Friday, November 6, 2009

The Origin of the Wolveroach

Cerebus and the Countess drag the unconscious Wolveroach upstairs and Cerebus deduces that he isn't really the Countesses uncle. One puzzling thing was the Roach's incredible weight. He had been bulky ever since his Captain Cockroach days, but that was all muscle. This time he collapses the bed when they get him onto it.

Aside from Weisshaupt and Cerebus the Countess appears to have the longest association with the Roach. Weisshaupt brought him to her after spiriting him out of Beduin as a wanted felon. The Countess became quite fond of him, which is probably when she adopted him as her 'uncle'.

It was the Countess that Weisshaupt took the Roach from and moulded him into his 'hero of the realm' Captain Cockroach. When Weisshaupt got himself into trouble and went missing the Roach lost all focus and had no idea what to do with himself.

Astoria came to the Countess and said she needed somewhere to stay. She very quickly latched onto Uncle Artemis and seemed to befriend him, what she was doing was giving him someone else to follow, another cause to use his unique abilities to further.

In his Moon Roach guise he would occasionally visit the Countess and stand outside, on the second floor window ledges. The Countess was also aware of his regular personality changes and of Astoria's relationship with Cerebus.

Somehow he managed to escape the clutches of the church when Cerebus' government fell and let the Countess know that had survived by writing to her as Father Artemis Roach. He returned to his original protectoress not long after that. I found it interesting that she referred to him as Artemis all the time. I wonder where the name came from. I don't think it's his actual name and the readers had not been made aware of the businessman's name, the one that Cerebus had first met. Possibly it was a name the Countess made up for him. In any case the Countess' story about the Roach completely invalidates Astoria's Moon Roach origin story.

At this point Cerebus and the Countess are interrupted by the arrival of Weisshaupt. He claims to have entered through the door they left open when Artemis came in. I don't know if the Countess has any retainers, but she should sack them, because they appear to just let anyone wander into the place.

Weisshaupt is his usual supercilious, scheming self. There's a mention of a Sir Gerrik, which is not expanded upon, but promises an interesting story in the future with more than a whiff of scandal about it.

Weisshaupt is at it again, trying to put together his United Feldwar States concept, he offers Cerebus the Prime Ministership of Iest again, which Cerebus refuses, even though Weisshaupt has signed agreements with Lower Felda, New Sepra, Togith, Iest and Palnu. With Lord Julius on side Weisshaupt thinks he can't possibly lose. He doesn't seem to know the wily Palnan bureaucrat very well, even when Julius says he's on your side he probably really isn't.

Weisshaupt believes that the new incarnation he's given the Bug makes him the perfect tool. The Wolveroach combines the best elements of the previous versions. He has the crazed lone wolf aspect of the original Cockroach, he's the product of a scientific breakthrough like Captain Cockroach, although like Captain Cockroach, it's a bogus breakthrough. The character that the Wolveroach was based on; X-Men's Wolverine had an unbreakable adamantium skeleton that combined with his mutant healing factor made him near unkillable. I was wondering how they'd do that in Cerebus' world and the explanation also accounted for his increased weight. Weisshaupt had given him a costume with 200 pounds of moulded lead stitched into it. He also has the deadly assassin part of the Moon Roach in him as well. Weisshaupt has informants in the government who tell the Roach who to kill, they're known as X-Persons. Initially they were to be called the X-Men, but one of them pointed out that no Cirinist would ever work for an organisation that had the word 'men' in it. The fact that if Dave had done this he would have had to contend a massive lawsuit with Marvel is not mentioned. On that point Dave was forced to pull the Wolveroach because Marvel threatened legal action on the grounds that it was too close to their character of Wolverine. They never complained about Captain Cockroach (Captain America) or the Moon Roach (Moon Knight). Dave did eventually make his peace with Marvel, but he was sure ticked off at the time. I can't say I blame him. Captain America was virtually public domain and the Moon Knight was never more than a B list hero, but parody one of their A listers and watch the legal threats fly.

Weisshaupt is ordered out of the house by Cerebus and takes his leave. It isn't mentioned and maybe it was coincidental, but there was a definite resemblance between the Countess and Weisshaupt. It then dawns on the Countess that she accidentally left 'Uncle' Artemis in the same room as her 'fiance' and that can't be a good thing. I was still struck by the speech patterns on her fiance and how he sounded so much like the McGrews. Maybe he's Onlian.

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