The Illuminati Ball – Cynthia Von Buhler, Aditya Bidikar & Charles Ardai (Titan Comics)

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The subjects, and scapegoats, of a hundred thousand and rising different conspiracy theories the world over, The Illuminati, for the last three centuries, have been the stuff of myth, fairytale, legend and worse.  A rational voice in an irrational world governed by superstition, religion and fear, The Illuminati’s sole purpose for existing was to bring enlightenment to the masses through greater understanding, and acceptance, of science. Seen as being threat to the establishment of the day, they were vilified and castigated by the Catholic Church and less learned and noble personages and following a concerted campaign of disinformation and persecution soon disbanded, their memory drifting into the annals of falsehood and make believe.

The Illuminati Ball revives the most defiled of organisations to tell a story of frailty, fragility and spiritual weakness, as creations born of vanity and greed attempt to make sense of their lives and by doing so come to better understand humanity. Reviving the Illuminati as a vessel to pursue their agenda and targeting specific individuals for “indoctrination” into their ranks in order to help fulfil their mission, the poor, beautiful souls at the centre of The Illuminati Ball serve toreinforce the idea that of all the creatures that inhabit the Earth, mankind is by far the weakest.

Combining wonderfully inventive fantasy with historical and scientific fact, Von Buhler’s story reads like a twenty first century, psychedelic version of The Island of Doctor Moureau nd draws on its influences to help expand the consciousness of its audience. Exploring the notions that science is best utilised with an understanding and respect for natural order, that power without knowledge is a hollow enterprise, that art, literature and a desire to be better ourselves by rising above the baser parts of our biological imperatives and that love, consideration and our wide ranging emotional pallet are just as important in the consideration of all things as cold, hard logic, Von Buhler’s gorgeously illustrated tale is both a stark warning of our own failures and a fascinating examination of what we, that is humanity, could become if we wanted to.  Welcome to the Ball…  Tim Cundle

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