Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Countess & The Aardvark

Cerebus arrives at the Countess' estate in the pouring rain.

Given the lack of servants and the spartan look of the house it would appear that the Countess is somewhat impoverished, although that's at odds with the 400 crowns she gave Silverspoon to get Cerebus there in the first place.

The Countess is a rather masculine looking woman, who when she greets Cerebus is actually dressed in a rather mannish manner. It struck me that a number of Dave's women in the books do tend to look rather androgynous, very strong featured. Even Jaka's face is drawn that way at times. It's either a style or something he does unconsciously.

The Countess is intensely interested in Cerebus' book and he's determined to only give very concise answers. He's equally interested in finding out whether she is a Cirinist or a Kevillist. Although both were effectively religions, with Kevillism being an offshoot of Cirinism, at this stage they seem to come across more as political factions. As the book is called Church & State this makes sense. There is very little division between the two.

I think I picked up a continuity error midway through this chapter. Cerebus tells the Countess that he came because she sent him 300 crowns, yet in the previous chapter it is very clearly stated that it was 400 crowns. It could be possible that Cerebus is trying to make the Countess think Silverspoon pocketed the other 100, so that way if she wants her money back he'll still be able to keep that 100, plus what Silverspoon and Rosencrant....sorry Gwane and Trystrim gave him.

The Countess also asks Cerebus questions about what Lord Julius is like. She seems to think he's joking when he replies that Lord Julius is a lot like a bottomless pit you have to keep throwing money into. The Countess seems to think he's being flippant, but the aardvark could not be more serious.

They are interrupted by the appearance of an odd character, who dresses and talks like a McGrew, and seems to be labouring under the misconception that he is the Countess' fiance. He may be crude, but I got the feeling that he bankrolls the Countess.

Dave developed quite a habit of writing parts of his story in prose with one large chunk of it per page. He does that here, with Cerebus writing his memoir. He finishes this entry off with the revelation that Lord Julius moustache is painted on.

When Cerebus encounters the Countess the following day she is wearing sundress, although she still looks like a man, and is in a playful mood, going so far as to push Cerebus into a fountain in her garden. It's a move she soon regrets as we all know what happens when Cerebus' fur gets wet.

That night as the Countess and Cerebus sit in the window talking by the light of the crescent moon we find out a little more about the aardvark's past. He tells the Countess that he lived with a girl for while when he was 18, but she wasn't old enough to marry. He reminisced that she was spoilt and crazy, but never dull. The reminiscences are cut short by a crash downstairs.

Cerebus goes to investigate with the Countess in tow and stops dead. The Countess lets out a shocked cry of Uncle Artemis! Her 'uncle' is the Roach! He's in a different costume and he's unshaven, but it is the Roach. Kevitch still seems to be with him, narrating his movements and promising that they can't miss the secret origin of the Wolveroach! Part one of a three-part miniseries. Then he passes out.

Dave had obviously decided to take on one of Marvel's actually one of comics, biggest heroes of the 80's. The X-Men's Wolverine. The 3 part miniseries was another comic reference. The most popular characters got limited spin off books, usually they showcased the characters origin.

The rest of the story was worth it simply for the appearance of the Roach as an incarnation of Wolverine.

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