Just What The "DOC" Ordered
"What's Your Angle On The Tesseract?"
By: Chris "DOC" Bushley
Ever since Marvel Comics decided to unveil their most powerful weapon in Iron Man 2, the cosmic cube - renamed the Tesseract - has been causing fanboys to drool and movie goers to ponder, "What is a Tesseract?" That's the million dollar question, I suppose! And it all depends on what company, field or genre you support!
A tesseract, first used in the book A New Era of Thought by Charles Howard Hintin in 1888, means the four lines from each vertex to other vertices, or the four-dimensional analog of the cube. The tesseract is one of the six convex regular polytopes. Even in geometry, there are numerous names and ideas as to the different functions of a tesseract. There is no definitive idea of the tesseract that does not open itself to other possibilities.
Take for instance, the use of the tesseract in the great work of fiction, A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeleine L'Engle in 1962. Here it is used more as a wormhole, a portal that sends Meg Murray and her friends through time and space by literally bending the space-time continuum. This seems more in line with the "cosmic cube" that was created by Marvel Comics in July 1966. Is it a possibility that good ol' Stan and Jack loved A Wrinkle In Time so much that they created a homage to it in Tales Of Suspense #79? Possibly, but Stan will probably never admit to hearing of the book and claim sole creative control!
Though there have been three different versions of the "tesseract" in various Marvel comics over the years, there has been one constant about them. They have all had the potential to be the most powerful cosmic device ever created! They can alter reality, transfer the essence of one individual to another, make any wish come true regardless of the consequences and — it has even become a sentient life form! Its powers, creators, users and destroyers have all been linked to cosmic energies in some shape or form. And just like Avengers the movie, I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of what destruction can be wrought by its power!
But now there is a new version of the tesseract that is completely different than all other versions. While previous incarnations have all been birthed in true science, geometric shapes and cosmic fundamentals — this new version is birthed in magic! Found on the last page of Justice League Dark #9, DC Comics has entered into the fan frenzy of the tesseract movement. Jeff Lemire has wasted no time amping up this book in only one issue, and it will only get better from here! DC's version of the tesseract is said to be The Eighth-Dimensional Map, not just a map but — THE map to the four most powerful artifacts in the DCnU! Locked inside the tesseract is the hidden locations to the Four Pillars Of Existence, the source of all magic on earth — The Books Of Magic! As astounding as that revelation is, it is a comment that is made by a character named Dr. Mist that has piqued my interest more. He not only calls the box the tesseract but the FIRST tesseract! Does that mean there are more? Maybe a total of three? More? Remember folks, during the Avengers/JLA crossover a cube was seen in the DCU! Could this be it? Who knows? All I know, is that I am extremely excited to see where this is going!
To wrap up, "What is a Tesseract?" I guess you can choose your own answer. A scientific theory, a portal to save your father, the Cosmic Cube or a map to The Books Of Magic! Hell, there's even a band! So, pick what best suits you and run with it! No matter who Marvel and DC's characters are getting married to, comics' real buzzword is — Tesseract!