We haven’t encountered anything like the Mayan prophecy of the world’s end since New Year’s Day 2000 and 2001, the Millenium Bug and Y2K. The Mayan text the Popul Vuh established that, based on their linear calendar, we live in something called the “fourth world.” The fourth world will have reached the end of its 13th b’ak’tun (a time frame of about 400 years), or Mayan date 18.104.22.168.0, on December 21, 2012. Scholars or pseudoscientists (depending on who you believe) suggested that this will coincide with the end of the world (or alternately, the start of some new positive era). If you haven’t read any of the discussions behind this, it is at a minimum interesting, and at worst, odd and quirky. I read the Popul Vuh as part of an ancient Latin American history course I took in college and as ancient texts go in is very interesting, and still required reading in colleges around the globe.
So… it’s the perfect time for Dynamite Comics to have a crossover event featuring most of its properties and public domain characters that has as a story element the end of the world coming this December, courtesy of the ancient Mayans. Called Prophecy, Issue #1 is out and it’s a lot of fun. So far it is more of what I hoped for with Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the graphic novel mash-up of Allan Quatermain, Dorian Gray, Captain Nemo, Moriarty, Dr. Jekyll, Fu Manchu, Tom Sawyer and others. Of course, unlike his forced change of DC characters to new made-up creations for his Watchmen series, with the League, Moore used public domain characters and avoided all that. With Prophecy, writer Ron Marz and artist Walter Geovani use some of these vary same characters plus they add in modern characters like Red Sonja, Vampirella, and Purgatory. Advance press from Dynamite reveals that the tale will include Pantha, Herbert West the Reanimator, Allan Quatermain, Athena, and Dorian Gray, too.
Issue #1 begins with Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson investigating a murder. The weapon that caused the death was an ancient Mayan dagger from the year 632. And the dagger has disappeared. Enter Red Sonja, soon to be the next sacrifice by this ancient people. She chases her captor through time with the aid of the dagger and to the year 2012, where she encounters Vampirella in the forest, working with Dracula himself.
One excellent two-page spread has Geovani revealing a time travel voyage of Red Sonja, including the Three Musketeers, Edgar Allan Poe, Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Abe Lincoln and a host of others who will hopefully make an appearance in this series.
If you like mash-ups, this one looks to have a lot of territory it can cover, presumably in only the short span of the next 5-6 months that we have left, or, um, before we know one way or the other where December 12, 2012 will fit into Dynamite’s crossover series.