Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Last Stand
The 5th of Cerebus 6 crises was titled rather ominously as The Last Stand. Cerebus' advisors and cabinet are running about like headless chooks reading reports and arguing with one another. One of his military commanders is the only one with any sense asking messengers if there is any sign of military assistance.
Cerebus has retired to his room where he has proceeded to drink himself into a stupor. The combination of the invasion and the disastrous meeting with Jaka, who has once again disappeared from his life, has forced the aardvark to seek solace in alcohol. He does this often and it made me wonder if Cerebus' aardvarkian constitution actually allowed him to become an alcoholic. Astoria is keeping up the fiction that she is consulting with him to buy time and not let anyone else know of his true comatose state.
Just when he is not wanted Lord Julius wanders in. He and Astoria have an argument, or rather Astoria screams at Lord Julius and he responds calmly with inconsequential nonsense. Cerebus staggers out in the middle of this, suffering from the after effects of his bender. The Roach appears claiming that has been doped. The Roach says that liquid frostonite, which is crazy Roach talk for water, will counter the effects of what Cerebus has been given. A bucket of cold water thrown over Cerebus does do wonders for his hangover, though. This was where Dave started to do something that annoyed me intensely. He kept shifting the orientation of the panels around. One page you're reading the book upright, then on it's side, then upside down, the other side and then upright again. It made the story very hard to read and you had to spin the comic around, it was hard enough to do with a simple paper issue, bloody near impossible with a phone book. The Cerebus' fur smells bad when it's wet joke was still running and it got another airing here.
While Cerebus dries off and gets redressed Astoria outlines plans for them to go into political exile and leave the city to the invading Hsifans. Initially Cerebus goes along with it saying he wants to go someplace warm and Astoria suggests Eshnospur as a possible destination. As they plan to leave Cerebus receives news that some of the forces have managed to halt the advance and his thinking changes, he starts talking about mounting an offensive. On the way out of the building they encounter the McGrews, both of whom are trying to learn Hsifan.
Cerebus and Astoria are packed and waiting to leave when Cerebus digs his heels in and decides to take a look at the Hsiffies for himself. Against Astoria's wishes, actually she was screaming hysterically at Cerebus demanding that he listen to her and come back. Cerebus ignored her and continued out with one of his military commanders, an impressively moustached fellow. Once outside Cerebus borrows his commanders sword and goes to meet the Hsiffies, pausing only to tell his commander that if Astoria's screeching bothers him turn her upside down in a snowbank somewhere.
As Cerebus charges towards oblivion, a naked blade in his hand the forces heading towards him stop and start shouting: Might for Right, Might for Might, Right for Might, Fight! Fight! Fight! They aren't Hsifans, they're Conniptins, more specifically they're Cerebus' Conniptins, the ones that he thought perished outside the walls of Imesh way back in issue #9. I'd like to think Dave planned this, but I don't think even he thought that far ahead back then. This was just a convenient way to get out of a seemingly impossible situation.
I do like the way Dave got Cerebus out of this and how we saw that even Astoria can't hold her cool in a hopeless situation, yet Cerebus true colours came to the fore and if he was going down he was going to do it with a sword in his hand and both fists swinging.