Friday, May 13, 2016
Crossover Cover: Tequila's Sunrise
In 1520, fourteen-year-old Aztec boy named Chalco is given access to the Labyrinth so he can kill Hernán Cortés before he arrives in the New World, and prevent the fall of the Aztec Empire. The Daemonolateria is quoted: “To open doors, one must first know how to find them.” The Thirteen are mentioned, including Behemoth, Leviathan, Api, and Ob, Lord of the Siqqusim. Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of war, mentions several different names for the being known as Quetzalcoatl, including “Jesus of Nazareth, Adonis, Mohammad, Buddha, Divimoss, Kurt Cobain, Prosper Johnson, Benj—.” While traveling the Labyrinth, Chalco sees into different worlds and time periods, witnessing a flooded world from which giant tentacles attack him, several people sealed inside a strange metal room, a group of pig-faced humanoids, a world where “the dead get up and hunt the living,” a planet overcome with living darkness, a tribe of goat-men who dance around a fire and rut with terrified human women, people on an island fleeing from savage monsters, and a coastline overrun with crab-lobster-scorpion monsters. After reaching his destination, Chalco is attacked by Meeble, the planned assassination of Cortés fails, and history continues as recorded. The Labyrinth is a recurring location in Keene’s works, an other-dimensional realm that connects all the various realities and parallel universes; this story provides the most extensive glimpse into the Labyrinth. All the worlds connected by the Labyrinth are threatened by a group of beings known as the Thirteen, pre-Universal monsters that travel from reality to reality destroying Earths. These beings are Ob, Ab, Api, Leviathan, Behemoth, Kandara, Meeble, Purturabo, Nodens, Shtar, Kat, Apu, and one more unknown to readers at this time. Ob, Ab, and Api are from Keene’s novels The Rising, City of the Dead, and Clickers vs. Zombies, as well as several short stories; these all take place in an alternate reality to the CU, with the exception of Keene’s “The Resurrection and the Life.” Leviathan and Behemoth appear in Keene’s novels Earthworm Gods, Deluge: Earthworm Gods II, Earthworm Gods: Selected Scenes from the End of the World, and Clickers III: Dagon Rising, all also alternate realities. Although Leviathan is conflated by Keene with Cthulhu and Dagon, in the reality of the CU, they are separate beings. Kandara appears in Keene’s story “Babylon Falling”; its name is a reference to the Kandarian demons from the Evil Dead movies. Meeble appears in this story, and its minions are the villains of Keene’s novel A Gathering of Crows. Purturabo appears in Keene’s story “Caught in a Mosh.” Nodens is the villain of Keene’s novels Ghost Walk (which takes place in the CU) and Darkness at the Edge of Town (which doesn’t). Shtar appears in Keene’s story “The Cage.” The Daemonolateria is a fictional book of magic that appears in a number of Keene’s works, including “Caught in a Mosh,” Dark Hollow, and Ghost Walk; it is not to be confused with a real-world book called the Daemonolatreia. Prosper Johnson is a minor character mentioned in several Keene stories, most importantly in “Slouching in Bethlehem.” “Benj-” is Benjy from Keene’s novel Terminal, which is also the source of the people in the strange metal room (a bank vault). The pig-faced humanoids are a shout-out to William Hope Hodgson’s novel The House on the Borderland. The world of the living dead could be any of Keene’s various zombie universes: the worlds seen in his The Rising series, his novels Dead Sea and Entombed, or his comic The Last Zombie. The planet overcome with living darkness is from Keene’s novel Darkness at the Edge of Town. The goat-men are a reference to the satyr from Keene’s novel Dark Hollow. The island monsters are from Keene’s novel Castaways, and the crab-lobster-scorpion creatures are from Keene and J. F. Gonzalez’ Clickers trilogy (though the first book was written by Gonzalez and Mark Williams) and Clickers vs. Zombies, all different levels of the Labyrinth to the CU.