Monday, 7 May 2018

Reading Cerebus #19: Issue #16

Hi, Everybody!

"Hey kids! What time is it?"
"Um...Monday-ish...time for your friend to show up and Read Cerebus to us, right"
Would YOU disobey a one-eyed aardvark? That's been DRINKING??
Kevin Kimmes:

Welcome back to “Reading Cerebus”, a some-what new (mostly) 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. Let’s continue.

"A Night at the Masque" - Cerebus #16 (Part 3 of "The Palnu Trilogy")

Cerebus #16, "A Night at the Masque"
This week, we wrap up the Palnu Trilogy and watch Cerebus once again ride off into the sunset, for better or worse. This one has everything: Groucho impressions, the return of inept characters from issues past, herring-and-onion dip fights, and the revelation of our assassin. So without further ado, let's get rolling.

This Festival Is The Pits

Courtesy of
Well, in The Pits, actually, but you get the point. Despite a narrow escape last issue, Lord Julius decides to go forward with holding The Festival of Petunias in The Pits, which poses more than a small problem for Cerebus: How do you protect the Lord in such a confined space?

It's not long before Cerebus' fears are brought to light as a group of sword wielding rebels decide to make their presence known, and the time for rational planning goes out the window. Put on the spot, Cerebus resorts to using the environment against his would-be foes, and instigates a game of "cover the guys with swords" in herring-and-onion dip. This stops the immediate threat, forcing their leader to slink off down a secret corridor.

The first panel is important later...

The Subplot Thickens

While this is all transpiring, we are treated to the return of E'Lass and Turg, both in heavy costume and up to no good. It seems that E'Lass, broke and down on his luck, has decided that stealing the Wyndmel Diamond is the quickest way to prosperity. Then he sees Cerebus, and his nerves get the better of him.

Despite successfully stealing the gem, E'lass begins jumping at shadows, convinced that he is going to be busted. The paranoia runs so high, in fact, that he finally throws it away in order to avoid being found out.

10 issues may have passed, but courage is still a foreign concept to E'lass.

Like Zoinks, Scoob!

After a short foot-chase, we finally discover the identity of the leader of the rebels: Lord Julius' Social Secretary! This revelation is followed shortly after by Cerebus throwing a rock at his head, knocking him off the bridge, killing him. So much for the big reveal. 

The issue, as stated earlier, again ends with Cerebus riding off into the sunset with his bounty in hand. Too bad he didn't stick around, though, as it appears Jaka is about to make a visit to her Uncle Julius.

Final Thoughts
This multi-part story really let Dave stretch out and tell a lot more complex story. Also, it was great to see the return of characters that hadn't been seen in nearly 10 issues. It finally feels like there is an established narrative going, with an established cast of characters too.

Join me back here next week as I take a look at issue 17, "Champion".

Currently Listening To: Grateful Dead - Fillmore East 2-11-1969 (Early Show)

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.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Nice foreshadowing, there, in panels 3, 4, and 5 of the epilogue...

But, don't too excited yet, Kevin. It takes a while to get there.