|July 1980: Fluroc|
|Writer & Artist||Dave Sim|
Cerebus and the T'Gitans have captured Fluroc, the northernmost outpost of Palnu. Cerebus is looking for information to help them capture Palnu as well. He realizes that Gudre, using Stromm as a puppet, is running the show without interference.
The ruler of Palnu, Lord Julius, tells Lord Gorce to raise an army to retake Fluroc, since their main forces are busy with an Onliu invasion. All the while he gives the impression that he is preparing to desert the city. Gorce prepares to defeat the T'Gitans and then overthrow Julius.
The T'Gitans can't find much loot. Luckily, a caravan of wealthy N'Gamin merchants shows up, carrying furs and jewelry. Cerebus tells them a plague has struck the town, which explains all the bloody bodies in the streets and keeps the merchants (and their mercenary guards) afraid. Cerebus examines the wares of each merchant; while doing so, he convinces them they have the plague and will trade them the only antidote for their entire stock. Later Cerebus tells the T'Gitans he threatened the merchants (he only conned them) and realizes how gullible they are.
- Cerebus (last seen in issue 17; next appearance in issue 19)
- Graus (first appearance; next appearance in issue 19)
- Gudre (last seen in issue 17; final appearance)
- Lord Gorce (first appearance; next appearance in issue 19)
- Lord Julius (last seen in issue 17; next appearance in issue 19)
- Stromm, Krull, and Grimes (mentioned only)
- Krauftig and Liebschaft, T'Gitan warriors
- Hammel and Stemson, late merchants of Fluroc (mentioned only)
If Dave has something to say on the issue, add it here
- The cover for this issue was probably put together in a hurry, as it is merely a collage of several of the panels from the interior, colored.
- "Zerbutz" is Graus's way of saying "Cerebus." The T'Gitan language is represented in Cerebus with a German accent.
- Gudre's story--that Stromm can't speak because he would cause massive destruction--may be an allusion to the Marvel Comics character Black Bolt.
- In this issue and the previous one, Lord Julius has a clay pipe, where before he had a cigar. The pipe is more appropriate to the culture, a sign that Julius is becoming more than a shadow of Groucho Marx (and his trademark cigar).
- (page 5) Cerebus tells Graus he is looking for information on any weaknesses of Palnu. Last issue, however, the T'Gitans recruited him because of his "near-encyclopedic knowledge" of Palnu, so he may have been looking for something else; at that moment he is looking at books concerning astronomy.
- (page 15) Cerebus sees a piece and asks about the "owl." We see it from behind, but it may be the albatross.
- Cerebus's diplomatic skills really shine in this issue.
- This is probably not the first time Cerebus was directly and knowingly responsible for the mass slaughter of civilians. This provides yet another reminder of Cerebus's completely amoral nature.
- One of the letters in Aardvark Comment is from Jim Shooter, editor in chief of Marvel Comics at the time, and references an enclosed employee-for-hire contract (not reprinted). According to Shooter, "All creative people at Marvel are employed on that basis." Sim's reply is not politically correct. Another letter is from Richard and Wendy Pini, creators of Elfquest, who say they have stopped sniping at Marvel because their jibes hurt only the staff. According to Sim, those two letters arrived on the same day. He continues, "I discovered that my feelings about my own work ran pretty deep and I found that ownership of that work was something that was important to me."
- This issue includes a map of the city-state of Palnu (not the city itself).