LOST - Daniel Faraday as DC Comics' Pariah

Scientist. Brash self-experimentation in space/time. Allegiance pulled between powerful and opposing forces. Helpless to change the course of time and history.

We're talking about Daniel Faraday, thin-tie wearing nerd-king of the new LOST Island, right?

Or are we talking about Kell Mossa, otherwise known as Pariah? This semi-obscure character from DC Comics isn't nearly as well-known as Superman or even the Flash, but to comic book afficionados, his role in the seminal Crisis on Infinite Earths is significant.

Allow me to quote Wikipedia for effect:

Prior to Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC was notorious for its continuity problems. No character's back story, within the comic books, was entirely self-consistent and reliable. For example, Superman originally couldn't fly (he could instead leap over an eighth of a mile), and his powers came from having evolved on a planet with stronger gravity than Earth's. Over time, he became able to fly, his powers were explained as coming from a yellow sun, and a more complex origin back story was invented. ... There was also an issue of character aging. For instance, Batman, an Earth-born human being without superpowers, retained his youth and vitality well into the 1980s despite having been an active hero during World War II, and his sidekick Robin never seemed to age beyond adolescence in over 30 years.

Note a few key elements in that passage that should have resonance for LOST viewers. Unreliable and internally inconsistent back-stories. How exactly was it that Desmond was "almost a doctor"? How was Buddy Holly's "Every Day" playing on his mother's record player a year before it was to be released? Issues with character aging. Richard Alpert. To borrow from Marvel Comics' Stan Lee's lexicon, 'nuff said.

The resolution to these inconsistencies (perfectly understandable in a mythology spanning decades, whose creators had no idea of the future events that would impact the course of their creation) was to fracture the "universe":

These issues were addressed during the Silver Age by DC creating parallel worlds in a multiverse: Earth-One was the contemporary DC Universe, which had been depicted since the advent of the Silver Age; Earth-Two was the parallel world where the Golden Age events took place, and where the heroes who were active during that period had aged more or less realistically since that time; Earth-Three was an "opposite" world where heroes were villains, and historical events happened the reverse of how they did in real life (such as, for instance, President John Wilkes Booth being assassinated by a rebel named Abraham Lincoln); Earth Prime was ostensibly the "real world," used to explain how real-life DC staffers (such as Julius Schwartz) could occasionally appear in comics stories; and so forth. If something happened outside current continuity (such as the so-called "Imaginary Stories" that were a staple of DC's Silver Age publications), it was explained away as happening on a parallel world, a premise not dissimilar to the company's current "Elseworlds" imprint.

Have we seen real-life staffers appear in the LOST mythology? Anyone remember Rachel Blake? Her appearance at the LOST panel at San Diego Comic Con was a boundary-blending double take. The aborted attempt at another alternate reality game leading up to Season 5 is another prime example. Even the name of the event, "alternate reality game," speaks to what I'm trying to illustrate.

And that is that Pariah, after being saved from his own dying world by the demi-god Monitor, is forced to witness the destruction of multiple worlds in the DC Multiverse. He is able to speak to the doomed, but is unable to alter their fate. If the parallel holds, there's some serious juju about to be laid down onto that Island. And Daniel Faraday, brought to the Island by a powerful being (Widmore) and witness to past and future events over which he proclaims impotence, will be there to watch it happen.

An anagram of Pariah's real name, Kell Mossa: "All's smoke." Nothing is permanent.