Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)  (Read 20141 times)

JayzusB.Christ

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7445
  • Squealing meat.
    • View Profile
Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« on: 06 May, 2013, 01:20:30 PM »
Just musing over Zenith, particularly Phase IV.  There probably aren't any black-and-white answers here but just wondering what other people's opinions are.  I won't include spoiler tags; just don't read on if you haven't read Zenith.


1.  If all superhumans in Zenith's world are coterminous* with the Lloigor, why aren't Zenith and St John Lloigor themselves?  Or is that what is implied at the end of Phase 4?  If so, they still seemed to be pretty unLloigorish in zzzenith.com.

2.  How did Peter St John trap the Lloigor in Chimaera?  It was something connected to Ruby smashing what seemed to be the pyramid, I'm sure.

3.  How did Peyne come to see the events of the Lloigor reaching the edges of the replica universe?

4.  Why didn't Lux, Spook and the rest meet miniature versions of themselves inside Chimaera?  Only Zenith and St John seemed to have been replicated by Chimaera.

5.  If Chimaera is pyramid-shaped, does that mean the actual universe is too?

6.  How did Lux come back to life before Phase 3?  Think I missed that bit (not being sarcastic or anything - I really do think I missed it or can't remember it).

7.  Was the Peyne in Chimaera just a Chimaera creation?  If so, is there another, full-sized Peyne in the 'real' Zenith universe?

8.  Is Zenith's universe (not withstanding the parallel ones) an infinite Russian-doll style set of ever-smaller Chimaeras inside Chimaeras?

Come to think of it, is that what our universe is?  Jesus, Morrison, you've quite the imagination, for a bald Scotch magic knight.

*a word I just learned from looking up Yog Sothoth on Wikipedia.






 
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”

Proudhuff

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13169
  • A minefield of imbeciles and chimps
    • View Profile
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #1 on: 06 May, 2013, 02:00:37 PM »
yes.
But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference and the promise of an early bed

Link Prime

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 4845
    • View Profile
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #2 on: 06 May, 2013, 02:59:13 PM »
Like you Jayzus, I'm a huge fan of this story and spent a few teenage nights pondering the same questions (when I obviously should have been pondering more fickle topics).

My take;

1) I always took it that Zenith & St. John are in fact Lloigor too. So why aren't they evil Gods trying to enslave mankind? I dunno. It was always implied that St John was ultimately up to that anyway, just using more Machiavellian means to do so (i.e. through British and therefore global politics).
2) The moment that Ruby destroyed the pyramid is the moment that the switch-er-oo took place, albeit 'off camera'.
3) I took this as just being 'artistic licence'.
4) When they were shunted to the Chimaera universe they 'over-wrote' that version of themselves.
5) Doubt it. I don't know much about astro-physics, but I don't think the word 'shape' could even be applied.
6) Was it ever proven he was dead? Or just somehow that his powers gave him the ability to dimension jump to other parallels?
7) This never actually occurred to me. Only the Lloigor shunted to the Chimaera universe. I'd say yeah- Peyne is alive and well in the 'real' universe.
8) I took it as being one of an infinite number of 'parallels' (similar to almost every comic book universe' idea of parallels.).

Jimmy Baker's Assistant

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 931
    • View Profile
    • Massacre For Boys
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #3 on: 06 May, 2013, 03:35:25 PM »
Aha, my favourite subject!

1) Zenith and St John are just as powerful as the Lloigor, but identify as human rather than Cosmic Superbeings.

2) I think this is deliberately left unexplained.

3) Peyne doesn't but St John does.

4) St John constructed it as a trap. He had plenty of opportunity to alter the Chimera universe to his liking.

5) No.

6) Lux wasn't dead, he just fell through a mirror into an alternate universe.

7) No, that's the real Peyne within the fake universe. The text makes it pretty clear he's been put there by St John.

8) No, it's a DC comics style Multiverse.

JayzusB.Christ

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7445
  • Squealing meat.
    • View Profile
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #4 on: 06 May, 2013, 04:17:38 PM »
Thanks, folks!  I too love discussing the Zenith universe (hence the thread, I suppose).

Quote
3) Peyne doesn't but St John does.

Are you sure?  It seems to be Peyne's voice narrating the weird events.  I took it to mean that this event happens / happened outside of linear time; and Peyne's consciousness as part of Chimaera could perceive it happening.

Quote
4) St John constructed it as a trap. He had plenty of opportunity to alter the Chimera universe to his liking.

I thought Chimaera shaped itself; in Zenith's room, without any outside help. St John only learned to use it as a trap. You may well be right, though I prefer Link's explanation:

Quote
4) When they were shunted to the Chimaera universe they 'over-wrote' that version of themselves.

Quote
6) Lux wasn't dead, he just fell through a mirror into an alternate universe.

I thought this was the case; but I don't remember seeing it anywhere in the story.


Quote
7) No, that's the real Peyne within the fake universe. The text makes it pretty clear he's been put there by St John.

Really?  Another bit that went over my head!  Though I do recall Peyne writing about a vague memory of St John visiting him with something in his hand, so your theory makes perfect sense.  Obviously like the Lloigor he had no memory of the event though it was buried somewhere in his unconscious - which also helps to explain number 3.


Quote
8) I took it as being one of an infinite number of 'parallels' (similar to almost every comic book universe' idea of parallels.).
Quote
8) No, it's a DC comics style Multiverse.

See now, the way I saw it was that the Chimaera events were a sort of explanation as to why there was a Multiverse in Zenith.  Though of course this doesn't explain how they can align as in Phase 3, but then I saw the geometric alignment as only a sort of simplified visual metaphor for what the Lloigor were trying to do.  Much like, I suppose, the pyramid (I know the universe couldn't actually be pyramid-shaped, but that's just how normal people or even superhumans perceived it in Zenith).
 
« Last Edit: 06 May, 2013, 04:19:50 PM by JayzusB.Christ »
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”

Jimmy Baker's Assistant

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 931
    • View Profile
    • Massacre For Boys
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #5 on: 06 May, 2013, 04:48:12 PM »
Are you sure?  It seems to be Peyne's voice narrating the weird events.  I took it to mean that this event happens / happened outside of linear time; and Peyne's consciousness as part of Chimaera could perceive it happening.

I just re-read Episode 14 of Phase IV and it's definitely narrated by St John, although due to the big reveal at the end it does try to throw the reader off the scent by hinting it might be Peyne.

In fact, Peyne is already dead by this point, and his memoirs are destroyed on the first page.

JayzusB.Christ

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7445
  • Squealing meat.
    • View Profile
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #6 on: 06 May, 2013, 06:04:34 PM »
Are you sure?  It seems to be Peyne's voice narrating the weird events.  I took it to mean that this event happens / happened outside of linear time; and Peyne's consciousness as part of Chimaera could perceive it happening.

I just re-read Episode 14 of Phase IV and it's definitely narrated by St John, although due to the big reveal at the end it does try to throw the reader off the scent by hinting it might be Peyne.

In fact, Peyne is already dead by this point, and his memoirs are destroyed on the first page.

Just re-read it myself - your theory makes sense but I can't quite understand why St John would be oblivious as to who he himself as the narrator is, and why he would feel so distanced and impartial to what's going on. 
Sorry if I'm being thick, but it seems now to me that it's Chimaera speaking; and Chimaera's consciousness includes (though as a very, very small fragment) that of Peyne, despite his being dead (or pre-born, or post-born, or whatever). 
The voice identifies itself as Peyne, then specifies that part of it is Peyne, or that Peyne is just a part of something bigger. 
Hope that makes sense; please do contradict me if it doesn't.  I'm loving this conversation by the way!
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”

Jimmy Baker's Assistant

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 931
    • View Profile
    • Massacre For Boys
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #7 on: 06 May, 2013, 06:17:20 PM »
He sees St John's hands as his own hands so I think we can be fairly certain it's him doing the narrating.

I suspect St John doesn't know who he is immediately because he has a gone a bit transcendental whilst watching events inside Chimera. Also, as I said, it's very important to the story we don't know it's him earlier since he's supposed to have been killed several episodes ago.

JayzusB.Christ

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7445
  • Squealing meat.
    • View Profile
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #8 on: 06 May, 2013, 06:38:44 PM »
Sorry, I honestly couldn't find anywhere that says it's his own hand!  Also, earlier in the story as I mentioned, Peyne recounts a vague half-memory of Peter St John visiting him with something in his hand.  In part 12, the voice says 'And I finally see what it's holding' - which also leads me to presume that this disembodied voice may well be composed in part of Peyne, who has at last filled in that gap in his memory.  Just my reading of it anyway; as I say I may be wrong.

Something else just occurred to me about zzzenith.com too (which I really liked; though I know it wasn't for everyone).  Apart from the question as to who would be so fecking stupid as to allow the Chimaera to be sliced in half, does the curious last line of the story mean everybody died?  I know it's deliberately ambiguous.

One mystery that I recently did solve though was where Zenith and St John's final conversation was taken from.  I kind of guessed it was a quote from somewhere, then found this.  It seems to be very well-known, but not to me before now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpq-1B_OTbY
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”

JayzusB.Christ

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7445
  • Squealing meat.
    • View Profile
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #9 on: 06 May, 2013, 06:51:51 PM »
Also, having just looked at my first post; I realise it looks like I thought our real universe is pyramid-shaped.  I meant the actual universe in Zenith's world.  I'm not that thick  :-[
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”

Jimmy Baker's Assistant

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 931
    • View Profile
    • Massacre For Boys
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #10 on: 06 May, 2013, 07:18:59 PM »
I have to admit the caption "I am Peyne, or at least part of me is" does lend credence to your interpretation.

My take on it though is that the panel with the words "and I finally see what's it's holding" is a POV shot from St John's own eyes, looking at his own hands holding Chimera.

Oh, and I just re-read zzzenith.com and I am afraid I still hate it. I think it's some sort of parody. That last line you mention is probably just a lame joke, imho, but if you're being very charitable maybe the double meaning you mention was put there deliberately.

JayzusB.Christ

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7445
  • Squealing meat.
    • View Profile
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #11 on: 06 May, 2013, 08:07:40 PM »
Quote
My take on it though is that the panel with the words "and I finally see what's it's holding" is a POV shot from St John's own eyes, looking at his own hands holding Chimera.

Fair enough, we'll agree to differ.

Quote
Oh, and I just re-read zzzenith.com and I am afraid I still hate it.

Again, fair enough.  It was deliberately nasty in places, that's for sure, but as a fan of Chris Morris, the Drunken Bakers from Viz and some of Irvine Welsh's books, I sometimes find nasty entertaining.  My only real criticism of it was the fact that it ruined the twist ending of Phase 4 by revealing St John's plans.

As for the question of whether or not Zenith and St John are Lloigor, here's an interesting take I've just found at http://www.barbelith.com/topic/18904:

Quote
This is a problem, but not as big a problem as I think you imagine. The Black Flag/Cloud 9 metahumans do not become Lloigor until they incubate in the sun and "hatch" - so, what used to be Ruby Fox, say, is no longer Ruby Fox outside of Peyne's desire to comprehend and her/its indulgence of it. That's on the linear time model. Because the Lloigor are five-dimensional entities, their existence extends across time - so they exist, from our linear perspective, before they have been created. They, the dark gods, can exist at the same time (from our perspective) as the metahumans they grow from. It's possible that any metahumans could turn into dark gods given the right circumstances, but its also possible that it is some peculiarity in the Cloud 9/Black Flag creation process. Either way, Zenith/Peter St.John are not Lloigor because they don't become dark gods - the breeding programme followed by Peyne/White Heat/Iok Sotot is about creating superhuman bodies, not dark gods - at the time Zenith was conceived, his parents were planning to take over the world, not evolve into dark gods. His son *becomes* Iok Sotot after incubation in the sun.
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”

JayzusB.Christ

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7445
  • Squealing meat.
    • View Profile
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #12 on: 06 May, 2013, 09:24:08 PM »
Apologies for the double post; but here's the general theory I've cobbled together from the poster Only Nice Things's fascinating speculations on the website I linked to in the last post.  Not saying it's exactly what Grant Morrison was trying to say, but it's definitely food for thought.

The Lloigor only came into existence in Phase 4, within Chimera (not 'Chimaera', as I've also just discovered).  They were 'born' in the Black Sun inside Chimera.  The superhumans had realised that to fulfill their goals of becoming all-powerful, they would need to incubate within whatever the big black circle is.  So from the very start, from Phase 1 in fact, the Lloigor's dark dimension was in fact Chimera.  Look at when Iok Sotot is possessing Masterman.  Chimera, in pyramid form, is there in the room, in plain view. Seriously.  Have a look at it.

Anyways, when David Cambridge talks about having always been the Lloigor, this is because the Lloigor operate outside of time as we perceive it (which, as we know from Einstein, is in a very limited way).  The Lloigor travel 'back' in time (though that is meaningless, it's more like sideways) in Phases 3 and 1.  They have found ways to get out of the Chimera dimension, through those little spheres in Phase 3, but need the alignment to travel freely round the multiverse (i.e. Chimera and all the other parallel universes).  However, as they are beaten by non- or pre-Lloigor superhumans in 3, they can't do it - and therefore ALWAYS end up trapped within the walls of Chimera, no matter how much they travel around space and time beforehand - not that 'beforehand' makes any sense when time is as navigable as space.

ONT also posits that everything that happened involving Lloigor before Phase 4 takes place between the point where they find St John's hand at the edge of their universe, and the point where St John and Zenith go about their daily business.  Iok Sotot's job in assisting the nazis with the superhuman serum was to start the process of creating the superhumans that would become Lloigor, not merely to give the Lloigor bodies to possess.  When they possessed Hotspur, Maximan et al they were already Lux, Ruby, Zenith's son and the other Phase 4 lot, travelling around time.  Iok Sotot was always Zenith's inbred son, which may account for his lack of intelligence.  Probably not though, I doubt genetics had much to do with the incubation process.

Even at the moment their realisation of being trapped, they didn't reckon on St John being so smart and powerful.  So by moving around time, space and dimensions, they are stuck in an infinite loop that again and again ultimately leads to St John outwitting them and trapping them in just one:  Chimera.

Does that make any sense at all?  I've probably left out huge chunks of important stuff and my head hurts, but as I said, it's something to think about.

« Last Edit: 06 May, 2013, 09:29:55 PM by JayzusB.Christ »
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”

Link Prime

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 4845
    • View Profile
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #13 on: 06 May, 2013, 09:35:01 PM »
A small trickle of very dark blood just came out of my left nostril.

JayzusB.Christ

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7445
  • Squealing meat.
    • View Profile
Re: Zenith - a few questions (with spoilers)
« Reply #14 on: 06 May, 2013, 09:43:04 PM »
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”