Code Pru CP16

Cinema Purgatorio #16 Code Pru cover by Raulo Caceres

Annotations for “16: Who Goes There?” 8 pages in Cinema Purgatorio #16

Writer: Garth Ennis, Artist: Raulo Caceres

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Go to Code Pru annotations index

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.

Page 1

panel 1

  • 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.

Page 2

panel 1

  • On the right is Pru’s paramedic co-worker Eric Astrachan, who last appeared in issue #13 where his werewolf lover David died.

Page 3

panel 1

  • Similar to the underground scene in issue #3 P7,p3, Pru repeats her full name and the 9-digit number 042511950.

panel 3

  • “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.

panel 4

Page 4

panel 2

  • “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??

panel 3

  • 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??)

Page 5

Split face alien from The Thing film. Screen capture via YouTube

panel 2

  • The split face resembles the initial corpse discovered early on in The Thing. A similar split head is shown in the 2011 prequel.

panel 3

  • 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.

panel 6

  • “David” is Astrachan’s werewolf lover, who died in CP#13.

Page 6

panel 1

  • Astrachan continues to describe his lover David.

panel 3

  • “William” is the Frankenstein monster character who appeared in issues #1 and #11.

panel 4

  • 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.)

panel 5

  • “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.

Page 7

panel 1

  • 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.

panel 3

  • Apparently officer Montagnani has been sending Pru roses to apologize for kicking her out of his place at the end of CP#14.

panel 4

  • “A long walk in the rain” is what followed the final panel of CP#14.

Page 8

panels 2-6

  • 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.

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>Go to Cinema Purgatorio #17 Code Pru annotations

8 thoughts on “Code Pru CP16

  1. Social Services passing the buck… Not sure, but I think Pru’s still a bit horrified at what I presume is the fate of The Things. Looks a lot like they’re going to be minced, incinerated, or otherwise generally disposed of. A nice farm in the countryside is probably too much to expect. So perhaps Pru was wondering if Social Services could take care of the Thing problem, and house them all somewhere in some nice facility where they’d have art therapy and walks round the garden. Since they are *sort of* human, and they seem harmless (so far). Or maybe Pru wonders if at least Social Services could take the responsibility of incinerating the Things, so she wouldn’t have to deal with it. For Fire Department medics, they have a lot of shitty responsibilities that don’t involve things that are on fire or in medical need.

    Having no idea about how NY runs it’s municipal services, and not much about American cities in general, is it normal that FDNY’s medics would be dealing with the public’s medical emergencies at all? Surely there’s an ambulance service? In the UK there is at least, you ring 999 and ask for fire, police, or ambulance (also coastguard, cave, and mountain rescue, the lesser siblings).

    Then again, here, the ambulance service is nationalised. Are ambulances all tied to private hospitals in the USA or something unimaginably brutal? It just seems really weird that Pru has any work at all that isn’t near fires. I’d expect her job to mostly be victims of fires who need burns and respiratory problems treating.

    This is all before you consider the vampires and zombies, etc…

    P6P4 I’m sure is “knowing my LUCK”, not “love”. The overall chat, though, are they saying William’s come out as queer, and is unloading all his woes on Eric? Or even that he’s romantically interested in Eric? Fuffin’ kypical! Gugger his lug!

    Some issues I’m not too bothered about the backup strips, although Pru is usually the strongest among them. But this issue, they’ve all been pretty great! I hope Code Pru at least concludes by the last issue, so far as telling us what’s happened to the Slapweathers. And maybe Pru’s real parents are someone interesting?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I looked it up (sorry to monopolise the comments!). Apparently FDNY EMS run 67% of all ambulances in NY. The remaining 33% are run by hospitals, the Voluntary Hospital Ambulances, who are paid professionals. So Pru is ordinary ambulance crew, nothing particularly to do with fire, except possibly some demons.

      Seems odd to me for the Fire Department to run general ambulances. In the UK the Fire Brigade just run fire engines, ambulances are a separate service run by the NHS. Still, as long as people get to hospital.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your thorough and thoughtful comments. One caveat – from the Code Pru #1-2 prequel issues, it seems like Squidpump pretty much just locks up the monsters in underground jail cells.


    1. I’ve read the prequels. Certainly he has the unspeakable horror / actual god / entity thing locked up. But does that include all the run of the mill weirdoes? I know we don’t know, but it seems like there’d be some sort of government programme to deal with all these monsters, if they’re not just limited to New York. You’d need a hell of a lot of cells! Surely there’s guards and staff to keep the dangerous and evil ones locked away safely.

      Of course many are harmless, but there’s certainly enough malevolent ones for quite a sophisticated security system, and that’s just to deal with admissions. The system can’t just be one brain-damaged bureaucrat and his ring of keys.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Actually re-reading the prologue again, you’re right. There’s some murpling Thing in one of the cells next to the Elder God and the Alien mother. But do all of them end up there? I suppose so, didn’t Kazathoth end up getting the same treatment? So maybe they are all down there for Jon to insult and troll!

      The “lessers” being who Pru has mostly dealt with so far. Hm. Maybe the prologue is a hint towards the end, Pru hasn’t met the Greaters yet…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh! also… bad form but I missed what you meant by slurred words. They’re mocking how William speaks. The poses, I dunno, taking the piss out of his pained mannerisms?

    They’re not mocking the Things, they can only say “murple!”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice to do my bit on this great website! Makes the comics that much more enjoyable, as did the one on Providence. I look forward to each update a little while after the comic comes out. The only reason I never give any “likes” is because you have to be a registered WordPress member, but consider yourselves greatly appreciated. CP maybe isn’t as epic in scale as Providence but it’s just as compulsive!


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