Friday, September 18, 2009

The Ambassador Suite

A somewhat peeved Astoria escorts Cerebus back to The Regency, scolding him about a future Prime Minister behaving like a common thug in a lower city tavern. It would appear that Cerebus’ plan to work off some frustration and cause havoc at the Rams Lords Tavern was successful.

Back at The Ambassador Suite (Cerebus’ suite) in The Regency they find a well dressed, older gentleman by the name of Blakely, I don’t think he had a first name, if he did we never heard it. Blakely’s presence was expected. He’s a kingmaker that Astoria has invited to assist with Cerebus’ bid for Prime Minister. He must wield quite some influence, because he’s able to tell Astoria to ‘be good girl and run along’ and get her to do it! Admittedly she’s livid at being spoken to in such a way, and treated so condescendingly, but she does it all the same. This astounds Cerebus and gives him respect for Blakely.

Blakely tells Cerebus that he has no real interest in becoming Prime Minister himself, but can, and will decide who does become Prime Minister. As he’s weighing up the aardvark, and deciding whether he is worth throwing his support behind, Lord Julius enters wearing a bathrobe and a shower cap, asking for directions to the bathroom. This throws Blakely, against Cerebus’ advice he attempts to work out what this means. Cerebus has already told Blakely not to try and work out the reasons behind Lord Julius’ actions because they usually don’t make sense. To confuse the issue, and Blakely, further Baskin enters, and the two men go through a charade of creating a fake letter.

Once Blakely doesn’t know up from down Lord Julius calls a cab and departs before anyone arrives. The cabby appears, he’s the same cabby that Cerebus met on his first night in Iest and the same one that he got to take Elrod out of town. There are a number of possible reasons for this: coincidence, unlikely, that’s not how Dave works, very little in Cerebus’ life is coincidence. The cabby is a generic figure to represent the common man? Again not likely, he’s too well drawn to be a generic. Only one cabby works in Iest or the upper city? Possible, but Iest seems like a bigger city than that, it is after all a city state. He is somehow important to the story? That fits Dave’s way of operating and is the most likely explanation.

While Blakely and Cerebus are trying to explain to the cabby that Lord Julius has left, the McGrew brothers burst in through the window. They have escaped from prison and are going to take their frustrations out on the ‘varmint’. With arrival of the imbecilic siblings the cabby starts to mutter and rips off his clothing unmasking mild mannered, common man, cabby Blake Jocksley and replacing him with ‘the merely magnificent Moon Roach!’ This is the explanation for the regular appearance of the cabby and the completion of the Moon Knight parody. The only thing that had been missing from the Moon Roach’s parallels to his Marvel opposite was the personality of the regular guy cab driver Jake Locksley. This had now been rectified with the appearance of cabby Blake. The unveiled Moon Roach fights and defeats the McGrew brothers, diving out the window when hotel security arrives. The appearance of the Moon Roach or as Blakely describes him: ‘Astoria’s boyfriend’, shows Blakely that it was the Moon Roach who dropped a giant crescent moon on the Head Inquisitor, not Cerebus.

Before the two can get back to business Elrod arrives to offer his condolences, having recently won the election and replaced Cerebus as the ranking diplomatic representative. Cerebus takes advantage of the situation to rough the albino up before sending him on his way. This also impresses Blakely. But he’s not sure he can back someone who people think ‘wee wee’s in the sink’, added to that the fact that no one, not even Astoria, has any idea who 'you know who' is or if they will strike again.

Cue the Elf. She zooms in and not only appears to Cerebus, but also to Blakely. She explains that she’s ‘you know who’, but she did that when she was mad at Cerebus and she’s not any more, so it’s okay. She’s overjoyed by the prospect of Cerebus becoming Prime Minister, because Iest hasn’t had an aardvark Prime Minister since….since….well since before they had Prime Ministers! Cerebus makes her realise who she’s talking to and she quite promptly vanishes with her customary ‘poit’. Once he recovers from seeing the legendary Regency Elf Blakely says that he can’t in all conscience back someone who talks to figments of the imagination. Cerebus denies all knowledge of The Elf, Blakely insists that she was there and realises that he’s out a very long limb with no support so has to back Cerebus as Prime Minister.

After the two rather pedestrian Petuniacon issues this one was a welcome change of pace. I also liked seeing so many figures from the recent past. In some ways it was rather reminiscent of Three Days Before with the reappearance of people from Cerebus’ past. Besides any issue that features The Elf is a winner in my book.

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