|Nov 1980: The Death of Elrod|
|Writer & Artist||Dave Sim|
Cerebus lies unconscious in an alley in Beduin, while the Cockroach and Elrod work out how to save him (and themselves) from a Sopai assassin (confused? see last issue). The assassin's next shot kills Elrod, and he begins beating up the Cockroach. Suddenly, though, the spirit of Elrod takes possession of the assassin. Elrod has become Deadalbino.
Cerebus wakes up in Weisshaupt's office. He explains that he must return to Fluroc and help lead an attack on Palnu. Weisshaupt tells him the attack occurred weeks ago, and Cerebus's T'Gitan allies were not only defeated, they were hunted down to the last man and killed.
Weisshaupt comes up with a plan to use Deadalbino for his own scheme: Elrod will possess the leader of the city tribunal, Executive Commander LaFort, and have him resign. Elrod will then possess Second General Deshen and have him resign. Finally, Elrod will possess General Minon, whose ally Commander Seret will vote with him, and control the tribunal. Cerebus adds to the plan: to get inside, they'll take Weisshaupt and Elrod's body as proof that Weisshaupt wants to surrender. Once Minon is in charge, he'll appoint Weisshaupt to the tribunal. Pleased, Weisshaupt offers Cerebus the position of secretary of the interior in his United Feldwar States.
The plan has only one flaw: it depends on Elrod. Before they can get inside, Cerebus (carrying Elrod's body) finds that Elrod has possessed his own body and can't get out again. Cerebus throws Elrod at the guards and flees, with Weisshaupt close behind. They reach a locked gate. Cerebus wriggles between the bars and escapes, leaving Weisshaupt for the guards.
- Cerebus (last seen in issue 21; next appearance in issue 23)
- Captain Cockroach (last seen in issue 21; next appearance in issue 26)
- DeadAlbino (last seen in issue 21; next appearance in issue 34)
- Weisshaupt (last seen in issue 21; next appearance in issue 54)
- Lord Gorce (mentioned)
- Executive Commander LaFort, Second General Deshen, General Minon, Commander Seret, General Cheen--members of the Beduin tribunal (mentioned)
- Agenda Secretary Nerak
Swords of Cerebus, volume six, introduction to issues 21-22
"You might be wondering why this Deadalbino would happen to Elrod when he got killed, but that goes back to why everyone is watching Cerebus all the time and wondering what he's up to. So that's for me to know and for you to read about. I should be getting to it around issue 175.
"There was a great deal of suspicion about President Weisshaupt's assertion that the T'Gitans had been massacred. I suppose it's a natural reaction to have when I pull the rug out from under you with a radical transition, but, you can believe the President on this one, kids. T'Gitans go bye-bye. Have I ever lied to you before?
"I mean about anything important. ...
"Notice on page seven of 'The Death of Elrod' that he Cerebus is filling the air around him with words, while complaining about southlanders who do the same thing? Having Weisshaupt tell him that his T'gitan allies were cut to pieces with ease by Gorce and his troops put a permanent dent in his conviction that a bunch of battle-hardened barbarians would be more than a match for a bunch of pampered city-dwellers and their mercenaries."
"'Mighty armies' is your phrase, not mine. The Conniptins were enthusiastic, and within their own limited framework, probably quite an adequate army, but come on! Look at Iest (their ultimate target) as depicted in this issue. It's a city for heaven's sake. It would be like taking a band of snarky shepherds with good sword arms out of Scotland and racing south to lay siege to London. Ditto for the T'Gitans. It was a unique alliance that had been forged, largely by the diplomatic proficiency of Gudre, between several T'Gitan tribes. With the reduced troop strength reaching crisis proportion in Palnu and its territories they had a very very small but real chance of making it to the city gates. They had an even smaller chance of getting inside, but who knows? Perhaps under cover of darkness or in the middle of a bad storm. The introduction of the Lord Gorce character changed the whole complexion of the matter. The T'Gitans didn't stand a chance once he had all the armies he needed -- needed in the sense of decided over-kill. Gorce wasn't going to stop until he had the T'Gitans facing absolutely impossible odds. ...
"Cerebus is learning not to trust his instincts when it comes to picking an army to fight with. His instincts in that area are not particularly good."
- The cover of this issue is a parody of DC Comics' Detective Comics #472, pencilled by Marshall Rogers and inked by Terry Austin.
- Deadalbino is a parody of DC Comics' Deadman.
- LaFort and Deshen are parodies of U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon, respectively. Presumably Minon, Seret, and Cheen are also parodies of U.S. presidents, but it's unclear which ones. Possibly Kennedy, Johnson, and Ford (Reagan hadn't been elected yet when this issue was written). It's also not clear how Dave came up with the names.
- (page 5) Elrod refers to Cerebus as "Punch, the wonder bunny." He still thinks of the aardvark as a boy in a rabbit suit.
- (page 6) "Watch my lips" is not a reference to George Bush's famous speech -- the issue predates the speech by at least seven years.
- (page 13) In the bottom middle panel, the words "BOB R" "MRS RITTING" "DARLENE" and "KAREN" can be seen in Weisshaupt's vest. (From Matt D.)
- (page 10) According to the letters page of Issue 27, Sim says that the Cockroach is, as of that issue, still "making sure that the drapes don't eat the house plants." See also Issue 31.
- (page 14) "I do humbly swear that I will, to the best of my ability, remain falling-down drunk at least ninety percent of the time." Cerebus's mock pledge is a fairly accurate appraisal of his second term as Prime Minister of Iest, while he was Weisshaupt's puppet.
- (page 20) Cerebus's prediction that Weisshaupt will end up in Darnier Prison is later proven false (see Issue 54).