Popular Culture Review 29.1 (Spring 2018) - Page 106

demonic Other.  According to Steven Bruhm, the bases for this fear are the “anxieties about the aggressions of the outside world” (Kavka 212) and a “fear of foreign otherness and monstrous invasion” (260).   These “aggressions,” at least in Cross’ novel and TV series, include mass shootings, mass stabbings, suicide bombers, possible foreign aggression, child-sex trafficking, drug smuggling, and the growing presence of the Russian mafia. The Terrible Darkness of John Luther Any discussion of the novel and series must include the characterization of John Luther, whose dark, monstrous side begins to surface by the end of the second episode of season four. Indeed, while Cross acknowledges his debt to mystery writers Raymond Chandler and Sir Arthur Canon Doyle (“Neil Cross”), the characterization of John Luther goes far beyond a mixture of Marlow and Holmes.  It involves the creation of a man who, in the tradition of the ancient hero, must journey through the darkened underworld of “derelict London” in his pursuit of the latest killer and who—like Aeneas, Jesus, and Beowulf—must return to the land of the living in one piece.  In addition to events that link him to the heroes of old are parallels that connect John Luther to Lord Byron’s Manfred.  For instance, both Manfred and Luther indulge in an excessive brooding that alienates them from those around them.   Both habitually transgress established codes and norms— in Luther’s case, this often involves side-stepping department policy with the intent of stopping the killer.    Additionally, both characters suffer a haunting of sorts, Manfred by the spirits/ demons that he summons throughout the play and Luther by the memories of those who have been murdered because of their connection with him.   The guilt that consumes both cha