The ninth volume of the Cerebus the Aardvark series, Reads, is the penultimate chapter of the larger Mothers and Daughters story. This is one of the most powerful editions in the series and one of the most ambitious narratives that Dave Sim has ever attempted.
In addition, Reads is the most controversial volume of the Cerebus series to date because of a parallel narrative involving two characters--Viktor Reid and Viktor Davis--who are both alter egos for Dave Sim. This controversy is a shame because the offensive section in Reads--which explores the relationship between men and women--represents only one possible view of this subject. When read as part of the whole series, the passages that may have seemed shocking to some, appear (like all points of this narrative) to question and provoke rather than offend. Viktor Davis is far from a reliable narrator, an idea that is reinforced by the final paragraphs of his narrative and demonstrated by the scariest of all Cerebus practical jokes. Are Viktor Davis or Viktor Reid representative of Dave Sim or simply aspects of his persona? The ending suggests the answer.
Meanwhile, Cerebus, Po, Cirin, and Astoria debate the important stuff, including our aardvark friend's genitalia, the history of Illusionism, the nature of power, and the fate of Astoria's child. Despite the bad rap, Reads is Cerebus at its finest. Like the best of art, Reads has the power to shock, surprise, amuse, and offend--and it even has a whiz-bang fight scene. What more could you want? [via]