History’s Monsters: Douglas Rushkoff and Michael Avon Oeming Take On ‘Aleister & Adolf’
The original Captain America villain goes up against a supporting character from Alan Moore and JH Williams III's Promethea in Aleister & Adolf, a new graphic novel by Douglas Rushkoff and Michael Avon Oeming. Levity aside, obviously the new book draws not on Aleister Crowley and Adolf Hitler's previous comic book appearances, but on their real life personas, and particularly their shared interest in the occult. The book arrives in stores on November 2nd, 2016.
Media theorist Rushkoff has teamed up with Oeming, the artist behind Powers and Hammer of the Gods, to spin a tale about Crowley being recruited to oppose Hitler's magic with his own. Apparently a connection between Nazi magic and 21st Century corporate culture is also part of the premise.
Speaking to the A.V. Club, Rushkoff had a lot to say about it:
It started with the thought, "What if Aleister Crowley had been enlisted in an occult war against Hitler at the end of WWII?" And as I began to research, I learned that Crowley was responsible for Churchill’s ‘V is for Victory’ salute, falsifying star charts for Hitler’s astrologers, and a bunch of other stuff. It’s really about two kinds of magick—the sigil magick that we might charge with meditation or sex, and the sort of black magick with which the Nazis were involved—that required the deaths of millions to charge it.
The bigger idea is the corporate-cyber-universe as the progeny of fascist sigil magick. Swastikas and other sigil logos become the corporate logos of our world. And given that we’re living in a moment where those logos are migrating online where they can move on their own, it’s kind of important that we consider the origins and power of these icons.
From Dark Horse’s press release:
In Aleister & Adolf, media theorist and documentarian Douglas Rushkoff weaves a mind-bending tale of iconography and mysticism, set against the backdrop of a battle-torn Europe.
This all-new original graphic novel, beautifully rendered by Michael Avon Oeming (The Victories, Powers), views real-world history through a psychedelic occult lens.
In a story spanning generations and featuring some of the most notable and notorious idealists of the twentieth century, legendary occultist Aleister Crowley develops a powerful and dangerous new weapon to defend the world against Adolf Hitler’s own war machine—spawning an unconventional new form of warfare that is fought not with steel but with symbols and ideas. But these intangible arsenals are much more insidious—and perhaps much more dangerous—than their creators could have ever conceived.
Warren Ellis, author of Gun Machine, Red, Trees, and Transmetropolitan, says Rushkoff is “a cultural treasure and an eccentric author of big, strange ideas, never less than fascinating and always entertaining.”