Call it Empire City, home of the needle-tipped Excelsior Building, tallest ever built; home of the Statue of Liberation, on her island in the middle of Empire Bay, her sword raised in defiance to the tyrants of the world; and home also of the Empire Palace Theater, whose fabled Black Curtain trembles now as, at stage right, the narrowest of fissures opens in the rich dark impasto of its velour.
The first thing we notice about her may not be, surprisingly, that she appears to be flying in the nude, the zones of her modesty artfully veiled by the coils of the astral helix. No, what we notice first is that she appears to have grown an immense pair of shallowtailed moth’s wings. They are a pale greenish-white and have a translucent quality; they might even, like Wonder Woman’s airplane, be visibly invisible, at once ghostly and solid. All around her, outside the column spiraling infinitely upward, reality dissolves into dream-landscapes and wild geometric prodigies. Chessboards dissolve, parabolas bend themselves into asterisks, whorls, and pinwheels. Mysterious hieroglyphs stream past like sparks from a roman candle. Miss Dark, her great phantom wings steadily flapping, takes it all strangely in stride – for, dead or alive, there is no question that Judy Dark, human umbrella, has, at long last, opened to the sky.