Robert Black hasn’t had a fun time in this series. Sure, he’s had the odd bit of slap and tickle with the odd young lad, as well as meeting some of his idols but on the whole his time in this series has been shite. At the end of last issue Alan Moore had him in pretty dire straights.
We rejoin Black on a strange train back to New York, and once there if you, the reader, haven’t worked out where Black’s probably going, Moore makes it clear during a piece of dialogue.
Black returns to prohibition era New York a broken, and changed man as he takes a huge risk in admitting his homosexuality to an old work colleague.
Things are clearly too much and seeing as everyone has a breaking point, Black breaks as he decides upon suicide as the only way to escape what he’s been put through.
Things aren’t too good for those people Black met in his travels either, and that includes H.P Lovecraft.
There then follows a potted history of events after this, mainly drawn from the works of Lovecraft, but Moore takes us on a sometimes gory journey.
We get the ramifications of the authorities finding out about Black’s research, Lovecraft’s success, his influencing of Conan creator, Robert E. Howard and a trip through time.
As well as a on-page mention of how Lovecraft’s most famous creation has become a pop culture icon.
We pass the events of Moore and Burrows previous Lovecraft related work, Neonomicon, and beyond before landing in a present where Black’s work has spawned some awful, awful things.
Providence has been an amazing journey through the works of Lovecraft as well as pulling together Moore’s Lovecraft inspired work for Avatar to create something new, and quite special. I will say that Providence is going to probably read better as a single work rather than as 12 issues which have not exactly been published monthly, which leaves us with one more issue that promises to wrap things up. Though I’m sure Alan Moore won’t make it as easy as that.