Thursday, December 20, 2012

Before the iPhone, there was Jack Kirby's "Mother Box"

The Forever People call forth Drax the Infinity Man with their Mother Box.

From yee Wiki:

Mother Boxes are fictional devices in Jack Kirby's Fourth World setting in the DC Universe.


Created by Apokoliptian scientist Himon using the mysterious Element X, they are
generally thought to be sentient, miniaturized, portable supercomputers, although their true nature and origins are unknown. They possess wondrous powers and abilities not understood even by their users, the gods of New Genesis. These range from teleportation (they can summon Boom Tubes) to energy manipulation.

Mother Boxes have been seen healing the injured, including Darkseid himself, after he was beaten by Doomsday. Metron stated that each Mother Box shares "a mystical rapport with nature." They provide their owner with unconditional love and self-destruct when their owner dies.

Mother Boxes have sacrificed themselves for causes they have believed in and are greatly respected by the people of New Genesis. In physical appearance they are most often in the shape of a small box, but they can also be much larger (as is the one carried by the Forever People), and do not always need to be in the shape of a box at all (Mr. Miracle had Mother Box circuitry woven into the hood of his costume). They usually communicate with a repetitive "ping" which can be understood by their users.

Powers and abilities

Mother Boxes can access the energy of the Source for various effects; they can change the gravitational constant of an area, transfer energy from one place to another, control the mental state of a host, communicate telepathically with a host or other life form, manipulate the life-force of a host to sustain it past fatal injuries, open and close Boom Tubes, take over and control non-sentient machines, evolve non-sentient machines, merge sentient beings into a single more powerful being, sustain a life form in a hostile environment such as space, and do many other things. Mother Boxes have an affinity for the Source and are believed to draw their power from it. In that sense, they can be seen as a computer that links man to God.
To the New Gods, they are common appliances (used much like a PDA on Earth), in as much as a sentient device can be called an "appliance."

Mother Boxes can only be manufactured by a being born either on New Genesis or Apokolips, and not all of them can do it (at least one on Apokolips failed). This is accomplished through much training. It is implied in the books that the maker's character influenced the successful construction of a Mother Box. This applied to all the Fourth World books created, written, and drawn by comic legend Jack Kirby.

Graphic artist and art director Lanny Lathem expertly captures the phosphorus color palette of the Marvel Third Eye posters, using pin-ups created by Jack Kirby during his tenure at DC Comics.

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