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Cerebus vol 4: Church & State II

Cerebus vol 4: Church & State II back

Dave Sim & Dave Sim, Gerhard

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31.99

Page 45 Review by Stephen

This contains the sequence I always refer to when talking about one of the key differences between comics and film: that in comics time is represented by space. Sim uses that unique mechanic to perfection in the first of two climaxes here as time, space and a whole mountain buckle under the power of "Something fell". There's a staccato sequence of panels that in part refer back to the first half of CHURCH & STATE. In comics you can read those pages with a certain degree of coherence and refer back to its source if you're astute enough whilst still being impressed by the disorientation, whereas in the stroboscopic sequence of the film Jacob's Ladder, you can't. How could you? Those frames have long since been replaced by others.

So Cerebus is Pope. But that particular Papacy turns out to be but the patriarchal half of a religion whose matriarchal faction believes God to be female (Tarim versus Terim) and motherhood the sole worthy goal. They too have a leader and she is One. Big. Mother.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards guest-star, and once more Sim's ability to phonetically mimic their speech patterns is peerless. Here they are stuck half-way up a mountain whose escarpment appears carved from head to foot in demon heads and skulls, with Mick in conversation with Cerebus and a drugged up Keith supposedly comatose in their carriage:

"Wish th' bleedin' droiver would get back with th'repalcement axel or spowk or wha'ever it is… I'm not lookin' forward to tellin' ol' Keef that we shant 'ave enough for 'is wakey wakey dowse…"
"We shant wot?"
"Cor - nuffink' wrong wif 'is earin'… I SAID' THE DROIVER SHOULD BE ALONG ANYTOIME NOW WIF Y'SIX O'CLO' FEEDIN', DEAR'…"
"Oy… We've stopped."
"E's brillian' in 'is own way..."

Lastly, the mysterious Judge tells Cerebus a truth, Truth or 'Truth':

"You will live only a few more years. You die alone. Unmourned. And Unloved.
"Suffering… Suffering you'll have no trouble doing.
"And if you are tempted - ever - to consider you suffering unjustified, just remember your second marriage."

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