Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mysta vs. the Safety Council

In Planet Comics #55 (helpfully shared by Sleestak, naturally), Mysta doesn't so much fight giant crickets as watch other people do it while she gets to the threat behind the giant crickets. What's really interesting about this story though is the subplot in which Earth's governing Safety Council (formerly called the Science Council) has selected a new leader who doesn't see the value in Mysta's ubiquitous assistance.

There are a number of reasons worth speculating about why the Science Council changed its name, but Safety Council sounds overly assuring; like they've got something to hide. Science Council was simply descriptive of the organization's mandate to control the dissemination of knowledge. Safety Council implies an external threat that the people of Earth need to be protected from. That's not an invalid concern - as anyone who's been keeping up with Mysta's adventures knows - but actually changing the organization's name indicates an overt change in focus from the management of scientific learning to police action. Troublesome. (Sleestak has a different, equally valid theory that this is an entirely new organization that has possibly taken over the Science Council's role in Earth's leadership. Even if that's true, it's no more reassuring.)

Mysta acts strangely in this adventure too. Not so much at first. Her disguising herself as a technician in order to spy on the Council's new leader is very much like her. As is her willingness to let him fail without her in order to teach him a lesson (of course she stays close enough that she can step in and clean up when needed, but that doesn't go entirely according to her plan). What's weird is that even though the new leader fails and she saves the day, she stays undercover at the end of the story and lets him think that he succeeded. Sleestak speculates that Mysta thinks she can best manipulate the new leader if he isn't threatened by her. That makes perfect sense to me.

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