When last we left the characters of Rome, pretty much everyone was having a bad day. Brutus was wracked with guilt. Caesar and Niobe were dead. Vorenus was in mourning over Niobe after learning whose child she was holding when he came home the first time. Atia had lost her uncle and support, as did her children. Sure, Servilia thought she was ahead, but I saw that look Octavian gave her, and she is well and truly screwed and doesn’t know it yet.
Well, actually, Titus Pullo got Eriene to forgive him, so he’s doing OK. He truly is the luckiest son of a bitch in Rome.
It gets even better for Pullo since Eirene agreed to marry him. Then he hears Caesar is dead and rushes back to Rome.
Vorenus is really out of it. He actually curses his kids while in a weird fugue of mourning and anger, then wanders off. When he comes back, the kids are gone. Pullo and Eirene return to take care of him, and when he snaps out of it, he realizes what he did and the two men work to find the missing children.
While all this is going on, Marc Antony is fleeing for his life from Quintus Pompey and then goes to Atia’s house where the family isn’t sure where to go next. The first step is to find Caesar’s widow Calpurnia and that woman insists they read Caesar’s will. Caesar left everything to Octavian as his heir, and though Antony and Atia initially look to flee the city, he urges them to stay for legal reasons, and the simple fact is Brutus will obey the law since he’s so idealistic. And as such, Octavian gives them a plan and Atia decides to stay, so Antony decides to stay. And where does he go? Servilia’s house to talk to Brutus and the other conspirators (and the conveniently present Cicero) with an offer of friendship that includes both Brutus and Antony making a speech at Caesar’s funeral. If you know your Shakespeare, you know how that ends. If you don’t, Antony’s oratory made Brutus and his boys look like chumps. And whether you do or you don’t, Antony gets to do a quick slice of Pompey Jr.’s throat on the way out the door.
Hey, Pompey’s kid was first seen as a sadistic bastard torturing people. He deserved it. Maybe if he’d listened to Brutus and not attacked Antony straight out, he might have lived.
Bottom line is Brutus and the others are exiled, except for Servilia, who got spat on by Calpurnia and gets to be a hostage at Antony’s place. Lucky her.
So, with a quiet, private funeral for Niobe and a loud, riotous public one for Caesar, Vorenus learns where his kids went. A single slave survived by hiding and identifies the loan shark Erastes’ men took what was left of Vorenus’ family, and that means Pullo and Vorenus go to Erastes’ place. And that means all of Erates’ people are killed while the boss is in the sauna. And that means we find out Erates, upset over Vorenus’ various offenses raped and murdered Vorenus’ children and dumped the bodies in the river. And that means Vorenus will behead the guy and make an example of him.
Weekend Trek “Ship In A Bottle”
Vikings: Valhalla “Pieces Of The Gods”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #52 (September, 1967)