Saturday, September 12, 2009

Two Days Before

Cerebus arrives back at The Regency roaring drunk, and not particularly concerned that Lord Julius intends to replace him as the ranking diplomatic representative of Palnu in Iest with Elrod. Even had the aardvark been sober I doubt the news would have bothered him overly much. He would have been angry, because that's largely Cerebus' state of being, and it would have annoyed him that he was being passed over for someone he can't stand, like Elrod, but he's had and been removed from posts of power and importance before. He simply picks himself up, moves on and lurches to his next disaster.

Once Astoria has cruelly put a medicinal compound in Cerebus' drink that cures inebriation by bringing on an instant hangover, he's willing to work with her. Actually he's willing to do anything so long as she doesn't speak too loudly. If such a compound genuinely existed in this world the pharmaceutical company that had the patent would be worth a fortune. Cerebus' hangover cure consists of: a dozen raw eggs, twelve gallons of water and hot towels. We had seen him utilise this cure in one of the add ons in one of the Swords of Cerebus collections.

While Astoria prepares Cerebus' wardrobe in preparation for his counter attack against Lord Julius and Elrod to retain his position in the sun in Iest, she explains to him the current political situation and the economy of Estarcion. To back his nomination of Elrod, Lord Julius has adopted the albino as his son. Silverspoon is never mentioned again, to tell the truth I would have preferred to see the Prince Valiant parody return rather than Elrod. Astoria's explanation of how the world of high finance in Estarcion works is largely how it works in our world today. I found it interesting that Dave wrote this in the early 80's and here in 2009 it still applies almost word for word.

Astoria has somehow emasculated Cerebus, and he is well and truly under her thumb. A chance meeting with Mac Mufin (the Pigtish leader, not the footballer), serves to remind us, and him, that at heart Cerebus is still a two fisted brawler who will visit great physical harm on anyone who upsets him too much.

That evening Astoria gets the Prime Minister of Iest to join her and Cerebus for coffee after dinner. The Prime Minister would rather enjoy Astoria's company, and Cerebus gives the impression that he'd rather be somewhere else, doing something else. Astoria has a mind like a steel trap, and will not be deviated from her mission to ensure Cerebus remains the ranking diplomatic representative of Palnu in Iest. The Prime Minister would also prefer this, but he does not want to upset Lord Julius, because his position is dependant on the master bureaucrat's will.

While the Prime Minister and Astoria are arguing, they appear oblivious to the fact that the waiter serving them coffee is actually Lord Julius. Cerebus does pick up on his presence, and speaks to him away from the other two. As always Julius stalls and says nothing, but drops a clue to Astoria's origins revealing that she had a Cirinist connection.

Cerebus is in his suite getting changed for another engagement with the Prime Minister and a delegation of businessmen, when there's a knock at the door and a clerk informs him that a Mistress Jaka is there to see him!

OMG! When I read that last line I almost couldn't wait to see the next issue. While my spirits dropped at the reappearance of Elrod, and I was mildly intrigued by Bran suddenly coming back, I was positively elated that at long last we were going to see Jaka again. Although he doesn't deserve it, there was something in me that wanted Cerebus to find happiness with Jaka and I'd been waiting since issue #6 to see her again.

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