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Comic Book / Neonomicon

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"Looking back, yes, maybe I have gone too far..."
Alan Moore., in regards to this series.

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 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."

In another interview, Moore stated that it was his intention to do the exact opposite of Lovecraft's usual "fear of the unknown" shtick by showing everything (in the most graphic detail possible) regarding the "nameless rituals" and "blasphemous rites" that the author only ever alluded to. As such, the comic contains numerous explicit (some might say pornographic) sex scenes, nearly all of which involve inter-species rape.

Received a prequel/sequel entitled Providence.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: Despite raping her constantly, the Deep One does seem to care about Brears, helping her escape when he learns that she is pregnant. It's implied that this is just how his species naturally reproduces, and he was unaware that Brears was in distress until she actively called him on it.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Something the Deep Ones get hit with in a lot of adaptations. In the original The Shadow Over Innsmouth, there was never any implication that the Deep Ones were rapists, or that the humans they had sex with (mostly men in the original text, but that's less sensational) weren't consenting.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The Deep One again. He is portrayed as being unable to talk with Agent Brears, while in Lovecraft, Deep Ones were highly intelligent and sophisticated creatures that had no trouble negotiating complex treaties with humans. However, he does manage some limited communication with Brears after she's had enough of his forced intercourse, and his ability to detect her pregnancy and his willingness to not just help her escape but also exact vengeance on the cultists imply Hidden Depths (pun intended).
  • Affably Evil: Johnny Carcosa is rather chummy and easy-going for an avatar of Nyarlathotep.
  • Alien Geometries: The Plateau of Leng definitely qualifies. R'lyeh is actually Agent Brears's womb.
  • The Antichrist: In this case, it turns out to be Cthulhu!
  • 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.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: 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: Played With. 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.
  • Book Ends: The first and the last pages are identical.
  • Bowdlerize: While the series doesn't shy away from discussing Lovecraft's infamous racial hang-ups, as is often the case with Lovecraft adaptations, 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 a 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.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: It's an H. P. Lovecraft story written by Alan Moore. Could it really be anything else?
  • 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.
  • Cryptic Conversation: During Brears's drug-induced dream as the creature is raping her, Johnny Carcosa tells her, "What thith ith, ith you're a nun, thee, Asian, merry." Brears doesn't understand this at the time ("I'm not Asian"), but after thinking about it later, she realizes what he'd actually said: "What this is, is your annunciation, Mary."
  • 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.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Lamper. In the covers for Issues 1 and 2, and in the promotional teasers for the story (e.g. the summation on the back cover of the trade), he gets equal billing with Brears. Lamper also gets roughly equal time with Brears within the comic—until he's murdered less than halfway through the second issue.
  • Depraved Bisexual: All of the Dagon cultists qualify, participating in the sex ritual regardless of gender. The cult leader's wife takes her own turn raping Agent Brears.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Lamper and Brears seem perfectly at ease with getting naked around each other, and Lamper gets very defensive when a fellow agent asks if they're having sex, but nothing sexual is ever confirmed.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Brears comments that the Fetus Terrible is probably controlling her mind in some way, given that she's not freaked out about it.
  • Domed Hometown: One clue that this is not our universe is that cities have pollution-filtering domes over them. This is apparently a reference to the work of journalist and futurist David Goodman Croly (also mentioned in From Hell), another writer who, like H.P. Lovecraft himself, is chiefly remembered today for being a massive racist.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Carl Perlman asks Brears if there's any chance of them getting back together again despite the fact she's admitted she only slept with him due to sex addiction brought on by serious self esteem issues. Not only has she just told him that she's so disgusted by him that having intercourse with him is equivalent to cutting herself, he's told her that he hopes she'll eventually feel bad enough to do it again. This seemingly throwaway scene is probably a major factor in Brears' decision to embrace her role as Cthulhu's mother.
  • 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.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The Courtyard had not yet established the later books' Literary Agent Hypothesis approach to Lovecraft and his work, nor the use of real places like Salem instead of Lovecraft's fictional communities and different names for the "real world" counterparts of his characters. Also, the version of Pickman (or "Pitman")'s painting "Subway Accident" that appears is completely different from the one depicted in Providence, featuring what appears to be the Jersey Devil and several other different monsters instead of just the Ghouls.
  • Eldritch Abomination: It's based on Lovecraft. Agent Brears turns out to be Cthulhu's mother!
  • Exotic Equipment: 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, as well.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: The Dagon cultists are this 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 favor of altogether more disturbing imagery.
  • Idiot Ball: The climax of Issue 2 hinges on the normally intelligent and savvy Brears and Lamper, while undercover as a Lovecraft-fetish couple, obeying the Dagon cultists' instructions to strip naked, and for Brears to remove her contact lenses, before entering the pool. They even leave their guns behind in the change room, where the suspicious co-chief cultist Joanie discovers them, and promptly shoots Lamper, then holds Brears at gunpoint.
  • Japan Takes Over the World: In proper Cyberpunk fashion, Pachinko arcades are a common sight in the grim, gritty early 2000s as seen from the '90s America of The Courtyard. The Asian Financial Crisis was still a few years away when the prose story the comic was based on was written.
  • 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 advanced, or at least... different. In addition to the aforementioned domes all of 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-1990s, and the US dollar has recently undergone a revaluation.
    • This is at least partly due to the original short story version of The Courtyard having been written in the 1990s but taking place in 2004.
  • 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.
  • Nobody Poops: 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: The Deep One; he rapes Agent Brears, multiple times, but he doesn't seem to understand that he's harming her and he doesn't brutalize her wantonly, to him it's nothing more than mating. Plus, when he understands that she's pregnant, he gently brings her into 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.
  • Putting on the Reich:
    • Sax in the mental hospital has carved a swastika into his own forehead. 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:
  • Starfish Aliens: Again, par for the course.