Cerebus: Church & State volume 2
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Cerebus 4: Church & State volume 2If you already thought Cerebus' climb to power had brought out the worst in him, you ain't seen nothing yet. Cast out of his papal home by a false pope (though arguably one with as much right to the position as Cerebus has), our 'hero' has to literally climb back into his original position in time to make his ascension to the heavens.
On the way he's responsible for more despicable behaviour, including non-consensual sex (that some might argue is treated a little too frivolously), showing that the closer he gets to his god, the more barbaric he becomes.
The book is littered with cross references to other comic works, particularly in the first half. By now, you'll probably be wishing that some of the more irritating characters, albeit designed to take the rise out of other comic creations, had never been created themselves.
Both Sim and Gerhard make a good job of the art, with Gerhard's detailed backdrops occasionally outshining Sim's characters. But only occasionally.
Our biggest problem is that it all feels a little dragged out. The plot is fascinating and draws you into wanting to find out what happens to this little git when he does finally face his maker, but the journey is tortured in places, particularly where set pieces with other characters are concerned. More Cerebus and less knowing parody might have better served this epic volume that, at times, feels a little bit too epic.
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Cerebus 5: Jaka's Story