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Comic Book: Neonomicon
Neonomicon is a four part comic miniseries by Alan Moore
from 2010. It continues the narrative of his 1994 short story The Courtyard
, which had been converted into a comic back in 2003.
The comic tells the story of FBI agents Brears and Lamper who are sent to continue the investigation of the occult murders that had been happening in The Courtyard. They uncover everything that previously happened extremely quickly. Then things take a turn for the worse...
No, not even a turn for the worse, more of a straight nosedive straight downhill from there.
It's worth noting that the reason for this comic's genesis was largely due to some pecuniary issues Moore was having at the time
. In an interview with Wired Magazine: Moore said "I had a tax bill coming up, and I needed some money quickly. So I happened to be talking to William [A. Christensen] from Avatar Press
, and he suggested that he could provide some if I was up for doing a four-part series, so I did. So although I took it to pay off the tax bill, I’m always going to make sure I try and make it the best possible story I can."
It's quite an atmospheric story, but be warned: there is a lot of very graphically depicted sexual assault and rape.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Despite raping her constantly, the Deep One does seem to care about Brears, helping her escape when he learns she is pregnant.
- Affably Evil: Johnny Carcosa is rather chummy and easygoing for an avatar of Nyarlathotep.
- Alien Geometries: The plateau of Leng definitely qualifies. YMMV on R'lyeh it's actually Agent Brears's womb.
- The Antichrist: In this case, it turns out to be Cthulhu!
- Apocalypse Maiden: Agent Merrill Brears by the end.
- Arcadian Interlude: Brears has one, mid-rape. Only it's in R'lyeh. With Nyarlathotep.
- Artificial Limbs: Carl Pearlman has a very Ghost in the Shell-looking bionic hand because Sax cut off his real one.
- Asexuality: What the detectives (and by extension, Moore) seem to think Lovecraft was. They discuss the idea that all of Lovecraft's horrors may simply have come from his own personal revulsion at the very idea of sex.
- Sax is also asexual, as a consequence of being more or less a modern take on Lovecraft himself.
- Bare Your Midriff: Randolph Carter, and Brears both rock this look sometimes.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: YMMV, but arguably Agent Brears. Multiple rapes, the death of her partner, and being impregnated with Cthulhu seem to have turned her around to the idea of destroying the world by the end of the story.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Subverted. The Dagon cultists react positively to the size of the Deep One's penis, but Brears finds it painful after a while.
- Black Dude Dies First: Played completely straight. Possibly justified due to Moore's stated intentions to tackle the racism of Lovecraft's works; YMMV on that one, though.
- Book Ends: The first and the last page are identical.
- Bowdlerize: While the series doesn't shy away from discussing Lovecraft's infamous racial hangups, as is often the case with Lovecraft adaptions, the Deep One's design has been altered to conform to modern sensibilities. While the originals were described as flabby-lipped and bulgy-eyed, invoking comparisons to golliwog caricatures, the Deep One here is drawn with a lipless, sunken-eyed visage, looking like nothing so much as a humanoid coelacanth (which, you have to admit, looks a whole lot cooler).
- Celebrity Paradox: Sax's look and general demeanor are based upon Lovecraft's. This happens in an universe where Lovecraft and his work do exist.
- This is actually played with quite interestingly. In the original story, The Courtyard, it seems like it's just another story in the Cthulhu Mythos universe taking place in modern times. It isn't until the second chapter of Neonomicon that Brears mentioned H.P. Lovecraft. Sax just never made the connection in the earlier story because he'd never heard of him, it having been written right around the time Lovecraft's works were only just starting to begin the huge resurgence in popularity they gained through the internet.
- Country Matters: Dropped by Sax when describing his neighbor, Germaine. Later, Agent Brears unleashes one of these, combined with a Precision F-Strike, on the female cult leader who's just casually informed her that when the Deep One's finished raping her, the cult will kill her.
- Darker and Edgier: The story takes the works of H.P Lovecraft to some very dark places that even Lovecraft himself danced around or demurred from going to. Let that sink in for a moment.
- Did They or Didn't They?: Lamper and Brears seem perfectly at ease getting naked around eachother, and Lamper gets very defensive when a fellow agent asks if they're having sex, but nothing sexual is ever confirmed.
- Domed Hometown: One clue that this is not our universe is that cities have pollution-filtering domes over them.
- Dramatic Deadpan: Agent Brears uses this when she visits Sax for the second time. Seeing as how she's using it to inform him that her partner was killed by the Dagon Cultists, who went on to gang-rape her and turn her over to a Deep One, who raped her repeatedly, in the process of which she became impregnated with C'thulhu, but she's decided that humans are basically "vermin" so she's more or less okay with the impending death of the species, the effect is terrifying. Sax himself is terrified.
- Eldritch Abomination: It's based on Lovecraft. Agent Brears turns out to be Cthulhu's mother!
- Exotic Equipment: Averted. We get to see quite a bit of Deep One penis, and it's pretty much a regular penis. Played somewhat straight in that Deep Ones seem to be able to go at it for hours without any kind of male refractory period at all.
- Some of the sex toys depicted are pretty out there, however.
- Extreme Omnisexual: The Dagon Cultists are this trope to a tee.
- Fanservice: The majority of the nudity has the opposite effect, but the few pages of Brears undressing in her hotel room certainly qualify.
- Fan Disservice: The Comic! Issue 1 starts out as a fairly typical Police Procedural; by issue 2 things are getting weirder... until the last few pages. It's all downhill from there. So very, very far downhill...
- Faux Affably Evil: The Dagon cultists. While they initially appear to be just eccentric folk with weird fetishes who enjoy secret orgies (and who grin too much), they ultimately come off as more repugnant than the Mythos beings the protagonists meet.
- Fish People: Again, it's Lovecraft. and we get to see exactly how those Deep One hybrids get made.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Johnny Carcosa.
- Gorn: A few pages of it; largely downplayed in favour of altogether more disturbing imagery.
- HP Lovecraft: Par for the course.
- Kick the Dog: The female cult leader telling Agent Brears that without her wig, she's not even that good-looking: this is after Brears has been repeatedly raped by the cult and by their quasi-pet Deep One.
- Like Reality Unless Noted: The comics take place around the time they were written but lots of the technology and other things are more advance or at least... different. In addition to the aforementioned domes all the phone booths have built-in fax machines, Louis Farrakhan has a holiday named after him, Bill Clinton declared war on Syria in the mid '90s and the US dollar has recently undergone a revaluation.
- Mental Time Travel: Lovecraft's writings and other Cthulhu Mythos stories and visions of Eldritch Abominations are actually a result of four-dimensional "echoes" of powerful, highly evolved beings from Earth's distant future.
- Money, Dear Boy: Moore's stated reason for writing the four part miniseries.
- Nobody Poops: Averted rather significantly. Germaine defecates in a sink (off-panel, but the feces is shown), and Brears urinates by the side of the pool while in captivity(on panel). The latter becomes plot-relevant when the Deep One smells (and tastes) her urine, and discovers that she's pregnant.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Possibly, the Deep One: sure as hell he takes Agent Brear by force, multiple times, but he doesn't seem to understand he's harming her and doesn't brutalize her wantonly, to him it's nothing more than mating. Pretty much the Dagon cultists, who seem to be much worse than him, rape her with his dick. Plus, he eventually pulls out a Crowning Moment of Awesome when he understands that she's pregnant, gently brings her in the water, breaks the gate that confined her with his free hand, helps her escape, and then goes back and proceeds to rip the Dagon Cultists apart to prevent them from harming her.
- Occult Detective: The two protagonists. Not that they're fully aware of this at the start.
- Place Beyond Time: Both R'lyeh and the Plateau of Leng count.
- Putting on the Reich: Sax in the mental hospital has carved a swastika into his own forehead. Lampshaded, in that the mental hospital clerk refers to him as "Der Führer".
- In The Courtyard he's merely a casual bigot who uses a lot of racial slurs, which seems to be Moore trying to stay true to the tone of actual Lovecraft stories, but he goes whole hog with it once he loses his mind.
- Rape as Drama: A deeply disquieting look at the "blasphemous rites" Lovecraft talks about in his works.
- Really Gets Around: Agent Merrill Brears is a recovering sex addict. This is not played for laughs.
- Shout-Out: Discussed Trope; the miniseries stops dancing around the issue of the ludicrous number of HP Lovecraft references in The Courtyard, and outright addresses them. The FBI agents discuss whether the writings may be influencing a series of occult killings, or whether it might be the other way around...
- Starfish Aliens: Again, par for the course.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Elements of this come into play in the scene where Brears talks to her Deep One rapist.