THARG'S TIME TWISTERS - THE REVERSIBLE MAN (2000AD #308, 1983)
Script by: Alan Moore
Art by: Mike White
Lamron Namron – “Listen.I don’t have much time.They’re going to kill me and I have to tell you my story.I’ll begin at the beginning... well, not exactly the beginning, but... Oh. Never mind.You’ll work it out.”
Some people who have come close to death have claimed they experienced their life flashing before their eyes.Key moments and significant milestones presented themselves to remind the individual of how precious their life has been.Writer Alan Moore took this as his starting point for The Reversible Man and then turned it on its head by simply 'reversing' the concept to show all of those events in the opposite direction. In a short story presented in the comic-book 2000AD, Lamron Namron (Norman Normal) suffered a stroke in the middle of the street and in his final seconds his life reversed before his eyes.He was taken back through the events of his parent’s death, the birth of his children and how he met his wife as he hurtled back to the day he was born. By doing this to Lamron, Moore presented a life which actually seemed to get better as all of the stress which accumulated over his lifetime slowly slipped away.Lamron found his job became easier as he earned less money and the benefits of demotion become apparent as he started to enjoy what he did at work again. He also found his relationship with his wife improved over time and he shared in his parents happiness as they spent time doting on his children at significant events like Christmas.Mike White’s panels captured the moment perfectly as Namron looked on at his son Nodrog (Gordon) playing with his train on Christmas day as his father, sitting beside him, handed Namron’s other son Trebor (Robert) a present.Namron was content in that moment, getting to see the situation again with the knowledge of how his son was in later life compared with a snapshot moment of his younger days.
Moore understand that life in reverse got easier, but never forgot that both ways of seeing life shared equal joy and sadness.Seeing events in reverse meant welcoming back people who had died, but it also meant saying goodbye to the marital relationship he shared with his wife.As Namron returned to the day of his wedding he only had the courtship left before he lost his wife for good.The day in which they met was bittersweet as they bumped into each other then stood apart to stare at their separate newspapers.
Lamron Namron –“At the station we stopped and spread the newspapers out on the platform.As we did so, our eyes met.She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.I looked away.I never saw her again.”
The look on Namron’s face as he knew that was the end of the relationship had loneliness etched on his face. In reverse it was the pain of never seeing his wife again and played out forward it depicted the empty days of Namron’s younger life without a companion.In that brief instant he greaved for her as in reverse it was like a death where he had outlived her unlike the life he led where she outlived him.The Reversible Man was simple in approach, yet imaginative in its writing and presented an alternative view on the way in which life played out. The story only spanned a few pages but covered a lifetime and just like with any story in the grand scheme of things, it can all be over in the blink of an eye.
NIOTCELFER NO: *As well as writing stories including V for Vendetta, From Hell and Watchmen, Alan Moore has also written for other classic characters such as Superman, Batman and Swamp Thing.
*Alan Moore wrote the classic Batman story The Killing Joke (1988) where the Clown Prince of Crime paralysed Barbara ‘Batgirl’ Gordon.As a result of the injury Gordon hung up her cape and adopted the new alias of Oracle.
*2000AD was first published in 1977 and became famous (amongst many other things) for launching the character Judge Dredd.