NEW TO PLEX! Oliver Simonsen’s animated feature, The Absurd, Surreal, Metaphysical and Fractured Destiny of Cerebus the Aardvark must’ve been a Herculean feature to create. The fantasy opens with Cerebus (John Di Crosta), a short, grey fuzzy aardvark with a sword, confronting Necross the Mad (Michael Petranech), an evil wizard bent on destroying the universe. The chain of events leading up to this is told in flashback, where the hero aardvark’s brawl in a tavern brings him to the attention of G’ar and T’ar (Yuell Newsome in a dual role). They lead a splinter group of Pigts, a tribe that awaits the return of a giant pig god.
They hire Cerebus to steal a jewel from the powerful wizard Maki (Stephen Mendel). In his tower with his pet dragon, Maki is using magic to spy on the protagonist’s progress. He sees Cerebus trade in his northern barbarian helmet for a vest to disguise himself as an ordinary merchant. Maki reacts in horror, as the helmet was crucial to Cerebus following his destiny to bring the pig god to life. With destiny now fractured, all sorts of strange characters become embroiled in the turmoil, including Lord Julius (John Di Crosta), Prince Mick (Jim Johnson), Prince Keef (Jim Johnson), and Elrod the Albino (Jeff Seiler). Will the mighty sword of Cerebus be a match for this upside-down world of wizardry?
“…the helmet was crucial to Cerebus following his destiny to bring the pig god to life.”
To say Dave Sim’s Cerebus the Aardvark is just a barbarian fuzzy animal comic book is like saying There Will Be Blood is a movie about digging a lot of holes. While starting as a Conan parody, the sword-wielding aardvark would tackle politics, religion, philosophy, and pop culture over a 300-issue run. A feisty black and white publication started in the late 1970s, the comic helped pioneer the graphic novel format and the creator-owned character concept as well as create a market for independent comics.
Back in the early 90s, I read Film Threat and the Cerebus graphic novels while chugging scotch. Three decades later, I am writing for Film Threat while reviewing the comic’s CGI adaptation. Destiny has been good to me. But what of the destiny of Cerebus? Is The Absurd, Surreal, Metaphysical and Fractured Destiny of Cerebus the Aardvark a faithful adaptation? And why does the convoluted title bury the lead under a mound of adjectives? Well, the reason for the title was to make sure it wouldn’t infringe on an authorized adaptation because Simonsen didn’t have the rights or permission.
"…Simonsen could do some amazing things with this property..."