Monday, March 8, 2010

Becoming Synonymous With Something Indescribable

Well one thing hadn't changed with the switch from Church & State to Church & State 2; the titles, they were still delightfully nonsensical. Dave doesn't actually call the books Church & State 1 & 2, he calls them both Church & State, I've added the 2 so as not to confuse readers and myself. Judging by the covers you could actually call them White and Black. The cover of 1 was predominantly white. The cover of 2 is mostly black, a picture of a fearful Cerebus walking across a carpet of what look like skeletons, holding a glowing black ball, he is surrounded by darkness.

The name of the first book of Church & State 2 is called Sacred Wars. This is an obvious allusion to Marvel's Secret Wars, which was a concept they had begun not long before this came out.

Cerebus ls laying somewhere in the lower city, when he's discovered by an outlandish figure wearing a black costume, with a picture of a cockroach on the chest. The Cootie is back. This time he's got up as Spiderman's dark alter ego; Venom, but he is undeniably Cerebus' old occasional ally and usual nemesis: The Cockroach. He's now involved in a crusade he refers to as the Sacred Wars, he often refers to it as the Secret Sacred Wars, mostly because no one other than the Bug can understand it. I saw this as another veiled insult thrown Marvel's way. I was almost out of collecting mainstream titles by this time, but I knew enough about The Secret Wars to understand that it was a desperate attempt by Marvel to move product. The storyline of The Secret Wars crossed into almost every title on the publisher's roster, which meant that particularly devoted fans would buy titles they did not normally collect to keep up with the storyline. Even then I doubt most of them understood it. I doubt that the writers at Marvel even knew what it was all about.

The Bug drags Cerebus back to his hideout, where he still has the McGrew brothers as his disciples. They both wear white versions of the Cockroaches costume, only he is allowed to wear the black one. The Cootie is as crazy as ever and still has weaknesses that don't fit in with his current character, but did apply to one of his other personas.

After getting drunk with the imbecilic brothers the white glowing ball appears to Cerebus again, only this time it swallows him up. I think we're going on another acid trip.

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