Too cool to kill
By David Page
(May be the only time I can use this…image courtesy of Pete wells incredible covers blog go check it out seriously)
Эписоде 12.1 Fists of Fury Prig 1141
Story: The Tsar invites the Romanov’s and other Imperial dynasties to New Moscow attend an announcement. Dante is horrified to see a flying billboard with a picture of his sexual antics in the House of Sin. There are dozens of such billboards spread throughout the Empire. Nikolai meets Mikhail Deriabin, Patriarch of the House of Bolshoi, media dynasty. He offers Dante a broadcast deal Dante gives great ratings due to his antics.
Nikolai is reunited with Jena and taunts her about what happened after the Darkstar Incident. They got drunk and ended up in bed together, but inebriation probably prevented anything from happening. Dante steals a kiss and ends up in a fistfight with Jena’s new bodyguard Captain Rudy Arbatov, unarmed combat champion of the Imperial Forces.
Nikolai is getting the crap beaten out of him until he starts fighting dirty, crushing Arbatov’s manhood with a hydraulic vice. The Tsar announces Jena is to marry Deriabin within the year Dante is crushed by the news.
Foreshadowing: Dante finally notices those posters which have been appearing in the background for the past few episodes…
David’s final notes: Another Arbatov appears but despite the horrible fate to his privates survives his encounter. This story also features more Charlie Adlard art to my surprise and oddly has Vladimir with black hair….never knew he dyed his hair though I guess he had a good reason in this story. This begins a linked storyline which lasts (apart from two John burns stories) an entire Gn!
(Image again courtesy of Pete wells blog)
Эписоде 12.2 Last Dance on the Trans-Siberian express Progs 1142-1143
Story: The Firebird is Ballerina-Queen of the Danse Macabre, greatest dancer of the age. Commentary for the event is provided by Kurt Brockman of the Bolshoi Arts Channel. The Firebird throws a rose into the crowd, indicating her affection for the recipient Dante! The ballerina was once the consort of Mikhail Deriabin.
Brockman speculates Deriabin’s engagement to Jena has thrust the Firebird into Dante’s arms. At the after-show party Nikolai asks her to dance, but the Firebird is taken away by Chief Instructor Stravinsky and the Assassin-Dancers of the Danse Macabre. If she ever finds a worthy partner, the Danse Macabre is sworn to free her from all contractual obligations. Dante volunteers to perform the Dance of the Phoenix, but the Crest only knows the first 99 steps. When Nikolai comes unstuck, he is sentenced to death by the Danse Macabre.
Dante and the Firebird flee the party, escaping on the Trans-Siberian Express from Yaroslavl Station, New Moscow, with stolen tickets.
The Firebird reveals her former relationship with Deriabin was a business partnership between the House of Bolshoi and the Danse Macabre, their marriage just to be one of convenience. Dante and Firebird are about to make use of the honeymoon suite when the Danse Macabre reappears, determined to reclaim the Firebird.
The express gets derailed in the ensuing fracas, but not before it reaches Romanov territory. Dmitri and Konstantin intervene, eliminating the Danse Macabre. It seems Dmitri offered the Firebird directorship of Gorky Communications, the media corporation acquired from Tomas Kronstadt. She approached Dante at the ballet as a smokescreen for their negotiations nobody expected Nikolai to try and rescue her. Dante is left bitter by another woman’s betrayal.
Technote: The Trans-Siberian Express is among the world’s most famous train journeys, traveling from New Moscow, through and beyond Siberia to Vladivostok in the Russian Far East. It takes two days to travel 10,000 km and through eight time zones.
Foreshadowing: Forget it Milady, my dancing days are over…ohhhh boy you aren’t kidding there Nikolai…
Payoff: Kronstadts media corporation purchased by the romanovs in the masque of Dante is handed to a now defected Firebird.
Lawyer friendly cameo: Okay this may just be me but Kurt Brockman…is it supposed to be a deliberate Simpson’s reference?
Dante’s kill count: by my estimation Dante killed five of the Danse Macabre
Total Count 35
David’s final notes: Well this is getting to be a habit having women betray him left, right and centre. The series moves ever closer to a breaking point as pieces begin to line up….
Next time: two major milestones in the saga of Dante. The first appearance of his mother and the first appearance of an artist who will rival Simon Fraser in importance!