way to end the Curt Swan era - the tone of it completely went counter to that whole era, which was just about stupid, wacky, ridiculous adventures where Superman is basically a god. The "complex," almost anti-hero Superman that came after did not appeal to me at all.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

The funny thing is that Alan Moore (and myself) would agree with you. Moore did not like the down-sized Superman of Byrne, and what he did with Supreme and Tom Strong, like the latter *running* across the galaxy taking a step on each planet, was a tribute to the fantastical nature of some of the best Supes stories.

Joe Dick said...

I liked Tom Strong, will have to give Supreme a try.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I think all the titles from America’s Best Comics were really good, though they were very different.