Morkporkpor translates into my native Ewe as hope. A literal translation however is seeing the way. Hope is the dream of a waking man according to Aristotle or if you like, the dream of a waking man to see the path ahead. Hope is an expectation of positive things to come. Hope is a conscious belief in tomorrow. It is this same hope that pulls June XII, towards another entity, or person, fittingly named Hope.
Hope’s dreams will not be crushed and she has miraculously awoken from Daniel’s brutality. While she’s revealed very little, she seems pivotal to J12’s being. She calls out to June and being the dutiful entity that he is, responds with speedy obligation. He does after all embody Martin Luther King Jnr’s words, “we must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”. His lone battles against corruption leave him open to optimistic possibilities he can’t resist.
He however meets another, apparently older, possibly more powerful being disguised as a man with unclear motives who is an uncle to Hope, MKO. An interesting name considering that MKO is the initials of the man responsible for the importance assigned to June 12 1993, the comic’s namesake, a herald of Nigerian democracy.
MKO Abiola like any man, had a shiny, golden halo and a crimson, scythe-like tail. He is celebrated and lamented. And if MKO’s actions (or lack) in the comic are any indication, the character is a fictionalized re-imagination of the man. Also add the possibility of his embodiment of agency to the mix and a connection to democracy can’t be helped.
June XII has featured a number of quotes from the real-life MKO and it would have been improper to not feature him in some capacity in the comic. Whether the historical MKO and the comics’ MKO are the same remains to be seen.
What’s great though is the introduction of these characters poised to significantly affect the story. There aren’t that many prominent characters in June XII. There’s June, Laalu, the Man in Red and Daniel. Thankfully, that was three issues ago and in the fourth, we get MKO, Hope, Badejo the engineer, Kay and his bodyguard, Batu.
Fingers crossed for the next installment in the series titled Fire which I suspect will reveal the true natures of uncle MKO and sister Hope and J12’s origins. For now however, let us emulate June and always and forever answer to hope. More vim for a better tomorrow.