Friday, December 30, 2011

The Unwritten #32.5

Written by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross and Dean Ormston

The .5 issues of this book are being used to tell us something about the Cabal, the group of people who have been shaping and using literature, and literacy, for their own purposes for as long as man has been writing things down.  In the previous .5 comic (they alternate with the whole number issues, which tell the current events surrounding Tom Taylor and his small crew) we saw the Cabal operating in Ancient China, and dealing with Gutenberg at the beginning of the printing press.

This issue is different in that it tells one single story, that of Gilgamesh, the great Sumerian king, and his journey with Utnapishtim, an immortal who wants him to slay a great serpent.  It seems clear that Utnapishtim is Mr. Pullman, a regular in the Unwritten cast, and it seems, the person who sets the direction of the Cabal, if not its actual leader. What we learn is that the serpent, Abaddon, or Leviathan, feeds on human stories, hence the choice to use Gilgamesh, who was then one of the most storied people living.

Carey doesn't give us a whole lot to work with here in terms of connecting what we've learned to the purpose of the Cabal.  We do know that Utnapishtim cannot be killed until people no longer know of him, which is why Gilgamesh has him written into his great epic.  What this means for Pullman I don't really know - he's kind of shadowy and unknown in the modern day issues.

Dean Ormston joins Peter Gross on this issue, and it brings to mind their collaborations on Carey's previous long-running Vertigo series Lucifer.  They are definitely a good team.

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