Monday, 5 February 2018

Reading Cerebus #7

Hey look kids! It's "READING CEREBUS" time!
Kevin Kimmes:
Welcome back to “Reading Cerebus”, a new (some-what) weekly column here at A Moment of Cerebus. The goal of this column is to bring a fresh perspective to the 300-issue saga of Cerebus as I read through the series for the first time and give my insights into the longest running independent comic book series of all time. Think of this as part book club, part lit-crit, and part pop culture musing. Oh, and they told me Dave Sim himself may be reading this, so I hope I don’t screw this up. Let’s continue.

Issue 7 - Black Sun Rising!
Cover by Frank Thorne
"Guess who's back?
Back again.
Elrod's back.
Tell a friend."
- An albino from Detroit, but probably no relation to Elrod...maybe.

This week, I wanted to try and approach the column a little differently as this is the first issue where we really see the return of previously established plot threads. To this point, the first six issues all can be read as stand alone adventures, but with issue 7, we see the return of previously established characters and motifs.

The Return of the Great White Dope

This issue sees the return of everyone's favorite (?) Foghorn Leghorn impersonating albino, Elrod, and boy...I say, boy he hasn't gotten any brighter after his last adventure with Cerebus. Last seen chained to a dungeon wall, Elrod's timing, and loud mouth, appear as Cerebus is preparing to sneak into the Temple of the Black Sun and raid it for the treasure that he learned about from the dying man (see last issue).

Again, we are given Elrod being Elrod in all of his sanctimonious, if somewhat clueless, glory. He still believes that Cerebus is a boy in a bunny suit, a fact that is only further exacerbated by the arrival of Mit the Feeble, a priest of the Black Sun dressed in a white "Cerebus-like" Nameless God of the Black Sun costume. This is played up for comedic effect when Elrod begins violently shaking Cerebus in order to get his "mask off after successfully doing the same to Mit.

Black(hole) Sun

As mentioned earlier, last issue introduced the priests of the Black Sun order, and the treasure that they would do anything to protect. This issue fleshes the order out a bit more introducing not only their temple, but the beast that resides there, a gigantic spider, which the previously undefeated Cerebus falls to in battle.

Also of note, the Black Sun are said to worship the "Nameless Ones", which again appears to be a reference to H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. This was an element touched upon in issue 4, which coincidentally was the last time we saw Elrod.

Who are you? Who, who? Who, Who!

Mistaken identity is a subject that has been addressed previously, especially when it comes to the religious sects that make up the world of Cerebus. As with the Pigts in issue 5, the Black Sun also has their own Gods who look like aardvarks.

The main difference this time around is that Cerebus is not the one who is initially confused for a God of the order, but it is Mit who attempts to trick the order in to thinking he is the Nameless God of the Black Sun, only to in turn be confused as Cerebus by the witless Elrod.

Final Thoughts

This issue appears to establish the beginning of the long form plot for the series and also do away with some of the preconceived notions of previous issues. Cerebus can be defeated. Aardvarks seem to hold a place of great prominence amongst the religious sects of "Aardvarkian Age". Elrod will forever be a doofus.

Join me back here next week as we look at Issue 8: “Day of the Earth-Pig”.

Currently Listening To: The ticking of the wall clock.

Kevin Kimmes is a lifelong comic book reader, sometime comic book artist, and recent Cerebus convert. He can be found slinging comics at the center of the Multiverse, aka House of Heroes in Oshkosh, WI.


Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Sorry there's no images, the post was acting goofy.

Jeff said...

Well, not *forever* a doofus...

Aagh! Foreshadowing!!!

Good job, Kevin.

Michael Cohen said...

Thanks Kevin. Only 293 issues to go.