|September 1987: The Sudden Return of the Melodramatic Narrator|
|Backgrounds, cover-colour, and tones||Gerhard|
|Church and State: The Final Ascension|
The Abbess is seen looking at a large dish which has an image of the city of Iest projected onto it through a series of lenses, gears and levers. She sees the tower double in size in a blink of an eye and she screams. The Pontiff character is seen mirroring Astoria's actions. Astoria yells to stop him, referring to Cerebus as he leaps out the window, and the height of the Supreme Commander's sword arm is not seen behind her.
The body of Bran lies on the floor in the hotel where Most Holy once stayed, its lips begin to move, but it is unknown what word is being formed. Bear is in the woods listening and watching the "little people". He hears glass break, feels a sharp pain in his left hand and sees a piece of glass there. He thinks it is the little people, but we also see Cerebus' left hand has gotten a splinter of glass embedded in it also. Jaka is watching the tower grow, and a crack forms in the window from where she is watching.
Cerebus feels the cold night air as he breaks through the window towards the tower. He plunges down, flings his hand outward and grabs onto the tower.
Harmon Blakely is walking down Concordance Boulevard towards the Regency Hotel when the ground starts to tremble, and an series of explosions overlapping each other are heard as the tower separates from its base surrounding the Upper City of Iest and starts to rise.
Cerebus is still holding onto the tower as it rises into the air. The tower quickly reaches the speed of sound, shattering windows in both the upper and lower cities of Iest, but Cerebus hears nothing. The tower starts to revolve.
- Bran Mac Mufin (last seen in issue 80; next appearance in issue 112)
- Cerebus (last seen in issue 101; next appearance in issue 103)
- The Abbess (last seen in issue 67; final appearance)
- Astoria (last seen in issue 101; next appearance in issue 142)
- Bear (last seen in issue 79; next appearance in issue 150)
- Jaka (last seen in issue 75; next appearance in issue 114)
- Blakely (last seen in issue 64; next appearance in issue 156)
Q4: Breaking glass: When the piece of glass corkscrewed into Cerebus' chest during Church & State, did you put that in as descriptive prose, or did you see it as having a symbolic resonance? And does this glass also connect with the piece of glass that appears in Bear's hand while Cerebus is breaking through the window?
DAVE: I think you asked me about this before and I was too lazy to go back and actually take a look at the sequence itself. I apologize. Part of what I was dealing with in the super-slow motion of Cerebus bursting through the window was the sheer implausibility of it as a movie cliché—I mean, what are the odds of going through a pane of glass and not even getting a scratch?—and trying to address that in some way. “The glittering rectangle shape of a splinter, cork-screwing from the point of impact, leaves a nearly imperceptible trail across the sweat-slickened fur of the Earth-pig’s left breast.” Well, there to me is exactly the problem. If you can get all the glass shards going straight out and perpendicular to the point of impact, you’re laughing. But that seems really unlikely because of the amount of force being generated and the “spin” that’s going to result as soon as the splinters are behaving independently in reaction to the force generated at the point of impact relative to their now considerably lighter and independently moving selves. All you need is one “problem child” shard and you might as well be trying to burp a live chainsaw. So what I did was attempt to introduce a mystical event at the microcosmic level, taking the assumption that whatever is in control of Cerebus at this point—realizing that a successful Ascension may be at stake—was sufficiently engaged and sufficiently efficacious to be watching for exactly that “problem child” shard. That the thing in control of Cerebus was efficacious enough even at the speed with which things were happening to essentially be able to relocate the glass shard through space/time, functioning within the physical properties of the higher realm where the relocation can only take place if there’s a plausible recipient who will accept the relocation on the paranormal terms necessary. Which was why Bear got it, because it was predetermined that he would blame it on “the little people” and his own nature would take it as a given that he would “take one for Cerebus,” another criteria that needed to be established in the elongated micro-second where the shard is either going to cut a major artery in Cerebus’ chest or it’s going to go elsewhere. (C&S II)
Q4: And is this connected to Cerebus’ mysteriously cut thumb in the hotel? (#112/113)
DAVE: Yes, yes exactly. It was too big a stretch of reality to relocate something that large without there being a recoil effect. And however long Cerebus was gone, the recoil was right there waiting for him when he got back. I’m not sure that what we call the real world doesn’t operate on exactly that sort of basis and that there is no such thing as an inexplicable event. Everything happens for a very good and a very specific reason, it’s just that we’re not privy to the logical outcomes that are taking place within those microcosmic time spans and the trade-offs being enacted. As an example, I can picture God and His adversary negotiating every bullet trajectory in a major battle, the disposition of all the grenade fragments at a superhumanly accelerated pace and with exactly these kinds of dislocations being added up and compensated for even as they’re taking place. Only at the time I wouldn’t have thought of it as God and His adversary. More like ‘the powers that be,’ or ‘whoever is in charge of the Universe.’
Q4: Does this connote a connection between Bear & Cerebus that is not apparent? (i102)
DAVE: Only insofar as these are the kind of connections that I see as being extremely likely in our own reality. What the nature of those connections are or the equivalent-of-physics that’s at work or the properties of Higher Reality Laws of Motion, I couldn’t even hazard a guess. The sequence of Cerebus going through the window after running from the Throne Room was, I think, unconsciously based on the Cowardly Lion fleeing from the Wizard of Oz and crashing through the window. Which was always where they put the commercial break and it was time to put my pyjamas on and brush my teeth.
- Most of the issue takes place over a matter of seconds, as Cerebus breaks through the church window.
- The glass window Cerebus leapt through is mentioned to be "thick pane of Panrovian Dynasty glass"
- In the two-page spread at the end of the issue, you get a good view of the Upper City, with the Regency Hotel on the left, and the Church on the right.
- Dave uses text (instead of word balloons) to tell the story in this issue. The text comes from the point of view of a neutral narrator.
- Dave also makes the art revolve 360 degrees during the issue.
- There is a note in the inside front cover that states "All original artwork from Cerebus #103 will be donated to the Mid-Ohio-Con for auction. Dave Sim and Gerhard will be guests there on Nov. 7 and 8th."