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30 Days of Hypnosis: Day 12

What’s your favorite pop culture reference about hypnosis?

Whew! So many possibilities.

The first one that comes to mind is “The Hypnotic Eye”. A movie about a sinister stage hypnotist who entrances his lovely subjects certainly plays to many of the public misconceptions regarding hypnosis, plus the producers had a professional stage hypnotist instruct the actor how to perform on camera as well as hypnotizing the actresses to go in to a trance on cue. Regrettably, it suffers from low public knowledge so it barely registers as a pop culture icon.

Another one that comes to mind is the classic spiral motif that so represents hypnosis in popular culture. That and the spooky, swirly music that seems to always accompany it in any advertisement or television episode scene transition. The same also goes for dangling crystals and staring eyes.

But I guess my favorite has to be “Trilby”. No other work so influenced the pop culture regarding hypnosis throughout its history. It is one of the few culture icons that directly influenced the English language, with the addition of “Svengali” as a term for a manipulative mentor.

This Week in Comics — 2013/01/23

The Avengers” #4

I know that the Avengers TV series occasionally had episodes with mind control themes, but the comic, on the other hand, is really going overboard with them.

In the first three issues, the continued story line had a group of senior British ministers and ranking military officers all believing they were the survivors of a nuclear war and Britain was now under the control of the Hellfire Club. What gave the plot away was the fact that they all remembered having the same breakfast, a result of a hurried brainwashing effort during the set up of the plot. That wasn’t the only brainwashing that occurred: the whole purpose of the effort was to further brainwash the officials and return them to Britain. Thanks to the efforts of Steed and Mrs. Peel, they were thwarted, although not before we get to see Mrs. Peel in her leather and spiked collar from the television episode. Plus a demonstration of how Steed and Mrs. Peel arranged their own system of breaking mind control with each other.

But apparently that wasn’t all the brainwashing the Hellfire Club was up to. In issue #4, the plot continues, this time at a very fancy masque ball with the theme of black and white. One guest arrives wearing black, accompanied by two figures dressed in painted in white. Said figures were performers of an art form called butoh‐fu, a Japanese form of dance epitomized by a Zen‐like formless and gracefulness. The dancers were said to place themselves in a hypnotic state for their performance, a dead giveaway that hypnotic hijinks are upcoming.

Investigating a murder separates Steed and Mrs. Peel from the rest of the guests at a most propitious time. When they return to the dance floor, its almost empty except the man in black and the orchestra. It turns out that the dancers in white have the guests in a trance, blankly dancing away into the night, following the dancers like mute Pied Pipers, only to be rescued by Steed.

How perceptive. Their every move, every position, was an acted spatial engram directly affecting the neural pathways of anyone who witnessed it.”

In other words, mind control through sight and movement. As for the man in black, he’s conducing the orchestra, themselves entranced by the music they’re playing.

Its a downward spiral. Every note they play further ensures they must play the notes that follow. Aural hypnosis.”

Mrs. Peel, however, has some musical talents of her own, breaking their trance with a well‐blown tuba blast. Then she confronts the conductor, whom she discovers was the person who performed the brainwashing in the previous issues, and he is still wielding some hypnotic tricks up his sleeve (or under his shirt, in this case, a set of speakers, not to mention spirals on the backs of his white gloves.)

The high sound is your nervous system. The low sound your circulation. I’ve learned to manipulate that high sound, and thus the nervous system and thus the brain.”

Fortunately Mrs. Peel is able to resist long enough to put a bullet through the speakers and through him, as well.

In the end, the question remains of what was the overall goal of the kidnapping attempt and therefore the question of whether or not it was successful is still unanswered. But the last scene shows a satellite overlooking Britain bearing the arms of the Hellfire Club. More mind control via satellite? Maybe next month will say.

Enchantée!’ — “Eerie Cuties”

One of the more fun web comics I follow is “Eerie Cuties” about a trio of sexy supernatural teenaged girlfriends and their equally supernatural friends. (Ace, below, is actually a werewolf.) All the tropes of typical cartoon teenagers combined with all the tropes of typical cartoon supernatural events. I this case, its dating.

But what do you do when you’re dressing for a date and one of the other ‘cuties’ is making moves on your guy? Especially since apparently this is not the first time (or the second, or the third … ) that this has happened?

ec20130114a Why, you get spellcasting Mother to do something about it.

ec20130116a

Apparently this is not the first time this has happened, given the almost casual way she casts her spell, and most likely with the same person.

This Week in Comics — 2013/01/09

I have not been reading most of the new DC 52 universe, especially the Superman titles, but I at least try to keep up in case something shows up that I should be aware of.

Well, that paid off this week.

Action Comics #16: “The Second Death of Superman”

I’m not exactly sure what is happening here: chaotic is hardly a description for what is going on, but at some level it appears someone has broken time so that things are happening out of time and across time, culminating with the return the creature who killed Superman in a famous storyline several years ago and the return of the Crisis of Infinite Worlds. Oh, and the founding three adult members of the Legion of Super‐Heroes just showed up, traveling from a future where they were outlawed.

If that last part sounds familiar, it should: the Legion had been outlawed in the past, through the machinations of the super‐hypnotist Universo. In fact, even the future time has broken, and the Legion themselves unknowingly help Universo attain power before they are outlawed and they have to return to the present to prevent the changes in the future.

Universo: After all, a hypnotic disguise is child’s play, no more than a mere modicum of skill, even in front of a mass audience. However, hypnotically inducing a powerful telepath to think she scanned your mind … now that requires subtlety.

As this sequence is not in the regular Legion title, I must assume that these events are part of the chaotic timeline and not set in the current continuity.

Mars Attacks Popeye

IDW is publishing a number of comics based on “Mars Attacks”, the early trading card set and the later interest and movie surrounding it. Among the one‐shot comics include crossovers with Judge Dredd, Ghostbusters and Popeye.

In “Mars Attacks Popeye”, the invading horde of Martians are met by the Sea Hag, who hypnotizes them all to do her bidding, which, being the destruction of the town of Sweethaven and Popeye, is quite to their liking. However, even the scientific might of the Martian invaders is no match for the spinach‐powered fists of Popeye and his father Poopdeck Pappy.

Universo — “The Legion of Super‐Heroes” Part 2

After his defeat at the hands of the Legion, Universo was (apparently) imprisoned but he (also apparently escaped) and commenced one of his campaigns to control the Earth. Being the master plotter that he is, he waited for or manufactured reasons for the Legion to be away from the Earth before beginning his plan for world domination. When the Legionnaires returned, they found that they were not only disbanded, they were hunted and outlawed!

⇒ Continue reading “Universo — “The Legion of Super‐Heroes” Part 2”

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