Guerilla Grodd (guerillagrodd) wrote,
Guerilla Grodd
guerillagrodd

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More Seaguy: Part the Second

This is a continuation of my thoughts on Seaguy #1. This is Seaguy #2.

I'm working from notes on this one and it feels kind of stiff. Bear with me.

We open up with a scene of Mickey Eye stormtroopers interrogating someone who is obviously Seaguy on a fantastic Easter Island-alike. The stormtroopers are asexual and indistinguishable from one another, save for a "My Name Is..." nametag.

Those name tags are ironic, anyway. Their names don't matter any more than their faces under the eyeballs do. In a way, it's even more dehumanizing. They're the very picture of Faceless Authority.

"You look suspicious," the cops say to Seaguy. You tell me what kind of people look suspicious. Those that aren't a part of the status quo, right? If you see twenty nine guys wearing black hats, and then one wearing a plaid hat, something's up with him. That's suspicious. He's not following the natural order of things. That's order again.

"We're looking for an escaped criminal," the soldiers say. "Maybe you know him. Seaguy." Now, riddle me this. Criminals, before being convicted of a crime, are suspects, right? Why is Seaguy already a criminal? He's been convicted of nothing. Why is he already a criminal? I don't know about you, but I blame malevolent authority.

I noticed something odd about issue 2. There's a kind of subtle emphasis on the fact that people are told things. A cop says, fairly early on, that "they say madness is contagious." The bold is mine, but who is "they?" If we reduce this statement, this cop only knows that madness is contagious because he was told that. The guy in the suit who is force-feeding Seaguy Xoo remarks "the last thing you'd want is for it to start thinking for itself, right?" in regards to Xoo. Seaguy says that Atlantis is as being "almost exactly as old Seadog described Plato describing it in his dialogues."

So, who here actually holds knowledge? The knowledge we're seeing here was shown to these characters, they didn't discover it for themselves. Who is the everpresent "they?" Why shouldn't we think for ourselves, if we can apply what the suit says about Xoo to people in general?

Authority, that's who. No one would believe those stories if someone without authority told it to them. Seadog is Seaguy's erstwhile mentor. He is in a position of authority. He's dispensing knowledge. One neat thing is that the knowledge he's handing out isn't necessarily correct. Atlantis is "almost exactly" like Seadog described Plato describing it, not exactly. Important distinction, there. I may be reading too deep, but that could mean that Seadog is telling Seaguy what he wants him to know.

Back to the plot, however. Seaguy has never been in trouble before. He's a good guy, always following the rules, but yearns to break those rules and have adventures. In the midst of a life-threatening sea storm, Seaguy cries, "What a night for adventure! Hang on tight, Xoo! The elements can be crafty! Ah," he continues. "This is the life." He and Chubby are chased from one of the polar ice caps (which have been covered in "Europe's dark chocolate surplus") while being chased by a bear. Seaguy is grinning as he runs.

Seaguy is only truly living his life when his life is in danger. His life being in danger is representative of whatever his ideas of heroism and adventure are and he loves it. He finds his adventure in chaos, particularly in the chaos of nature.

Seaguy's confrontation with the Xoo Industries tanker is interesting, on another level, too. Once Seaguy liberates the Xoo, it transforms into a giant monster that speaks in a language that looks vaguely mathematical and destroys the tanker that once imprisioned it. One small bit of intelligent Xoo infected the rest. It went beyond Seaguy's kind of heroism into outright changing the status quo without regard for human life. It's the Authority to Seaguy's JLA. It's too much for Seaguy. It's chaos incarnate and he ramarks, "It's not the Xoo we knew." Suddenly, the adventure isn't as fun. Seaguy's heroes allowed themselves to be made obsolete. They eventually bowed to authority.

Xoo is having none of that. The authority will be destroyed at all costs.

Seaguy's heroism is formulaic. He's just a guy who saw something he thought would be cool so he's doing it. He wants to impress She-Beard. He wants adventure. I don't think he realizes the stakes, honestly. He works hard to prove himself as a hero. He follows the guidebook to the letter, because it's what a hero does.

Chubby dies for his trouble. He riles the wasps of Atlantis and dies from their stings. Before Chubby dies, Seaguy sees a trio of Mickey Eye choppers. He screams for help from the very authority that he was fighting and trying to impose his will on, but is ignored.

Once Seaguy's adventure got too real for him, he was willing to petition authority for help. "Whoever heard of an adventure ending like this?" He's still working from his own idea of how adventures work as opposed to the reality of it. Heroism isn't quite real to him just yet. He even wakes up and thinks that his "adventure" was an "awful dream." He flirts with chaos, he isn't ready to embrace it yet.

On a side note, the wasps are mechanical. They're clock work. Therefore, they are carefully ordered. Neat coinkydink, I think.

I want to say that Chubby's death scene was pretty sad. Cam Stewart knocked the art out of the park.

Eventually, Death from issue 1 comes for Chubby. Seaguy implores Chubby to stay, but Chubby replies "I... I hafta go, Seaguy. He says I hafta go" (emphasis mine). Death is dictating to Chubby what he has to do. That's Death as (an agent of) authority again. "Your best pal is MY best pal now," Death says. He's co-opting Seaguy's sidekick, the same way that authority previously took all the heroes under its control once Anti-Dad was killed.

I'm avoiding commenting fully on the nature of Xoo because I'm still not entirely sure about it. I think what I said earlier works, but I'm not sure if it's complete.

Morrison has described this series as an odyssey. It seems almost as if Seaguy is being broken down and descending into heroism, rather than ascending. He's a fugitive from the law, so he's lost his house. Chubby is dead, so he's lost his best friend. Xoo turned out to be wholly chaotic, so his adventure is more than a little aimless. He's trapped in the middle of the ocean, so he's probably about to lose his life.

He's going through a crucible. The question is, will he break or will he live through it?
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