Annotations for “16: Who Goes There?” 8 pages in Cinema Purgatorio #16
Writer: Garth Ennis, Artist: Raulo Caceres
Note: Some of this is obvious, but you never know who’s reading and what their exposure is. If there’s anything we missed or got wrong, let us know in comments.
General: Pru captures a group of The Thing-type alien doppelgangers who have imitated her. In taking them to Squidpump’s hospital-jail, Pru catches up with her co-worker Eric. She receives a sunflower bouquet sent by Squidpump.
- The cover looks more like something from the movie Jurassic Park, referenced in issue #12. The scene does not appear in this issue.
- The title refers to the 1938 sci-fi novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr., written under the pen name Don A. Stuart.Who Goes There? was adapted to film three times, including the 1982 John Carpenter’s 1982 horror film The Thing. The plot features an alien that changes shape to mimic humans.
- The woman on the left is Pru (Prudence Slapweather).
- The license plate “R2” may be a call out to the R2D2 Star Wars droid.
- On the right is Pru’s paramedic co-worker Eric Astrachan, who last appeared in issue #13 where his werewolf lover David died.
- Similar to the underground scene in issue #3 P7,p3, Pru repeats her full name and the 9-digit number 042511950.
- “Them or something” is perhaps referencing the “thing.” This is, of course, the movie title. It is also the word used to describe the alien in the original novella.
- “Rounding up strays” is perhaps a reference to the alien mimicking stray dogs in Who Goes There? and The Thing.
- “Before you say it, social services already passed the buck.” – what does the “it” refer to that Pru is about to say?
- The aliens “get quite nasty if the brain has long enough to catch up with the change in the bodies” refers the nature of the alien inThe Thing. The aliens start somewhat fazed, and then become stronger and complete more-or-less indistinguishable mimicry.
- “Some Norwegian or Swedish guy” refers to the movie The Thing. The movie opens with the aftermath of an alien destruction of a Norwegian outpost. The character MacReady (played by Kurt Russell) repeatedly mistakenly calls the victims Swedes, instead of Norwegians. Watch this brief clip where he states “you really want to save those crazy Swedes” and, searching for survivors yells “Hey Sweden!”
- “The meat locker at WholeFoods” setting echoes the frozen arctic scenes from The Thing. The alien can essentially hibernate in freezing settings.
- “Suddenly splits into two and then four and then eight” – is this a scene fromThe Thing? – suggest??
- The “test… with blood and a hot needle” is from Who Goes There? andThe Thing, though done with a hot wire. Small pieces of the alien behave as independent organisms, so alien doppelganger blood recoils from hot wire.
- “Be sure to label samples carefully” – suggest?? (Is this the part about the mixing of the dog blood??)
- The split face resembles the initial corpse discovered early on in The Thing. A similar split head is shown in the 2011 prequel.
- The framing of the shadows on our protagonists, making each of them “half black, half white”, is reminiscent of the way the doppelgangers have been shifting identities.
- “David” is Astrachan’s werewolf lover, who died in CP#13.
- Astrachan continues to describe his lover David.
- The dialogue states “You think that’s what he wants?” and ” Knowing my luck… What’s new with you?” These seem to state that William is gay, and perhaps wants Astrachan’s romantic attention.
- The poses and slurred speech are apparently mocking William’s lisp. (Alternately, the speech could suggest that these two may also be doppelgangers. Since it’s merely a single-panel aberration, it’s probably just intended to raise the possibility explicitly, not to seriously suggest that it’s the case. Likely they are kidding around with each other.)
- “Unlucky in love” refers to the events of issue #14 where Pru hooked up with officer Montagnani.
- Pru’s parents were mentioned a few times. In CP#6 P3, the reader learns that their names are Annabelle and Alabaster Slapweather. In CP#14 P5,p4 the reader learns that they were decapitated.
- In CP#5 P6-7, the monster-demon Kazathoth first told Pru that her parents are in hell, then changed the story telling her that they are alive.
- Apparently officer Montagnani has been sending Pru roses to apologize for kicking her out of his place at the end of CP#14.
- “A long walk in the rain” is what followed the final panel of CP#14.
- These depict the hospital’s higher-up Jon Squidpump and his office. Squidpump has appeared several times before: in Code Pru #1 and #2, and CP#11.
- It is chilling that Squidpump knows Pru’s preference for sunflowers, and has sent them to her. It is not yet clear why.