Saturday, May 22, 2010


I have to apologize for not doing any Cerebus recently. I do have an excuse, it's not a good one, but it is an excuse. I have a really crappy old copy of Church & State II. So old and crappy that it is literally falling apart. I could buy a new one, but why should I spend upwards of $50 to replace a copy which has all the pages, which admittedly are falling out, but they're still there at the moment. Anyway it makes the book bloody hard to read and flick through to review.

So. No, not the 80's CD by Peter Gabriel. That's what Dave called this chapter, eventually you can't think up any more cool names. It was the last word in the previous chapter and it's the first word in this one.

Cerebus confronts and chained and somewhat the worse for wear Astoria, who has admitted to killing the other Pope, the Lion of Serrea, from the conversation that she and Cerebus have I gathered she did it quite openly in front of witnesses.

Astoria contends that morally she's more in the right than Cerebus, because he's killed a number of people for no good reason. Cerebus claims that Popes are not just people, which causes Astoria to bring up Thrunk, who Cerebus blew up. Cerebus argues that he doesn't count because he was a false Pope.

Astoria then says that Cerebus owes her. If it wasn't for her, he would never have been made Pope in the first place. Cerebus' counters that if Astoria hadn't brought the Bug into things Cerebus would have been more successful than he was, so it was her fault that things didn't work out before he was handed the papacy.

Astoria then proves that she can still manipulate Cerebus by tricking him into giving her a drink of water. She then attempts to seduce him, or rather tease him. This is largely where things went pear shaped, not in the chapter, which is compelling, but more in the book as a whole and it altered readers perception of Dave. So is the controversial 'rape' issue.

Astoria attempts to tease Cerebus by offering him sex, knowing full well that he can't act on his desires because legally he's still married to Sophia and as Pope he cannot break the sanctity of marriage. What Astoria doesn't expect is for Cerebus to gag her, divorce himself from Sophia, marry himself to Astoria and then consummate the 'marriage'. Legally as Pope, as the ONLY Pope, Cerebus can do this. Morally it's completely wrong and turned a lot of people off. I believe Dave's response would be that he spent the better part of 80 or so issues of the book showing that Cerebus' moral compass was seriously skewed, so why is anyone surprised now? It's hard to know at any stage what Dave was thinking. I personally wish he hadn't put the rape scene in the book, because it forever altered mine and many other people's perceptions of the aardvark and the book.

The book was forever changed after So, though.

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