"The Radiant Heavenly City": A man in Alexandria 411 A.D. sends his daughter Hypatia away because he knows that men are coming for him. A group of spear-wielding Christians appear at the mans door and kill him. Later, Hypatia is wandering the dark desert, alone and scared. After awhile, two gods
- Listen, kid, you take my advice. You don't wanna go looking for folklore. And you especially don't want folklore to come looking for you.
Appearing in "The Radiant Heavenly City"
- Smee (Semi-Mindless Elemental Entity)
- Five Swell Guys
- Stacia Vanderveer
- Promethea's father (Dies in flashback)
- Thoth-Hermes (Flashback only)
- Charlton Sennet (Flashback only) (1779)
- Steve Shelly (Barbara's husband) (Mentioned only)
- Alexandria (411 A.D.)
- New York City
Synopsis for "The Radiant Heavenly City"
A man in Alexandria 411 A.D. sends his daughter Hypatia away because he knows that men are coming for him. A group of spear-wielding Christians appear at the mans door and kill him. Later, Hypatia is wandering the dark desert, alone and scared. After awhile, two gods, Thoth-Hermes, appear to Hypatia in the desert. They tell her that they are two of her father's gods and that they cannot protect her in this world. However, they can protect her in the Immateria world. They explain that if she comes with them, she will no longer be a little girl, she will become only a story. The gods ask what her name is. She answers, Promethea.
Flash forward to New York, 1999. Two college students are sharing a hover-taxi and discussing term papers. One of the students, Sophie Bangs, is preparing to interview Barbara, the widow of the man who used to write the Promethea comic book. Sophie discovered that the name Promethea turns up in literature as far back as the 18th century and is writing her term paper about her. Before the interview can begin, Shelley states that Sophie should drop the idea entirely.
Later, "Five Swell Guys" stop Sophie on the street and ask her if she has seen anything strange. She says no. When they leave, she is excited to tell her friend Stacia about meeting the the Science heroes.
As Sophie walks up a stairwell, a shadow detaches from the wall and grabs her shoulder. She shakes it off and rushes up the stairs to the roof of the building. The shadow chases her across the roof and throws her off the edge. Out of nowhere, Promethea leaps into the air and catches Sophie. They land atop of a nearby bridge. The shadow has arrived too. Promethea faces off the villain by punching a hole in it and tossing it off the bridge into an oncoming truck.
After the rescue, Promethea tells Sophie to come with her. The two take refuge in a dilapidated warehouse and Promethea introduces herself to a vexed Sophie.
Promethea explains to Sophie that she was once a little girl from 5th Century Egypt, whose father was killed as a heretic by a Christian mob. The Gods intervened and took the girl into the world of myth and fiction, the Immateria. It is there were she became Promethea, a living story.
Through the ages, women have connected to her story in some way, perhaps through a relationship with an author or artist who worked on Promethea's story. Many of them channeled Promethea and in some cases, became Promethea.
Sophie then realizes that Promethea is Barbara Shelley, the woman she tried to interview earlier. Promethea tells Sophie that whoever sent the shadow, known as a "Smee," to kill her, believes that Sophie will become the next Promethea. Promethea gives Sophie a pen and paper and tells her to go in a corner and write about Promethea. Sophie does so.
The Smee arrives and is about to kill Barbara Shelley, when Sophie, having turned into Promethea, arrives and kills the Smee. Promethea flies the wounded Shelley to a hospital.
To be continued...
- This book was first published on July 31, 1999.
- There are two variant covers for this issue. One is by Alex Ross and the other by J.H. Williams III.
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