Thursday, September 10, 2009


Sometimes when you’re reading a long running comic you come across the occasional issue which is somehow better than the others. The stars align, and everything in that issue just works. Alliance is one such issue. It’s funny, it introduces some key plot points, and it advances the story.

Cerebus is in a quandary, thanks to the Roach he has two sets of people on his tail: the Prime Ministers wolves demanding their money, and the Inquisitors who believe he was involved in Holland M Hadden’s rather surprising death. He can’t get rid of one problem without creating a new one. As the Elf in her role as exposition explains to him if he doesn’t give the contract Hadden signed to the Prime Minister then the Prime Minister will throw him to the Inquisitors, if he does give the contract to the Prime Minister then the Inquisitors will pounce, believing that to be evidence that he was involved with the killing of Holland M Hadden. What to do?

Stalling for time, Cerebus enters another room of his suite to find the Moon Roach and his female carer lounging there. Cerebus orders them both out, and is prepared to enforce that, until with a few words the lady gives him the key to getting rid of the Prime Minister, she then tells him that she can make him wealthy. That was the magic word: wealthy. All Cerebus has ever wanted in life is money, if this woman can help him reach that goal then it might be worth putting up with her and her insane boyfriend.

The woman, whose name is Astoria, is as good as her word, and proceeds to use her considerable political know how to exploit Cerebus’ position as Lord Julius’ Kitchen Staff Supervisor, and make them both an obscene amount of money. She also explains to Cerebus that it was highly likely Lord Julius gave Cerebus the position because it was the position he started in, and possibly it amused him to do so, and watch people’e reactions to the appointment.

The one fly, or rather elf in the ointment, is the Elf. The Elf doesn’t like Astoria. Cerebus thinks that this is because there has to be something wrong with her, something that will ruin his new found wealth, because something always does whenever Cerebus gets some money. The Elf then confesses that there’s nothing wrong with Astoria, no secrets or skeletons in the closet that she knows about, the Elf just doesn’t like the woman. Possibly it’s jealousy. The Elf had Cerebus all to herself before Astoria came along, and now he’s spending more time with Astoria because she can make him money. The only thing that stops Cerebus from losing it is that he once got an elf mad at him in Imesh and it was not a pleasant experience. He grips the table, repeating to himself: ‘Don’t get mad at an elf.’ Predictably the aardvark does lose his temper with the Elf, and she quite promptly vanishes with a huffy 'WELL!’. I love the drawings of Cerebus’ face afterwards, he makes a number of horrified expressions culminating in a stricken look, and the small words: ‘oh oh’

While Astoria plots, Cerebus stews and wonders what form the Elf’s revenge will take. A messenger arrives with a package from an Edmonds, Lord Francis. Astoria takes it and wonders who Edmonds, Lord Francis is. Cerebus realises what the initials spell and immediately throws the package in the fire. Lucky for him it wasn’t explosives. Seconds after, two Inquisitors arrive saying that they’ve been tipped off that there are illicit, illegal and immoral substances on the premises, and they have authority to search the rooms. Astoria attacks the package in the fire with a poker, desperately trying to break it down. The Inquisitors search, and then finding nothing, depart with an apology.

Judging by Astoria’s reaction there was definitely some sort of narcotic in the package, she’s inhaled the fumes from the fire, it has given her a high, and also made her rather amorous. She starts coming onto Cerebus, and he’s trying to fend her off when the door crashes open and an angry Moon Roach looms in it demanding to know what’s going on.

No comments:

Post a Comment