The Judgement of Solomon

The Temple wants her dead. They've put out the hit from hell!

July 14, 1999...September 1999
(24 pgs.)


JDC thinks that JHW3 says somewhere that this cover is a tribute to a noir movie poster (possibly The Big Sleep), although Jeromy Cox thinks it was from The Public Enemy.
However rather than being modelled on a specific movie poster I suspect it is intended to evoke any film noir poster of the '40's and '50's. Here is a good selection of Film Noir Posters and here is a list of the Top 25 Films Noir (1941-1956)
Note that this is a TEXTureTM Digital Production
From out of the darkness we see a purplish spiral galaxy under which Andras and Marchosias can be glimpsed in both their real form and looking like earthly human gangsters with guns. Promethea seems caught by surprise. This image would occur in the story on pgs 14-15.

The designs for the looks for the two demons, "Andras" and "Marchosias", both come from Colin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, published in 1863. I believe Alan Moore sometimes provides copies of the drawings of demons in that book to the artists he collaborates with, when he wants them to portray demons. One of the designs of a demon from de Plancy's book was also used in the Swamp Thing Annual which Alan Moore wrote (the demon with three heads).  From  Collin de Plancy's celebrated dictionary was first published in 1818, and a second edition was issued in 1825 and the third in 1832. This edition added more than 250 new entries. A rare and uncommon reference book on the occult, this important work has never been translated into English. The book contains around 550 engravings with portraits of 72 demons.

A hit from hell is sometimes used to refer to a drug hit but in this case hit has the more usual meaning of murder.

The title comes from the Biblical story found in the first book of Kings 3:16-28.
Here is the story and here is a painting by Raphael illustrating the story
See also Issue #25 where another Judgement of Solomon occurs

Promethea takes the wounded Barbara to the South Tower Hospital. Meanwhile Benny Solomon hires two demons to try and kill Promethea. They attempt to do so at a rock concert but Promethea proves to be too strong for them and they open up a portal into the Immateria to escape accidentally dragging Sophie's friend Stacia along too.

"The archetype of wisdom is eternal" - Promethea, pg2
"There's worse things than Smees" - Barbara, pg 3
"You could have made the friggin' triangle bigger" - Marchosias, pg 4
"She made me feel a total failure
Her boyfriend stepped on my inhaler" - Montelimar Sykes (lead singer of The Limp), pg. 8
"This band sucks worse than gravity" - Stacia, pg. 8
"I'm Promethea" - Promethea (of course)
"And this is a problem how exactly? I mean, you've finally got boobs and you're all special effects..."- Stacia, pg. 9
"Yes, we're underworld types. From out of town" - Marchosias, pg. 11
"Everybody's going to think you're a drug side effect or maybe some new fad" - Stacia, pg. 13
"Uh oh. Caduceus. She's packing heat" - Marchosias, pg. 16
"I am Promethea. There's nothing else like me. I am the holy splendor of the imagination. I cannot be destroyed - Promethea, pgs 19-20
"Mortal. Moi?" - Stacia, pg. 21
"Maybe you got the worms on a stick and that stupid hat, but you're not the boss of me" - Stacia, pg. 22
"'Promethea'. I'll makes sure I carve that name in food-deep letters on the diamond gateposts of hell. We'll meet again" - Marchosias (or is it Andras) pg. 23

Page 1, Panel 1: Thanks to The Despoiler and Johan Kaikkonen for pointing out what Sterotica refers to
Judging from the picture of the muscle bound honey, Sterotica is likely erotica about pumped up steroid users - TD
sterotica means erotica on steroids, look at the picture of the girl, she's very muscular - JK
Note the smiley yellow face on the T-shirt. Any time you see a smiley yellow face you are reminded of what many people consider to be Alan Moore's best work The Watchmen. There will be another Watchmen reference later on in this issue.
Visible on this panel are signs for
Drive thru fast flesh for those looking for a quickie
Holo Ho Irv Pinsky guesses that this stands for Holographic Whore as Ho is American Street vernacular for prostitute
Panel 3:
Synapti-Cola promises Einstein in a bottle

Page 2:
Club Smak with lips
Thermo Cookies : Remember the Taste
Page 3, Panel 1: "Kyre Aesclepius"
See also Asklepios
Kyre might be a misspelling of Kyrie
A brief petition and response used in various liturgies of several Christian churches, beginning with or composed of the words “Lord, have mercy.”
Together they comprise the first item of the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Mass.
[Late Latin Krie (eleison), from Greek Krie eleson, Lord, have mercy : Krie, vocative of krios, lord, master; see keu- in Indo-European Roots + eleson, aorist imperative of elein, to show mercy (from eleos, mercy).]
Here's the "Kyrie" from the old Roman-catholic mass:
Kyrie Kyrie
P. Kyrie eleison. P: Lord, have mercy.
S. Kyrie eleison. S: Lord, have mercy.
P. Kyrie eleison. P: Lord, have mercy.
S. Christe eleison. S: Christ, have mercy.
P. Christe eleison. P: Christ, have mercy
S. Christe eleison. S: Christ, have mercy.
P. Kyrie eleison. P: Lord, have mercy.
S. Kyrie eleison. S: Lord, have mercy.
P. Kyrie eleison. P: Lord, have mercy.
(From: Paul Halsall HALSALL@MURRAY.FORDHAM.EDU, Latin English Mass [Old Rite], Ordinary of the Tridentine Mass 1962 Edition ,Missale Romanum - An English Translation of the Missale Romanum)

C.A.R.E. pod - "CARE" means "Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe". It was an organisation of the Quakers distributing parcels with food to the people in Europa after the Second World War
Thanks to TL for that information
Pages 4-5: Panels on the right and left hand side show Andras and Marchosias in their true form
According to this Seals of Goetia webpage Marchosias is the demons who assists in self-defense, while Andras causes confusion to enemies.
Panel 2: On the carpet on the floor we can read (A)donai...Ihuh.
Also around the small triangle that the demons complain about Anaphax...Prim...Te...n. There is an eye in the triangle
The pattern on the carpet is probably from a grimoire of Abramelin but I haven't been able to find it yet.
A collection of grimoires and magical texts is available here, Texts in German and English
On the desk to Benny Solomon's left are a modern day PC, mouse & pad, keyboard and modem. To his right a pen in a holder, a cup, a pan-like statue and a candle
The viewpoint of this panel is what I like to refer to as a Hitchcock shot (although there is probably a proper technical name for it, does anyone know?) as it can be seen in various Alfred Hitchcock films such as Psycho and North by Northwest and more recently in Brian de Palma’s Snake Eyes where it is combined with a panning shot.
We see everything from overhead looking almost straight down at the scene
Panel 3: Note that Benny Solomon looks slightly distored. We are seeing him from the Demons' point of view and whenever this happens the image is slightly distorted
Panel 4: Marchosias: Marchosias
Here is the seal of Marchosias found by Thomas Lautwein at German Satanists Home Page:

Andras: Andras
Marchosias: Marchiosias
How to summon Marchosias
Page 4, Panel 4: the black silhouette makes Benny Solomon look like a Smee. Note the upturned faces in the foreground.
Page 5, Panel 4: The statue on the desk looks like a female version of Pan
Does anyone recognize the portrait on the wall?
It seems that Benny's assistant is unable to see any of the demons when they are summoned
Page 6: First appearance of TEXTure. We will learn more about the Firefight on 5th Avenue between the 5 Swell Guys and the Painted Doll in issue #6
omnipath: appears to be a word coined by Alan Moore. I couldn't find it in the Oxford English Dictionary but it could be a combination of two words the Latin omnis meaning 'all' and the Greek pathos meaning "suffering'.
I asked Paul McFedries who runs the wordspy website about omnipath and his reply was as follows :
My guess is that, in this case, the author is trying to let us know that the character is a psychopath, a sociopath, and whatever other -path you can think of that implies deviancy, a twisted mind, and extreme antisocial behaviour.
PATHOGEN : a disease producing organism. Hey I didn't know that
TROTSKY'S : No doubt named after Leon Trotsky.
Panels 2-3 Note the upper left hand corner of the TEXTure screen. The first image shows the sun symbol whilst the second has a square, a triangle and then the same sun symbol all enclosed within different colored squares
Page 7, Panel 1: Montelimar Sykes.
The most famous Sykes I can think of is British comedian Eric Sykes. Montelimar could be reduced to Monty as in Monty Python but this is all just speculation on my part
Fist and Shout - obviously from Twist and Shout an early Beatles hit
"More handsome than Jesus" - John Lennon got into a lot or trouble for saying that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus
Note the ABC sign for America's Best Comics
In this panel we can also see signs bearing the surnames of three people responsible for producing Promethea
MO(OR)E partly obscured
Dun(bier) for editor Scott Dunbier also partly obscured
and most readable of all
KLEIN for Todd Klein who does the letters for Promethea
The two people under the streetlight look like Marchosias and Andras
Page 7, Panel 2: First mention of mayor Sonny Baskerville. The most famous Baskerville I can think of is from Conan Doyles' Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. Sonny might be a reference to Sonny Bono (ex Sonny and Cher) who was a local government leader and congressman
forty-two personalities will remind SF fans of Douglas Adams Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy where the number 42 was the answer to the ultimate question of Life the Universe and Everything
Page 7, Panels 3-4: If you ate a restaurant called Borgia's you would need an antidote after your 5 course meal


The Goetia is only the first part of the Lemegeton, the Lesser Key of Solomon, which is one of the more famous grimoires. The other three parts in order are Theurgia Goetia, the Pauline Art and the Almadel.

Page 8, Panel 5: Another Watchmen reference. Throughout The Watchmen graffiti would be seen on walls which almost but never quite managed to spell out the sentence "Who Watches the Watchers". Here we have "Who's Watching You" which will be revealed in full on pgs 12-13.
Page 9, Panel 1: She-Ra is the star of an animated TV series.
Page 10 Panel 1: Nice reflection of the demon on the side of the phone
Panel 2: It seems these demons haven't been summoned by anyone since 1979
Panel 4: Note the shadow on the wall behind Marchosias shows him in his true form.
Pages 12-13: Nice demons skulls in the middle of the page separating the top and bottom halves
Upside down pentagram on right hand side to counterbalanace the sun on left
Page 12 Panel 4:
That stink of myrrh - this is the first reference to Promethea smelling of myrrh which is often commented upon
Page 13, Panel 3: I thought the bouncer might have been wearing a Hawkwind T-shirt but the next letter after the second W only partly visible looks more like an "O" than an "I" so it might be a Hawkworld T-shirt.
Panel 4: Over One million killed T shirt
Pages 14-15: Looks like early versions of Pandeliriums at the bottom of the page. See Issue #5
Page 16, Panel 1: OK boys and girls. Now what word rhymes with truck?
Page 16, Panel 2: "Brothers and sisters, why are we fighting?" - this reminds me of Mick Jagger trying to control a Rolling Stones audience at Altamont as seen in the fillm Gimme Shelter
Page 19, Panel 1: Promethea begins drawing a pentagram within a circle to banish the two demons.
Panel 2:
Cow with wings
He must need glasses. It's actually a bull with wings although
Claire Jordan notes that
Actually Andras looks more like a gnu with wings than a domestic bull! [But presumably still a male gnu!]
Thanks to Miles Kurland for pointing out that
"What do you call a cow with wings?"
("Dave, that joke's in bad taste")
Yes, it's especially in bad taste today - because the butt of that joke is dead.
This hails from the late 70's, and the punch-line was "Linda McCartney" - referring, of course, to Paul's old band, "Wings", of which she was a member. (It was also sometimes "A dog with wings")

Pages 20-21:
Underneath the "EEEEEEEEE"
Andras and Marchosias have swapped positions
Claire Jordan writes
I don't think Marchosias and Andras have swapped positions - I think we're seeing them from Promethea's viewpoint, instead of from behind their own position as previously
Page 22 Panel 1: visible here are a The Limp poster, Trotsky's matches, Head Whiskey(?) since 1890, Got Wing Super Beer
Page 23 Panel 4: Here we can see a Marlons cigarette packet, a ticket for the concert (only $21.50), pills, 90 minute cassette tape, video camera, bottles, cans and cigarette lighters
Page 24: Nice pullback effect on these 4 panels with images gerring smaller.
Nice devils around the next title


Page frozen: 1 December 2003