Monday, March 15, 2010

The Ides of March
"Bread, Circuses and Worlds of Warcraft"

Let's take a look at how, through history and/or the interference of Doctor Strange, we have avoided the continued rule of the Roman Empire and its 21st Century ways of parties, video games on wide-screen TVs and sex.

Today, March 15th, is otherwise famous as being the fabled:
"Ides of March".

Instead of my explaining it, allow me to just paste some wiki:


The Ides of March is the name of March 15 in the Roman calendar. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other months. The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was killed in 709 AUC or 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate led by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus and 60 other co-conspirators.

According to Plutarch, Caesar was warned by a seer to be on his guard against a great peril on the Ides of March. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey (where he would be assassinated) Caesar saw the seer and joked "Well, the Ides of March have come," to which the seer replied "Ay, they have come, but they are not gone."This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned to "beware the Ides of March."

So, how am I going to link this to the general purposes of this here blog?
Well, here's how:

Doctor Strange; Master of the Mystic Arts # 46 

cover art by Frank Miller and Tom Palmer
Plot by Bill Kunkle, Script by David Michelinie, Pencil by Kerry Gammill,  Inks by Al Milgrom
D. Albers - Letters, B. Sharon - Colors, Jo Duffy and Al Milgrom - Editors
and Jim Shooter - EiC

In this issue, Strange and Clea travel to Rome, Italy for a little rest and recreating (although it was really because Doc "sensed" a disturbance in the mystical natures of things) and while there are embroiled in an ages-old prophesy and an eternal lineage of portent telling Sibyls.

The upshot to all this is that while Doc is relegated to the sidelines (and battling an otherworld sorcerer in an extra-dimensional plane) Clea, for once, stands front and center as the mystic of power who is sought out in order to stave off the dangers of the Black Oracle by completing the required Sibylline Triad.

The danger in question is the coming of invading 20+st Century Roman Centurions, whom, in their own time-line, never succumbed to the fall of Rome and as such, conquered the world and then every planet in the galaxy - then ruling everything for untold years as a decadent society with video games and carnal pleasures.

*click to make Romanesque*

"Exposition, thy name is Bronze Age Comics!"

So, what does all this have to do with the "Ides of March"?
Well, Julius Caesar's murder on this day may not have been the actual "end" of the Roman Empire, but it certainly may have helped lead (eventually) to its "decline and fall".

In the alternate world that tried to invade ours in this issue, Ceasar likely was never killed.
And as such, if our own Julius Caesar were to have avoided his death at the hands of multiple back-stabbing Senators (as if there are any other kind), we'd all be laser-rifle toting Centurions in a decadent society of parties, video games on wide-screen TVs and sex.

Wait... what?
Oh, man....


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