EMMANUEL CODY's WORLD
(Earth-81665 or another planet in that reality)

Official Name: Unrevealed

Nature: Alternate Earth or alternate reality planet

Natives: Emmanuel Cody/Citizen 09346-NW2 (later known as Bront), Isaac Cody/Citizen 09339-NC7/"The Worm" and his unidentified wife, Inquisitor, Societal Balance Squad, unidentified jurors (seen in the image to the right), unidentified other defectives (seen only contained in their cylinders following mindwashing)

Population: Unrevealed

Capital City: Unrevealed

Government: "Government council"

Languages: Unrevealed (perhaps English)

National Defense: Unrevealed

Notable locationsHall of Equilibrium (see also the main image), Houndstooth North-Central Co-op, spaceport, subterranean roadway

Visitors: None revealed

First Appearance: Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (June, 1981)

History:
(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - Emmanuel Cody (Citizen 09346-NW2) apparently originated on an Earth-like world (or perhaps Earth itself that had succumbed to savagery -- see comments) that was a world of swamp and savagery before being colonized (or just restored) by the ancestors of his race.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - Society on this world evolved such that personal nomenclature (as well as abusive language) was not permitted in public. People were identified as "Citizen" and an alphanumeric code.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) <"long ago"> - The government council realized that -- despite the best efforts of the birth labs -- flawed beings would inevitably surface from the genetic pools. It was decided that, whenever possible, these beings would be treated in what the council believed to be a humane fashion.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - During a centuries-long intergalactic conflict, the government council acquired a world that proved both near-impossible and undesirable to colonize. Though there were precious resources to be exploited, there was precious little that could not be gained elsewhere with much less risk.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - Once of the council members proposed this world might be a good depository for the defectives, and there were general nods of assent.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - <500 years before the main story> - From this point forward, the defectives had their memories erased, and they were placed into cylinders, transported across space and deposited so that they would land on this planet, which was designated "Backworld."

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - Isaac Cody (aka Citizen 09339-NC7) was involved in and maintained records of unspecified activities for which the government had labeled this individual as "The Worm" and considered him a fomenter of violent revolution. Isaac knew eventually the government would come for him, but figured it would not be for a long while.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - Emmanuel Cody apparently had no knowledge of his brother's activities.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - Emmanuel visited his brother, Isaac  in his residence on the 45th floor of the Houndstooth North-Central Co-op.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb)) <thirteen hours before the main story> - A Societal Balance Squad -- dispatched to locate "The Worm" -- knocked on Isaac's door, requested access to his quarters in accordance with mass protection act AB-ZZZ-0011. Panicked, Isaac rushed to burn his documents, while Emmanuel wondered what was going on. The SBS agents then melted Isaac's door and then apparently fatally shot Isaac in the back just as the documents had started to burn. Both Emmanuel and Isaac's widow were distraught and surprised, and Emmanuel furiously attacked the SBS agents. He apparently took out five SBS agents before being knocked unconscious by blunt trauma to the back of his skull from a hand blaster.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - Emmanuel Cody was taken into custody, chained, and eventually brought to the Hall of Equilibrium. During this time, the events were holographically reconstructed from direct memory tapes of surviving participants.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - According to Emmanuel, these recordings were altered to make it appear he had slain the SBS agents that he had merely subdued.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - Emmanuel Cody, as Citizen 09346-NW2, was held in chains before the Inquisitor and numerous jurors in the Hall of Equilibrium during his trial for his actions.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2) - After Cody clearly voiced his disgust for the jurors and inquisitor, questioning whether they claimed equality with the "proud breed that rescued this planet from swampland and savagery," the Inquisitor assured him that such outburst would only stand as further evidence against him, and further reminded the citizen that personal nomenclature was not permitted in public. After reminding the citizen that the charges against him were serious and that a verdict of guilty carried the penalty of mindwash-exile, the Inquisitor then showed a hologram of the previous conflict, apparently demonstrating Citizen 09346-NW2's savage nature, including the invoking the name of a deity "Oh my dear God," and the brutal slaying of five SBS agents The Inquisitor noted that while deeper investigation had shown that 09346-NW2 had been unaware of his sibling's covert activity, the holo-film had made it clear that 09346-NW2 was a danger to the equilibrium of the state -- a genetically defective murderer.
    Cody conceded he might be defective -- if that meant that he was a man with feelings -- but countered that the film had been doctored, and that he had only attacked, but did not kill. The Inquisitor responded that feeble lies would not save him, and he instructed the jurors to channel their votes through the sensuboard. The court swiftly found Citizen 09346-NW2 innocent of treason, but guilty of three counts of murder and three counts of societal imbalance. After the Inquisitor sentenced 09346-NW2 to immediate complete personality eradication and subsequent exile on Backworld, Cody briefly responded, "Why are you doing this?! Why falsify evidence just to see me g--" before being struck by the electroencephalic waves, the rays of which flensed selective bits of memory "like dead skin," and a thousand names, placed, and events in his mind grew dim. Citizen 09346-NW2 collapsed, retaining merely a shell of general knowledge and facility surrounding a primal core of instinct and intuition. His limp body was quickly gathered up by waiting squadsmen, carried along winding subterranean roads, and then dumped into a cheaply constructed cylinder, which joined other cylinders containing other state-designed pariahs, in a dimly lit spaceport.
    A starship transported the cylinders into Backworld's proximity and dropped them; wings and fins helped guide the cylinders onto the planet's surface, though some sank to the ocean's depths or landed in volcanoes or other inhospitable environments. The former Citizen 09346-NW2's craft came to rest in a verdant glade, in the shadow of a great oak; and, after 27 minutes, the cylinder decompressed, an alarm shrilling sounded, and a time-lock was released, opening the cylinder.


 

Comments: Created by John Buscema, specific fleshed out by J.M. DeMatteis.

 What world is this, anyway?

   The name and behavior of Isaac and Emmanuel Cody (and later Bront, as he was known)'s behavior and a few references to Earth location, etc., make it seem like Cody's people were humans, though this is not confirmed. What is less clear is whether the planet was, in fact, a future Earth, or a planet colonized by humanity (or some other human-like race).
    Cody referred to his people as "the proud breed that rescued this planet from swampland and savagery." Does that mean that Cody's people colonized a savage swamp-world...or does it mean that Earth descended into savagery, etc., and a group of people restored civilization...or maybe some alien race restored civilization to a savage Earth...who knows?
    Regardless of the planet's exact nature, if associated with humanity, the stories take place at least 700+ years after known history of Earth. Defectives had been sent to Backworld for 500 years before the main story, and Backworld was acquired in a "centuries-long intergalactic conflict."

    Sadly, John Buscema is no longer with us, but he gave us a wealth of material to enjoy.
Here's some comments from scripter, J.M. DeMatteis:

To be honest, I barely remember working on Brontóbeyond the beauty of those Buscema pages (which he inked himself:  a rarity)óso I donít know if I can help you. I do recall that John plotted that story, all the basic beats were his, and I filled in details and emotional texture via my script.

Where did he come from?  I always assumed it was a future Earth.  I donít recall if there were any notes from John B indicating that, just my assumption.  Iím pretty sure I came up with the names (the fact that my sonís name is Cody is the tip-off and Iíve always liked, and used, biblical-sounding names like Emmanuel). 
    And, for the unidentified wife? Letís  keep it biblical.  Naomi.

As for future plans:  I donít recall there being much talk of the story continuing.  It was ďhereís a story Buscema plotted and drew, want to dialogue it?Ē  And I never heard anything about it again.

JMD

    It occurs to me that "Emmanuel Cody's World" may not (necessarily) be an alternate (or divergent) Earth at all, unless I'm missing something & it's stated in the source material as such. Cody's origin world could be an alien planet and the "Backworld" may very well be - - Earth in the (distant - ?) past!!
    While the names of individuals seem very much "of Earth", this may not necessarily pose a problem. As evidence, I would point to Prince J'son/Jason of Spartax among a few others as examples. Indeed (if my guess is correct), Spartax could be a possible candidate as the origin world. Other candidates could be Xandar, Dakkam, or any number of worlds populated by decidedly humanoid beings (for further discussion, see the Xorri). The arrival of (future) descendants of the human race in the distant past, in the form of Prince Wayfinder's/(Wayfarer's?) followers, leads to further possibilities. The arrival of these individuals would not necessarily discount other origins for humans on Earth as they could very easily have been incorporated into existing societies or even possibly interbred with indigenous peoples.
    I know you tend to use Occam's Razor in these debates but it really seems to me to be a very real possibility. The whole story seemed to suggest an allegorical or moral bent pointing to the origins of our decidedly martial or defiant race. The whole thing seems to point to the story suggesting that Earth was a penal colony of sorts, which was a somewhat popular trope in fiction at the time of publication.
    It's just a fun thought - & it would open up a score of possible stories & could very well explain others. I hope this at least keeps your imagination going & proves helpful in some way.
--Wil Plaza

 Sure sounds possible. Only John Buscema could tell us for sure, and sadly, he died years ago. JMD took Bront's homeworld to be a future Earth, but nothing in the stories really confirm it one way or another.
--Snood

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Cody's planet has no known connections to


Isaac Cody

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - Isaac Cody married an unidentified woman at some point.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - Isaac Cody (aka Citizen 09339-NC7) was involved in and maintained records of unspecified activities for which the government had labeled this individual as "The Worm" and considered him a fomenter of violent revolution. Isaac knew eventually the government would come for him, but figured it would not be for a long while.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - Emmanuel Cody apparently had no knowledge of his brother's activities.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb) - BTS) - Emmanuel visited his brother, Isaac  in his residence on the 45th floor of the Houndstooth North-Central Co-op.

(Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (fb)) <thirteen hours before the main story> - A Societal Balance Squad -- dispatched to locate "The Worm" -- knocked on Isaac's door, requested access to his quarters in accordance with mass protection act AB-ZZZ-0011. Panicked, Isaac rushed to burn his documents, while Emmanuel wondered what was going on. The SBS agents then melted Isaac's door and then apparently fatally shot Isaac in the back just as the documents had started to burn.

--Savage Sword of Conan#65/2

 


Isaac's wife

 

    It is unrevealed whether Isaac's wife, who was unidentified, was aware of her husband's activities. While her brother-in-law, Emmanuel, visited, she was serving drinks when the Societal Balance Squad burst into their apartment. She was shocked when they slew Isaac, but that's the last we saw of her.

--Savage Sword of Conan#65/2

    In a recent (2014) conversation, JM DeMatteis, who scripted the comics involving Bront's origin and named both Codys, suggested the name "Naomi."

 

 


cylinders

    For five hundred years, the "cheaply constructed" cylinders held citizens just after they had been mindwashed; their inert bodies were unceremoniously dumped into the cylinders, which were then transported to the spaceport. A ship carried the cylinders into Backworld's proximity (still in orbit) and dropped them; wings and fins helped guide the cylinders onto the planet's surface, though some sank to the ocean's depths or landed in volcanoes or other inhospitable environments. The former Citizen 09346-NW2's craft came to rest in a verdant glade, in the shadow of a great oak; and, after 27 minutes, the cylinder decompressed, an alarm shrilling sounded, and a time-lock was released, opening the cylinder.

Note: Citizen 09346-NW2/Emmanuel Cody is shown in the far left picture.

--Savage Sword of Conan#65/2

 

 

 

 


Hall of Equilibrium

 

 

    The room in which citizens were tried for crimes of which the state had accused them. The Inquisitor presided over the trial, and the jurors channeled their votes through the Inquisitor's sensuboard. The Hall contained a holographic viewing screen, which could project events reconstructed from memory recordings of those present at the event in question. The Hall also contained the mindwash device, over which the citizen on trial was stood so, upon a guilty verdict, the sentence could be carried out immediately.

 

--Savage Sword of Conan#65/2

 

 

 

 

 

 


Inquisitor

 

    The Inquisitor presided over the trials of accused citizens in the Hall of Equilibrium. His eyes were covered (blind justice? or perhaps some other material that enhanced vision?), and he set in a chair suspended above the accused. The Inquisitor stated the accusations, reviewed the evidence (generally holographic images of events reconstructed from memory recordings of those present at the event in question), asked the accused if he/she disputed the evidence, accused the citizen of lying if he/she responded in the affirmative, had the jurors channel their votes through his sensuboard, and then directed the punishment, which was often mindwash/exile.

    While only Emmanuel Cody/Citizen 09346-NW2's trial was shown, I got the impression that most trials proceeded in that fashion. Whether the holographic memory recordings were actually altered is unrevealed; further, if they were indeed altered, the Inquisitor's involvement and knowledge in such is unconfirmed.

    It seemed to me that the accused were guilty until proven innocent, and they were not given a chance to prove their innocence.

 

--Savage Sword of Conan#65/2

 

 


mindwash

    While the picture to the right seems to just show Emmanuel Cody/Citizen 09346-NW2 standing there, you can see some energy effects around his feet. The caption notes that an azure light (obviously a limitation of black and white stories) and a spectral hum that abruptly stops his response. Cody struggled futilely to resist the electroencephalic waves, the rays of which flensed selective bits of memory "like dead skin," and a thousand names, placed, and events in his mind grew dim. Citizen 09346-NW2 collapsed, retaining merely a shell of general knowledge and facility surrounding a primal core of instinct and intuition.

 

--Savage Sword of Conan#65/2

 

 

 


Societal Balance Squad

    Wearing full body costumes (that afforded little protection against blows from an unarmed civilian, with helmets shattering under a bare fist's strike) and armed with energy rifles (able to melt doors) and pistols, the Societal Balance Squad was dispatched to investigate any accused of crimes against the state (and apparently authorized to kill the accused if they saw fit). They were unimpressive combatants, as Citizen 09346-NW2 took out five members of a squad of at least seven before one of them incapacitated him the butt of a pistol to the back of his head.

    They also were present during trials and transported mindwashed citizens to their cylinders and brought the cylinders to the spaceport.

    A group of Squadsmen asked to enter Citizen 09339-NC7/Isaac Cody's residence, then swiftly melted down his door and slew him as he tried to burn the evidence against him.

--Savage Sword of Conan#65/2

 

 


ship

 

    The picture to the left shows only the interior of the ship and two crewmen. The spaceport image shows the ship from the outside in greater detail, while the left-sided image in the main portion of the profile shows the ship as it left orbit from its planet of origins.

    The ship pictured was used to transport cylinders containing mindwashed citizens to Backworld; these cylinders were dumped in Backworld's orbit and traveled to the surface. How many of these ships they had and how often they traveled to Backworld is/are unrevealed.

    The limited history references as centuries-long intergalactic war, presumably indicating a fleet of warp-drive ships and offensive weaponry were available.

 

--Savage Sword of Conan#65/2

 

 


spaceport

 

    Large numbers of cylinders containing mindwashed citizens were transported here via subterranean roadways. How many ships were present in the port, and whether multiple ports existed on the world is unrevealed.

 

--Savage Sword of Conan#65/2

 

 

 

 

 

 


subterranean roads

 

The road shown here connected the Hall of Equilibrium to the Spaceport. How extensive the subterranean network is remains unrevealed. Only Societal Balance Squad members were shown to use the roads, but whether citizens were allowed to use them is unrevealed.

 

--Savage Sword of Conan#65/2

 

 

 


images: (without ads)
Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 "Death of the Mind -- Rebirth of the Soul!" pg. 2, panel 1 (Inquisitor (from front)/Hall of Equilibrium; Emmanuel Coy on trial);
            panel 2 (Inquisitor face);
            panel 4 (Societal Balance Squad - frontal);
        pg. 3, panel 1 (Societal Balance Squad - side/rear - outside Isaac's apartment);
            panel 2 (Isaac and wife);
            panel 4 (Isaac's death);
        pg. 4, panel 2 (Isaac's wife, face);
        pg. 6, panel 2 (Inquisitor/Hall of Equilibrium; Emmanuel Coy on trial - side);
            panel 3 (Inquisitor from above);
            panel 4 & 5 (Mindwash - Cody);
        pg. 7, panel 1 (subterranean roadways);
            panel 3 (spacesport, ship exterior, cylinders on transport cars);
            panel 4 (ship interior, crew);
            panel 5 (ship leaving planet's orbit);
        pg. 8, panel 5-6 (cylinders sprouting wings/fins and descending to surface)


Appearances:
Savage Sword of Conan#65/2 (June, 1981) - John Buscema (art/plot), J.M. DeMatteis (script), Danny Fingeroth (associate editor), Louise Jones (editor)


Last updated: 01/02/15

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