Saturday, March 29, 2008

Joe Casey Comics: Wildcats #10

[Continuing my look at Joe Casey's run on Wildcats. New posts Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.]

Most of this issue revolves around Emp's role as a father--of Kenyan and of Spartan.

If you'll recall, issue nine ended with Emp telling Kenyan that he wants him to him. This causes Kenyan to react with shock and an unwillingness to kill Emp--something that he's seemed very willing to do up until this point. Emp delivers a monologue that hints more at Kenyan's "creation" and how he has been obsessed with Emp. A story of drugging up a Daemonite so that when Emp finally killed it, Kenyan could fly by so that Emp knew he was involved--but didn't take the time to kill a horribly weakened and fatigued Emp. Emp recognises that Kenyan's entire existence is wrapped up in rebelling against Emp, of working against him. If he were to kill Emp, he would lose all meaning in his life. He just wants to try to kill Emp, not actually do it.

Spartan, on the other hand, is the loyal son and, after Kenyan kills himself, kills Emp as requested. It is the final step in Emp's ascension to Kherubim high lord status and the process of death involves a substantial energy discharge--Emp assumed that Kenyan killing him would also kill Kenyan.

Kenyan ends his life in another rebellion--if Emp wants Kenyan to kill him, Kenyan will kill himself instead. He gives Emp death, but not the death he wants. In the end, Kenyan is entirely true to himself, mostly because he finally recognises the truth about himself. He sees how empty and shallow his life has been--how pointless the war has been.

This issue also marks the end of the WildC.A.T.S. officially. The war is over, the Kherubim is dead. Before he dies, Emp calls Spartan a "good soldier," because Spartan is not just the good son, he follows orders--however, he is not happy to do so. The energy discharge destroys his clothes and he tells Grifter not to stare at him before flying away. Spartan has ended the war on Earth by killing Emp and, in the process, eliminated all meaning in their lives.

The issue ends with a text piece on war and soldiers. It suggests that the real war, the personal war, begins when both sides are gone and the desire for survival is no longer primary. Emp and Kenyan, the two sides of this war, are dead, which means the new war with the self begins. Grifter and Spartan will discover what purpose their lives have now.