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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
Tron: The Gospel According to Dumont "The Gospel According to Dumont"
Tron: Betrayal
GN
Disney Press
Written by Jai Nitz
Art by Jeff Matsuda
Cover by Jock

Dumont records "the story thus far" onto Flynn's identity disc.

 

Didja Know?

 

This story in the graphic novel paperback presentation is actually simply referred to as "Prologue" (to the "Betrayal" story). But that seemed a little too generic of a title for me since it is a new story that did not appear in the Tron: Betrayal mini-series and is even drawn by a different artist than the "Betrayal" story. The phrase "the Gospel According to Dumont" is used in the closing narration of the prologue and I have chosen to use it as a title here.

 

Didja Notice?

 

The story, such as it is, is merely Dumont relating the events of the original Tron movie, recording the information onto Flynn's disc per his instruction.

Dumont refers to Flynn as the Creator and, throughout the narration, implies that he believes Flynn created the Electronic World. He also refers to the MCP as Flynn's finest creation before it rebelled. But this doesn't seem like an accurate retelling of what we know from Tron. Although there are many of Flynn's creations in the Electronic World, e.g. vehicles, weapons, and games (written as video games in the real world), the Electronic World itself seems to be made up of parts and programs written by many people who use the ENCOM system. In particular, the MCP is implied in Tron to have been initially designed as a chess program by Walter Gibbs, later modified by Dillinger and gradually added to by the MCP's absorption of many different programs.

On page 1, Dumont refers to Flynn's world as a city of angels and lights. Where does the "angels" allusion come from? Is it simply because Dumont thinks of Flynn as, essentially, a deity, so he assumes it is populated with angelic beings? (I assume he is not referring to Los Angeles, the "City of Angels", since ENCOM and Flynn are revealed to reside in the fictional Center City in Legacy.)

Also on page 1, Dumont describes that Flynn's first act was to make light in their world of darkness, building the world and its denizens bit by bit. The reference to making light from the darkness is a touchback to the beginning of the Biblical Book of Genesis, "...darkness was upon the face of the deep...And God said, Let there be light: and there was light," again casting Flynn in the role of God. The reference to building "bit by bit" has the dual meaning of the traditionally-known colloquialism of doing something "a little bit at at a time" and, also, the computing term "bit", the most basic unit of information in computing.

Continuing on page 1, Dumont comments that Flynn is "unlike other Users...he was, and is, a creator." It's hard to say if Dumont is acknowledging that some other Users are also creators or if he thinks Flynn is the only one of them who is a creator (and, therefore, the Creator).

On page 11, Dumont states that, after the defeat of the MCP, "the oppressive red of the MCP gave way to the new blue beam of Flynn." Yet, most of the Electronic World's denizens already had blue auras, so why does he consider the "blue beam" to be Flynn's color? It is more like the "natural" color of the Electronic World.

Also on page 11, Dumont states that after defeating the MCP and returning to the city of Users, Flynn returned to the Electronic World often, his guidance and stewardship ushering in a new era. So, what happened to the original Electronic World after this? "Betrayal" Part 1 seems to suggest that the world we see there is a new one built by Flynn, with (seemingly) only Tron brought over from the original system. Does the original system world still exist? Has it been somehow remolded into the new world? The biggest question is, what happened to its denizens besides Tron?

The final line of the story is "And so ends the Gospel According to Dumont, the gospel of Flynn's disc." This is a religious callback to the Synoptic Gospels, the Christian gospels "According to..." Luke, Matthew, and Mark

 

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