The major problem with this character is that there are at least three people in the storyline with this name, probably more. The notebook pages for issue 47 refer to "...the nearly infinite number of Suenteus Po's". See following entries for details.
His name is pronounced Swen-tee-us according to Dave.
One of the Suenteus Po's wrote a book of children's tales some time around 1312 which "were in fact allegories for complex spells and incantations" (24, p.16), including that for the creation of the Apocalypse Beast.
Suenteus Po of Harbourside
Anarcho-Romantic writer of the books The True History of the 1413 Election and The Six Crises. Took the name of the original Suenteus Po in honour of him. Comes from Harbourside. Served as speechwriter in Cerebus' reign as Prime Minister of Iest. Appeared in issue 47, issue 48, and issue 50.
Suenteus Po The First
Appears in issue 20, 28, 155-161, 165, 174, 175, 176, 177, & 178.
Cameos/mentions in issue 21, 108, 169, 171, 172, 173, 300.
In his first appearance (in issue 20), Suenteus Po seems (or at least acts) like an only semi-competent leader of a small quasi-religious group of drug users, the Illusionists. He claims to have no knowledge of Cirinist "plans", and to be helping Cerebus "for fun".
According to the Suenteus Po who appears in issues 158-161: Actually not the first person of this name, since he took the name after a "great historian who had led the Sepran Empire away from the pitfall of centralized government several hundred years before." (158, p.7)
He claims to have lived through a number of different incarnations over the centuries. His first incarnation was that of a great warrior/statesman (issue 160).
His second incarnation was a gold-smith, who carved religious images into coins, and was executed by the Great Andrena as a heretic (see issue 160). His trial and subsequent execution are seen by Astoria and Cerebus during Astoria's trial in issue 99.
He claims to have lived the rest of his incarnations to date as a humble ascetic (160, p.10).
The Judge refers to Suenteus Po The First and how he had a great military career. He recruited his military by sending young boys into the Red Marches and told to defend the area in the name of the Sepran Empire.
Oscar refers to Po as "a student of history, aware that there had never been a successful assault on the upper city...so he swept into the Feldwar Valley, over-running the lower city and neighbouring lands..gaining complete control of all supply lines into Iest. He installed a military government...assigned the best of his men to guard all roads and stairways into the upper city and declared himself prime minister."
Suenteus Po The Second
Mentions in issues 108, 158-160.
Originally named Alfred, son of Suenteus Po The First.
Upon his father's death, he assumed the name Suenteus Po, and led the army that conquered Iest. Iest had a brief Golden Age, which was destroyed through internal friction, incompetence, and natural disasters.
In his final years, he embraced mysticism, and founded the Illusionists. He granted his name to his followers, and it has been used by many (if not most) Illusionists ever since.
Suenteus Po III
Mentioned in issue 160. "a bloated caricature of his father" (160, p.9).
- "The more worthwhile the Road, the more seductive will be those paths divergent from it." issue 157, p. 139
- "The hardest lesson for the Reformer to learn is that he chooses not whom he inspires, nor does he choose the form and the substance of that inspiration." issue 160, p. 7.
- "Once a profound truth has been seen . . .it cannot be 'unseen'." issue 177, p.17
- "One person's trifle is another's reason for living. . ." Issue 177, p.18
- Talking to Cirin: "Why won't you admit that in an over-populated world the greatest self-indulgence is childbirth." Issue 177, p.19
p. 403: "Suenteus Po reflected much of my best thinking on various subjects at the time I introduced him into the storyline. He was my mouthpiece in the world of Cerebus at the time, as the Judge had been before him and as Rick-as-prophet would be after him. The reader is free to see each viewpoint as superseding the previous viewpoint - as I intended - or to adhere to whichever viewpoint seems wisest to him or her."
p. 568: "No, I had no idea that the Marche region was called that because they sat on the border of the papal estates, but I'd be willing to bet that my former brother-in-law who created the map and place names - and so named the Red Marches - knew it. He was and is very well-read and self-educated. I continually trip over his sly references to obscure historical items - like Clovis and Suetonius which he transmogrified into Suenteus."
Q2: How did Mrs. Thatcher survive the cataclysm that destroyed Iest? It occurred right after Cerebus and Cirin ascended, didn't it? She was in the upper city close to ground zero, as were Astoria and Suenteus Po. Did Astoria and Po die in the cataclysm?
Dave: I would imagine that Astoria and Suenteus Po died in the cataclysm. She might be a different Mrs. Thatcher along the same lines of the two or three Oscar Wildes in the story. You can pick whichever one makes you less uncomfortable: Mrs. Thatcher had a miraculous escape from the cataclysm or there’s more than one Mrs. Thatcher. I’ll back up your choice 100% whichever one it is.