Alright, welcome back to La Metafeminine En Español! Today we’re going to be looking at a selection of works where Tree Transformation was the primary metafeminine aspect on the cover.
Casos Extraordinarios! El Universe de Lo Oculto (Extraordinary Cases! The Universe of the Unseen) No. 49 has a beautifully painted cover. The details are great, and the tree woman (seemingly planted on Mars or some other extraterrestrial locale) looks serene.
My assumption is that the cover was painted to go along with an article titled Los Poderes Ocultos de los Arboles (The Hidden Powers of Trees), but I’m sad to say that the article – and the entirety of Casos Extraordinarios! El Universe de Lo Oculto – appears to have nothing to do with physical transformation – metaphysical changes perhaps, but not the kind we’re interested in here.
Still, it’s a pretty cover, and worth a few bucks if you find it.
In Joyas de la Mitologia (Jewels of Mythology) No. 226′s La Muchacha que se Convirtio en Arbol (The Girl Who Became A Tree – to the point, eh?) we get our first Apollo and Daphne tale.
I won’t dwell on the substance of the myth for long here, because the next book does it far better. Just know that this is very much one of those “the cover art is better than the interior” situations. Inside we do get to see Daphne’s transformation into a tree in a very short sequence, but it is ugly and her ultimate form resembles more an ocean wave than a former woman.
But, Hell, look at that cover! Freaking amazing!
Let’s just say I would gladly frame – and recommend for purchase – the cover as a fantastic mid-process metafeminine work, without ever thinking twice about not being able to reread the story.
Let’s get to a much better take on that particular myth;
Novelas Inmortales (Novels Immortals) No. 462 has the opposite problem as the one above, as its cover is misleading regarding the fantastic work to be found within.
Over all it is an interesting little book. Not quit as big as my hand, it’s 170 pages each have only one or two black-and-white panels on them. It’s also interesting in that it appears to tell at least three different myths, but the stories are interwoven and drawn out with much detail.
So, in Apolo y Dafne (Apollo and Daphne) Daphne is introduced near the middle of the book, but she doesn’t transform until the end. And unlike many other adaptations of the Daphne myth, Apollo and Daphne appear to know each other and to be quite friendly early on in the story.
Sadly, this still remains a Greek tale where the woman’s fate is not put in her hands, but in the wills of the finicky gods. Apollo and Cupid get into disagreement, and so Cupid shoots Apollo with an arrow of love and Daphne with a leaden one. Apollo chases, Daphne runs, and if you know the story you know she calls out for help.
In this adaptation we are treated to a four panel transformation process, starting with Daphne’s legs sinking into the ground past her ankles, then her skin becoming rough and bark covered, then her clothing vanishing as her legs fuse into a trunk and her hair and hands become leaves, before she is left as nothing more than a tree with eyes.
The images are accompanied by descriptive boxes, which Google and I have translated to English;
And then, suddenly, Daphne felt her feet sink into the earth and all her limbs stiffened. Suddenly, her skin began to become a tender crust. Her hair became shiny leaves, her feet roots which penetrated the earth, her arms became branches. She was becoming…a tree!
(Y entonces, de pronto, Dafne sintió que sus pies se hundían en la tierra y que todos su miembros se entiesaban. De pronto, su piel comenzo a convertirse en una tierna corteza. Sus cabellos se volvieron brillantes hojas, sus pies penetraron la tierra cual raices , sus brazos se convirtieron en ramas. Toda ella se fue convirtiendo… en arbol!)
The really interesting thing is that over two panels, both of which show Daphne as a complete tree, she still has eyes and eyebrows! It’s an interesting sight, and we are left with the final image of a tree which retains its ability to look around! Between that and the story’s fantastic substance – both in pacing and artwork – I would absolutely recommend grabbing this if you find it.
And our last tree book is…
When I first saw Joyas de la Mitologia (Jewels of Mythology) No. 243′s cover I at first thought that they had visited the Apollo and Daphne myth twice. But as I went through La Mujer Que Odiaba a Los Hombres (The Woman Who Hated Men) it seemed clear that this was some other myth I was actually unfamiliar with!
Then it became apparent that, because I can’t read Spanish and was selectively translating, this was actually two myths merged together, creating an expanded one. It combines the tale of Lampetia and Phaethusa – two daughters of Helios who were supposed to guard the cattle and sheep of Thrinacia and failed when Odysseus and his men showed up and ate them – and the tale of Phaethon, who died when he fell from Apollo’s chariot.
In Phaethon’s original tale he is supposed to have seven sisters, the Heliades. That is the link between the two myths – Helios’ daughters. This story reduces the Heliades to just the two, who are merged with the Lampetia and Phaethusa from The Odyssey. I still have no idea why it’s called The Woman Who Hated Men. I’m sure it would all be more clear if I could read the whole thing instead of selective popping text into Google Translate.
Anyhoo, bottom line, this is one of the rare comics that combines fantastic cover work with some good interior work. At the end of the comic the sisters are turned into poplar trees. Although there is only one panel dedicated to it, both women have an intermediary stage between human and tree which is quite nice, featuring full-body bark and sprouting greenery. It doesn’t quite live up to the amazing cover, but both make this a good buy!
Okay, that’s all for the trees! Tune in next week for our penultimate installment of La Metafeminine En Español!