I thought Scipio’s fear of taking on too much authority would be a plot point, and it never quite materialized as one. I expect he did eventually take Fr’Nj up on her offer, but she’s correct in panel 5: that’s as much sharing as he’s capable of in one sitting.

One of my more embarrassing influences is Dave Sim’s Cerebus, an epic tale of a Conan-like warrior aardvark who goes from rags to riches to rags, several times. It was also an indie comic that transcended the late-twentieth-century marketplace to put out 300 monthly issues; therefore, it was instructive to my own efforts at lengthy comics series. But Cerebus has nevertheless had its achievements eclipsed by Sim’s descent into first misogyny and then just all-around crackpottery. (Every once in a while Sim trots out something new for his remaining faithful.)

The ways it went wrong probably outweigh the things it did right, though I could go on for a while about both. But here’s a pair of observations it got very right: getting power and keeping power are two different things, and you’ll never manage to keep power if you don’t change some as a person from who you were when living hand-to-mouth. Same way a lot of lotto winners end up right back where they were, financially speaking, a few years after taking the lump sum. Cerebus’ ascent from barbarian warrior to president and then to pope can’t help but end badly as a result. Scipio’s a lot nicer than Cerebus, but you can see the same lesson in his brief account of himself here.

(Other images I considered using here: “Scorpion King,” “With great power must come… great responsibility.”)