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Aeon Flux

Aeon Flux

Aeon, Aeon, Aeon . . . In terms of a writing reputation you've been very good to me and I, in turn, have tried to return the favor as one of your earliest and staunchest defenders.

In 1995, I wrote a piece called Skating the Edge for a cultural and lifestyle website no longer with us called Dig. It proved to be one of the most-read things I've done. Which says a great deal about the laser-like insights and quicksilver imagery--or the fact it was illustrated with various animation cells of Aeon in her Full Danger Girl/Dominatrix Glory. I, of course, prefer to think it was the prose.

Eleven years later, I still stand by my initial take on Ms Flux, but with distance, I've also come to especially value an aspect less-celebrated in my essay: Aeon as Dissenter. I recently had the chance to review Aeon's complete adventures care of the lovingly compiled, meticulously restored DVD box set that was the only silver lining in the massively wrongheaded idea of a live-action Aeon portrayed by Charlize Theron. Over a decade later, I began to see Aeon's free-agency as one of the primary points being made by the series.

Ms Flux isn't employed by Bregnia--she only lives there. Though seemingly set-up as a series of clashes between the bordering countries of Monica and Bregnia, when viewed with a more attentive eye, the whole Spy Vs Spy aspect of the show evaporates. Aeon simply sticks her nose into things--chaotically, more often than not--because it pleases her to do so. She has no consistent ideology, no political agenda, no criminal intent per se (at least the kind that results in a revenue stream). Carefully analyzed, Aeon's personal mission is to both question and undermine authority even as she lusts after it in the form of Trevor Goodchild.

In this light, the voiceover opening of each episode--cribbed from The Prisoner and paraphrased--makes a great deal more sense. And it follows that just as each episode of The Prisioner examined an aspect of individualism, the apparent non-linear and often contradictory installments of Aeon Flux can be viewed as Aeon's sometimes personally fatal object lessons regarding dissent and antiestablisment stances.

Aeon Flux was my introduction to animae and the first time I understood that a graphic novel--albeit an animated one--could both aspire to and attain the philosophic and psychological depth of conventional fiction. Eleven years on, it's my sobering duty to infom you that a single 30 minute of episode of a glorified cartoon show easily has more to say than an entire season of any current reality television.

And yeah, Aeon wore a lot of bondage gear--sue me.

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