Tuesday, July 30, 2013

There are... Three Aardvarks!

In light of the news of Sam & Fuzzy succeeding beyond their wildest dreams of their Kickstarter program, I've been reading some old comics as a way of celebration.  I've also been catching up on Dr. McNinja after re-reading the black and white portion of the increasingly awesome webcomic as collected in the McNinja omnibus from Dark Horse.  I was reluctant to jump back into the story when it changed to colour, and for awhile, it didn't quite have the same sense of zaniness as its early stories, but gradually it began to regain (and surpass) its former glory with ever-increasing weirdness often culminating into a climax - and then have things go utterly wrong at the most crucial moment.  While other comics would go the grimdark route when such an incident would occur, McNinja takes these plot twists and spins them into expanded stories.  I've had to stop multiple times in order to take a breather due to everything's that's been happening so far.

But for the most part, I've been rereading Cerebus.  Particularly the early issues which I mostly skimmed the text in order to rush on to the better later stuff.  (It's easier to appreciate a story once you know how everything turns out in the end)  Then I had an interesting thought when I came across this passage where Cerebus confronts a political rival on his deathbed where a certain piece of vital information is revealed:

Thing is, information shown in Cerebus is pretty much a two-edged sword - it'll either turn out to be utterly wrong or totally irrelevant.  Furthermore, the two aardvarks mentioned don't begin to show themselves until much later during the Mothers & Daughters arc - some 75 issues later.  That's almost six and a half years of waiting in publishing terms.

One of the many problematic issues with Cerebus is that it's laden with dozens of in-jokes that'd only make sense back when it was being released.  The most understandable in-joke is the constant references to S-heroes as exemplified via the numerous roles played by the parodic Cockroach.  This out-of-element character in a Medieval world was the only way Cerebus could be taken seriously by the S-hero centric comicbook community that existed back then. The only annotations that explain these references are in Cerebus magazines or various discontinued webpages devoted to the comic.  As a result, the circle of people who're aware of Cerebus' reputation is higher than the number of people who've actually bothered to read Cerebus.  It's very much a cult mentality.

For the sake of clarification, I'll be describing the two aardvarks in question to those of you who don't want to bother with the comic in question.  The first one is Suenteus Po, unintended founder of Illusionism and something of a philosophical messianic figure who's content to remain in the background and see events occur without his involvement.

The other is Cirin (not to be confused with Sarin gas), tyrannical leader of a matriarchy on par with the Female Shapeshifter from DS9.  (She only showed up in 10 episodes in the Star Trek spinoff, but she made quite a presence)  Apply those same Machiavellian tendencies to Cirin, and you have a close comparison to what she's like.  Also, at the time she appears, she's amassed a huge stockpile of gold for a project of hers.

So, with that in mind, what would these rival aardvarks look like?
Who, indeed?
This is the kind of thing I think about all the time.  Slightly bolstered by an article that pointed out various cartoon animals that look nothing like the species they're supposed to portray, both of the above whom are on the list.  Just in case this derivation wasn't enough to satisfy you, here's an alternate revision using another Star Trek reference that ties just as well with Cerebus' problematic "Male light" analogy that'll surely respond to a wider audience:

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