Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Monitor's Satellite and other 1980s UFOs...

I was pleasantly surprised this week to see The Monitor's Satellite as a main focus in Grant Morrison's Multiversity series from DC, once again collecting heroes from many worlds to fight a grave threat to existence.

from Multiversity #1, Morrison & Reis (Comics Alliance)

It's one of my favorite sci-fi designs from the 1980s. George Perez created it for the Crisis on Infinte Earths comic book series, which premiered in 1985. However, the seeds for the crisis were planted as far back as the New Teen Titans series in '82, with the satellite making a first appearance in the July issue.

Monitor's Satellite (1985) (DC Wikia)

I imagine there are a relatively small number of people who would be able to identify this craft, at least as opposed to that other 1985 sci-fi hunk of metal, The Death Star. Yet, I find it somehow iconic enough in its simplicity to use as a symbol in my tarot card series.

Nine of Swords (DeviantArt)

I don't come to Crisis as a fan. In 1985, all I knew about the "DC Universe" would have been what I saw on the Super-Friends TV show, which aired in an after-school local syndication slot. Most of my focus that year would have been taken up by the post-Return of the Jedi Star Wars aesthetic, quickly being overtaken by the Transformers world of mecha.

ROTJ Death Star (1984) (Wikipedia)

Interestingly, I find both Cybertron and the second Death Star to be similar expressions of a rotting, mechanical civilization. They are definitely pessimistic in color scheme and design; if I was assigning them to a tarot card, I think The Tower would be the best choice.

animated series Cybertron (1984) (Transformers wikia)

George Perez' design, by contrast, reveals a detailed, solid round object, with a wonderful golden glow. Carl Jung saw glowing globes or discs as symbols for civilization's tranformation, a new mythology that was appearing in people's dreams as well as in the media, reported as UFOs. It's a harbinger of change to come, but change that brings destruction with it. Worlds will live. Worlds will die.

Vintage McDonalds Flying Saucer Happy Meal Container
And Ronald McDonald has come to judge us all. Happy Meal Container c1983
(Jadedoz on Flickr)

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