Laura—my darling Acolyte of Acolytes, Keeper of the Gods of the Resurrection’s secrets, the Witness—is Persephone.
I can’t. I cannot that Laura is Persephone because it makes so much sense, and as a devotee of Persephone, I approve this message (and Persephone being kinda 80s punk!goth with combat boots is perfection).
Especially because Laura as Persephone really gives us Kore-Persephone—two parts from two different cultures merged into one divinity—the Girl and the Queen of Hell.
And, of course, Laura is Persephone because Innana is her best friend, and Innana and Persephone are cognates of each other mythographically: both Psychopomps who descend into the Underworld and return, both walkers of two worlds.
They’re parallels to each other. Metaphorically dying and resurrecting—again and again—like the Gods of the Recurrence themselves.
But—there are only 12 gods, and Urðr!Cassandra was the last if the Pantheon.
That’s where things get sticky.
(Partially because in the primary Pantheon of, at least, Greek gods, there are only sorta 12 gods. By the loosest definitions.)
Because we have Baphomet, glowing hellfire-red with his encroaching darkness like shadow-fingers and commanded by his stronger demons (his own Harvey!Baphomet), apparently killing a radiantly transcendent Innana (embracing Baphomet’s Satanist correlations with the inverted crucifixion of Innana, which style~, but why is Innana’s mass taking place in a Christian church? Probably also because style, because Innana is a little shit.), and we have Ananke killing Persephone!Laura with a *KLLK*.
And, Ananke killing Laura’s parents.
And, Baphomet killing all of Innana’s worshipers.
It’s just a mess, and I’m not remotely (really, really, really, really not) okay with any of this—not only because Laura and Innana are both of multiple marginalized identities—but because Laura and Innana are possibly the kindest, gentlest, most understanding people in the universe.
Killing Persephone!Laura and Innana is like murdering light. We are all cast down and cast into the shadows because of it.
No one gets a happy ending.
And—maybe there’s more to this than it seems? Because, in that perfect falling-into-flesh that all the gods go through (incarnating is a fall, a trip, a trick of the light and flight), Ananke intones that Persephone!Laura is the “Child of the Sky, Betrothed to Darkness. Your Mother’s tears freeze us all. One part of a two-part Mystery. Reunited. Separated. Separate. Forever.” reminding us of the Eleusinian Mysteries and Persephone’s role in resurrection and in reincarnation.
(Can we talk about how Persephone!Laura’s transformation involves poppies? Just—good myth.)
Maybe Persephone!Laura must-needs be sacrificed so that Innana can be returned to the world like Orpheus tried to do with Eurydice. Maybe Ananke knew that Innana would need to be resurrected/reincarnated because of the secret that Ananke told to Baphomet.
(Maybe I’m just epically in denial.)
Maybe there’s just no way to have what Laura had committed herself to: as little of an unhappy ending as possible.
Maybe the end is just the end because Innana is right: no matter how many more years Baphomet (or Ananke) steal, they’re truly not living. Not really.
Yet—why do we still have the touch of Laura’s narration at the end?
- Writer: Kieron Gillen
- Artist: Jamie McKelvie
- Colourist: Matthew Wilson
- Letterer: Clayton Cowles
- Designer: Hannah Donovan
Images courtesy of Image Comics