Pop Culture Slap Fight: Alan Moore's God vs. Kevin Smith's God
Michelangelo's "God Points to the Next Ass HE Will Stomp a Mudhole In."
As the staff bottle washer, astrolabe mechanic and Satanist, the realm of the divine is obviously outside my purview. Which is why being evil is so lucrative because all you have to do is...remove the person who holds said purview and boom! Purviewcity, population this guy. Thanks to a revelation in my last comic round-up, I get to do something I've always wanted to do: stage a catfight between the one true God(s).
God, they tell me, is everywhere, everything, and is so powerful that nothing can stop her except apparently gay marriage. Yes, I said her, and I have a very good reason to. The manifestations of the triune big cheese that will be battling for my malevolent pleasure are ladies.
I've selected what I feel are the best representatives in film and comic books for this purpose, though considering the comic book nerdiness of Kevin Smith, you could argue that I'm just sticking with comic books. Regardless, let's get ready to manifest.
Alanis's "Angry Face" is like a puggle growling at you.
In This Corner: Kevin Smith's Dogma is by far his most ambitious film, and features an impressive cast of A-list stars. It's all about the Catholic faith, both its pros and cons, as a young woman struggles through Christian mythology trying to both stop the unmaking of existence and rekindle the feeling of the holy within herself.
Ultimately, she meets God, in this case played by singer Alanis Morissette. Due to a clever trick by the demon Azreal, she spends most of the movie imprisoned in a comatose form that she'd assumed to have a few hours off to play skeeball. Though the omniscient master of all creation, she has a lonely, quirky side that is affable and warm despite being utterly mute ("Human beings have neither the aural nor the psychological capacity to withstand the awesome power of God's true voice. Were you to hear it, your mind would cave in and your heart would explode within your chest. We went through five Adams before we figured that one out." -- Metatron.)
And in This Corner: The supreme being of Alan Moore's mashed and meshed up universe for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen finally makes her debut, coming down out of a rainstorm to thoroughly ruin the day of the antichrist birthed by Oliver Haddo. There's no way to ease into this, so I'm just going to say it. She's Mary Poppins. For a variety of legal reasons the comic never says that, but she flies down on an umbrella and bears all the mannerisms of the famous nanny right down to her affection for children.
Likewise, Moore never says for 100 percent that she is God, but when you claim that you appear on every page of the Bible, you're either God or the letter "E." Like Smith's God, she has complete control over all matter, but the similarities end there. Though not cold, she's mysterious, intractable and a much more cruel figure than the always forgiving flower child Morissette plays. She also speaks at length.
Interestingly, this ties into the Neil Gaiman universe as well. In his short story The Problem With Susan, he states that Poppins was Jesus' nanny, and not part of creation. This would either make her God herself, or an equally powerful being.
The Naked Face of God: Yes, I'm going to compare the hotness of two versions of God. Yes, I'm going to Hell. Yes, I will save you a seat.
This is a real tossup. Moore's Poppins God is a well-buttoned schoolmarm with little of her form showing other than a small bit of face around her reflective glasses. Even going back to the woman that played Poppins in the 1964 Disney film, Julie Andrews, you're not seeing exactly a symbol of sexual appeal. She took her top off in 1981 for S.O.B., and it didn't exactly cause heart attacks.
By contrast, every boy that grew up in the '90s had a crush on Alanis Morissette because she was wild and free and obviously looking for someone to cling to after whoever it was that broke her heart in "You Oughta Know." We got as good a look at her as you could pretty much ask in the "Thank You" video, and she's fine enough for a Canadian not named Trish Stratus. I'm going to give Morissette the slight win here.
Smite!: Now, both Gods have the power to play with reality as if it were modeling clay, but there are some distinct differences. Morissette has that whole "Make your head explode with a word" thing going on, and she proves she can resurrect the dead and clean up carnage with a wave of her hand. Even so, she wasn't quick enough to evacuate her human form when three peewee hockey players attacked her, and the only adversaries she had to overcome were her own angelic subordinates.
Poppins, on the other hand, has to fight antichrist superstar Harry Potter (They don't say the name, but yeah, it's him). Potter himself has godlike powers of matter transmutation and reality-warping, and he can shoot lightning from his penis to boot. Still, Poppins is able to dismiss him into puddles with barely a nod and a few snarky rebukes about what a naughty kid he is. Point to the one who kicked the Chosen One's ass.
Mysterious Ways: One of the big things about God is we're pretty clueless on what the divine plan is except that we know that it doesn't involve winning lottery tickets for us. Morissette expresses this with pantomime and silence. Poppins does it through über-British weirdness that could be a joke or just a cultural thing I'm too Yankee to know. Whatever it is, it's still better than a mime. Point Poppins.
The Lord Is Dead. Long Live the Lord: It's a harsh world, and as much as I would like to tip the scale toward quirky, meg-happy Morissette, I'm just more convinced that the God I don't believe in is a nanny with a slightly psychopathic streak; benevolent in a dry way, but quick with the back of her hand. Alan Moore's God is the only God.
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