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Monday, January 21, 2008

UPDATE: Keep 'em coming! I've added a whole lot more below.

It was my week to post at culturemonkey this week, and I delivered with a post about the motivations for apocalyptic fantasy, what it is and what it's for. Check it out. Comments, criticism, and elaborations of all sorts are very welcome.

While writing the post, in connection with Ryan's theory that the most salient feature of apocalypse in science fiction is the way in which the same images are simply repackaged for us over and over again, I was struck by the recurrence of a ruined Statue of Liberty as perhaps the quintessential icon of disaster since the 1940s. So struck, in fact, that I began to obsessively collect these images from the 'net wherever I could find them. Submitted for your approval, the fruits of my labor:

Fantastic Universe, August-September 1953

Kamandi #1, 1972

The Day After Tomorrow, 2004

Cloverfield, 2007

Aftershock: Earthquake in New York, 1999

Planet of the Apes, 1968

The World Without Us, 2007

Escape from New York, 1981

D.C. Countdown teaser poster, 2007

A.I., 2001

And this is by no means an exhaustive list. Let me know in the comments what I've missed...

UPDATE: Stealing a few more ideas from my commenters:

Part of a campaign promise during the elections in 1978 to bring the "Statue of Liberty to Madison." As a result of this effort the Pail and Shovel Party (Stu was one of the major masterminds) was given the Politician of the Year award for keeping the most campaign promises of any Wisconsin elected officials. The Daily Cardinal was outraged by this expenditure and actually burned it down. The following year after re-election the Statue was rebuilt. A security guard was placed inside of the head after getting an ice fishing hut permit.

Deus Ex Level 1 (video game)

World War I poster

Independence Day (amazed that I missed this one)

Thundarr the Barbarian (My favorite so far. Here's Skot's description from the comments:

In the '70's Saturday Morning cartoon "Thundarr the Barbarian" the Statue is shown in a decayed state at the start of each show, and there's an episode where the evil wizard Gemini imbues the statue with life (but better than in Ghostbusters 2) and an awesome flame-throwing torch! The basic concepts and story ideas for that show came from the fertile but sometimes repetitive mind of Jack "King" Kirby, who also created the Kamandi comic book for DC, as seen above...

The latest Smashing Pumpkins album, Zeitgeist (2007)

Eerie-in-retrospect book cover from Bluejay Books, 1985. The artist's name was Thomas Kidd. (Thanks to revdoug for the email)


Brett emailed in with a great screenshot of the Statue of Liberty in The Fifth Element, which has not been destroyed but rather swallowed by an expanding New York megapolis.

UPDATE 3: Jeff from Gravity Lens sends along this wild image from the recent D.C. Comics "Sinestro Corps" storyline:

Tim in the comments leaves behind links to the Statue of Liberty under threat in X-Men and Children of Men:

And another album cover, this one from New Jersey's own God Forbid's fourth album, IV: Constitution of Treason:

UPDATE 4: Jeff sends along two more, one the usual sort of doomsday image and another desecration of a very different sort:

UPDATE 5: Commenter Ty may have found the earliest example, "The Next Morning" from the Feb. 24, 1887 edition of Life:

UPDATE 6: Later, Ty came back with two more, first from an alternate-universe Statue's destruction by helicopter in Batman Forever

and the other a much-longed-for clip from the statue's appearance in Ghostbusters 2. I can do him one better, though: Google Video has the clip.

Google Video has also got Spaceballs, too, naturally, as well as Superman being thrown through the torch in Superman II.

UPDATE 7: Over night a few more links were added in the comments, including this beauty from 1889, J.A. Mitchell's The Last American:

as well as two video-game scenarios, World in Conflict and Command and Conquer: Red Alert:

Elsewhere in the world of video games, Eman Resu also points us to the Resident Evil 3 trailer, where the replica Statue of Liberty outside the New York, New York casino in Vegas is used to signify for apocalypse:

UPDATE 8: Another cool one from the comments, a comic-booky illustration (don't know what year it's from, unfortunately) given the title "Cloverfield Monster Revealed!" on Flickr:

(Identified! It's from the "Dinosaurs Attack!" Topps trading card series.)

UPDATE 9: Here's a nice still from Ghostbusters 2 I just found in the Fark thread on this. Incidentally, the Fark link coupled with the Boing Boing link plus a few other big ones (National Review Online?) makes this the most popular thing I've ever posted by a mile, eclipsing even the "Our Brains Don't Work" link on Backwards City from back in 2004. It's kind of amazing.

UPDATE 10: rootbeer277 founds some pictures of the Statue in Superman IV here:

Elsewhere in the comments people have provided video links for related scenes from Twisted Metal 2 and National Lampoon's European Vacation.

And Traveler sends in a still from Deep Impact:

UPDATE 11: Wow, they're still coming in. Lady, That's My Skull writes in with two more from the comics, Atomic War #1 (1952) and Incredible Hulk #206 (1976).

And Anonymous points us to this Audi ad from the early 1990s:

UPDATE 12: It's been a few days and this post still keeps getting hits. It's getting close to 25,000 people now, which is astounding.

First, from the comments, MagicManky has the Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back parody:

Also in the comments, Slade leaves links to a number of sought-after images of the broken Statue of Liberty overshadowed by the Statue of Justice in Judge Dredd, both film and comic:

Finally, in what's likely to be the last image I add here for a good while, Viktor emails an Italian propaganda poster from World War II which reads "Here are the liberators":