Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kinski's "Semaphore" Escape Velocity

I mentioned that last night I began my run listening to a cut off the Kinski album Airs Above Your Station. This morning making my two-mile walk to work the premiere track off that album, "Semaphore," shuffled on my iPod.

Whenever I hear this song I think of a Captain Marvel comic book I read as a kid.

Captain Marvel's cosmic powers are relatively new when he decides to fly to the moon. It's an open question whether he can reach escape velocity. Rick Jones, former Hulk chaperone and sidekick to Captain America, is Mar-Vell's alter ego -- literally and figuratively because while Captain Marvel is in the regular phenomenal world Rick Jones has to reside in the Negative Zone, and vice versa; but each can communicate with the other, much as we talk to ourselves (Rimbaud's "I is another"); this is always depicted in the comic book frame by the character who is in the Negative Zone having an earnest and bluish-gray face.

Rick isn't convinced that Mar-Vell can make it, and he speaks his mind freely. But Mar-Vell is Mar-Vell, a space-born Kree warrior who possesses cosmic awareness. This is a guy totally non-attached (a state for which every bachelor should tirelessly strive). Forsaken by his home planet, bereft of his beloved Una, he blasts on up through the atmosphere and into outer space and then onto the moon. In listening to Kinski's "Semaphore" I recall my childhood memory of Captain Marvel's moon flight and the physicality of his effort (which is a great tribute to Al Milgrom's pencils).

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