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Issue 49, "Death in Venice"

Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Richard Case
Inker: Mark Badger

Summary:
written by William Sherman (sherman@netcom.com), edited by Robert Kelly (bobek@rt66.com)

A young Englishman named Bobby Carmichael has a recurring dream about a tree with gloves instead of leaves. As he puts on one called the Love Glove, he awakes one morning to discover his arms are missing, but the Glove is on his bed. He can move the Glove telekinetically, as if there were an arm between him and it.

At Doom Patrol HQ in Rhode Island, the Chief and Josh contemplate the spinning ball of green light which Rebis has become. Cliff listens to a Louis Armstrong record and chats with Baby Harlot, a new personality of Jane's, combined from Baby Doll and Scarlet Harlot. Jane and the rest of the personalities are trying to integrate themselves. Baby Harlot finds an urn in Cliff's room, containing his ashes.

In Venice, Dr. Silence attempts to destroy the painting, but a voice from inside tells him not to, and unhinges him.

In a city dump somewhere, we are told the story of an actress who fell in love with her mirror image. When it began to age, she shot herself in the head, and ended up on life support in Bremen. She's probably Ilse Krauss, who was mentioned in Issue 41. The mirror ended up in the dump. A child approaches it and is consumed by a strange, ghostly being that rises from the mirror. That being is a time-eater, called Alias the Blur; it looks like a greyish cloud with a head of broken glass, reflecting bits of faces.

Again, we are shown stills of innocuous scenes from around the world, and are asked "Who is Number None?".

Another new character is walking through Venice. Agent "!" is his name, and "he comes as no surprise". That it to say, no-one finds him startling, which is rather a good trick, considering his freaky clothes, decorated with exclamation points, and the fact that his chest has been replaced with a birdcage containing a small jet airplane with legs. (We are never given an origin story for Agent "!", but we do know that his name is Malcolm.)

Agent "!" meets the Love Glove (Bobby, from before) and Alias the Blur; they all claim to have dreamt of one another. The three of them go to the home of Dr. Silence and overpower him. They recite a nonsense poem (from their dreams) and good old Mr. Nobody emerges from the painting. Silence pleads with them not to remove his mask, but they do so, and force him to look at his reflection. In doing so, he is forced to see the huge pimple on his nose, and this makes him cease to exist (no, I don't know why).

Inside the ball of light which is/was Rebis, an embryo is forming.

Bobby keeps Dr. Silence's cloak. Mr. Nobody tells them that there are still two members missing from their little group: the Toy and Number None (aha!). He leads them into Silence's trophy room, where they find the bicycle of Albert Hofmann.

Annotations:
written by William Sherman

The title is that of a novel by Thomas Mann.

p. 2: Bobby has various British music paraphernalia. I recognize Lush, Curve, Morrissey, the Smiths, Inspiral Carpets, NME. "Joe's Bar" is a graphic novel, by ?

p. 9: a strange version of the story of Narcissus.

p. 9: "Pepperpot" is the name used by the members of Monty Python for their "little old lady" characters. A reference to aging is likely, considering the superpowers of Alias the Blur.

p. 11: As described in Issue 46, the question "Who is number none?" may be a reference to the television show "The Prisoner" (thanks to Jason Smith [jsmith@aeha1.apgea.army.mil]).

p. 20: "the rest is silence" are Hamlet's last words, from the Shakespeare play _Hamlet_; V.ii.310.

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