"The law was created to bring order, and fairness. If the law is only a tool to be used as a sword, and not a shield, then how can we say it was forged to protect?" -(AROS)
Hugo refers to Javert as "a monstrous Saint Michael" and likens him to an archangel. At one point, Enjolras says "As there will be no more Satan, there will be no more Michael." And I've always viewed Valjean as a sort of fallen angel (becomes an angel after his revelation with the Bishop, then falls once more in M-sur-M due to society). So, of course, I ended up thinking about Valjean in terms of Lucifer, AKA the Light Bringer, the Morning Star.
If I'm remembering correctly, Michael is the one fated to bring down Lucifer during the end of days. And Valjean and Javert's relationship is obviously predestined. I was contemplating Enjolras' comment in terms of their fates (in the brick), thinking about how Javert kills himself once he realizes Valjean is not who he thought him to be (and therefore the world is not as he thought it to be). I think Javert sees Valjean as an archetype for criminals, and he sees himself as the necessary opposite of (evil) men like that. But when he finds he has misconceptions about Valjean, and therefore possibly all criminals, his concept of self is destroyed. As there is no more black, there is no more white; everything is gray.
So like, what if Michael realized Lucifer wasn't actually evil? If he comprehended the tragedy of his damnation? Then he, as the one fated to end him, would have no purpose, would question everything he thought he believed. People tend to forget that they are, in the end, still brothers.
Anyways, I guess this is my attempt to combine that Michael/Lucifer idea with that quote from my fic. I may be an atheist, but Les Miserables has some pretty religious undertones, so my fic still has a decent amount of religious references/symbolism.
Notes on the work:
Javert actually does have a sword in the brick. He's never seen using it, but it's apparently strapped to his belt most of the time (except when he's in disguise of course). At the time most police officers had poignards (daggers) and swords to defend themselves. The sword I drew ... is not that sword. Javert's actual sword is most likely some form of officer's sword--lightweight, thin, and one-handed, maybe with a basket handle, if we're considering similar French weapons of the time. I went with a greatsword/claymore looking thing because it was A) more impressive, and B) more appropriate. I tried to draw a thin sword at first, but in front of that heater shield, oh man, did it look out of place. (Also I was going for medieval iconography type stuff so the sword and shield reflect that)
The shield is painted with a design that can be interpreted as both the sun and the moon, surrounded by stars (if it was colored, it would be blue and white). This is because, uh, well, my fic is called A Reflection of Starlight, and there an absurd amount of references to that. I keep thinking of tarot cards -- The Sun and The Moon (there's also that GOT quote -- "My Sun and Stars, Moon of my Life"). I'd say Valjean is more suited to be The Moon while Javert is the Sun, but I could see it switched, too; it really depends on how you view both them and those concepts.
Originally I was going to give Javert black wings, because that's how I picture him (if he, you know, literally had angel wings), but I got worried towards the end that it would be too much black in the composition. Still, if I get bored I might make another version of this with them shaded anyways.
I almost forgot about something until halfway through drawing and then I looked at Javert's coat and was like "SHIT, IT HAS THREE CAPES, NOT ONE", haha.
Also, if we're doing some weird symbolism AU thing, Valjean would have wings too, but, um, society kind of hacked them off (when he got arrested/sentenced in Arras). Javert has a messed up revelation/dream about just that in my fic: "Valjean seemed to him some immense angel, stoic and ill-fated, offering up its wings to be hacked from its body, and its wrists to be bound in chains. All without a cry, without tears, and with only the vaguely pained expression of one who has borne great suffering for all their life and done so with a forced smile."
Which leads me to a point I had almost forgotten--another thing that made me think of this was this line in Stand By You by Rachel Platten - "And hey; if your wings are broken / borrow mine so yours can open too / 'cause I'm gonna stand by you".
Way too much thinking went into this, lol
Just mechanical pencil, with some minor edits in Photoshop.