The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
a self-described "wizard" who met Grendel's nemesis Argent
Arbogast Hockley is a self-described "wizard" who practices witchcraft and occult magic. Arbogast Hockley appears to genuinely believe that he can perform magic. He was willing to risk his life on his ability to perform a spell to assist Argent find Grendel.
Arbogast Hockley has for over two decades performed simple magic (such as seances) for paying clients, as part of a little side business.
Arbogast Hockley is a deeply immoral person with little regard for broadly-held societal moral standards, civic law, ethics, traditional moral values, and the well-being of other people.
From: "Devil Dreams", written by Matt Wagner with art by Kelley Jones; reprinted in Grendel: Red, White & Black; Dark Horse Books: Milwaukie, Oregon (2005); pages 69-72:
Narration: Greenwich Village. An unusual offer has drawn him [Argent] here tonight. A scintilla of hope in his godless crusade. Here, at the home of a small-time bookie and self-styled "wizard." Argent snorts. A different stench. Arbogast Hockley -- the wizard -- is stoned!
Arbogast Hockley: Thanks for coming, man . . . er, whatever. Didn't know if Rollins really could get a message to you, like he claimed. Guess I owe him an ounce now . . . bummer!
Argent: I am not here for games, wastrel! Your "friend" claimed that you could deliver information on the devil that plagues this city, and I will have it . . . NOW!
Arbogast Hockley: No . . . No way, man! I-- I can do better than that! I can show you the way . . . lead you--lead you right to him! I'm talking "The Man" -- Grendel himself!
Narration: And it is hope that Argent dreads the most.
Argent: Continue . . .
Arbogast Hockley: I mean, things just ain't the same since that bastard [Grendel] set up shop! [Profanity] city's under a fascist regime! I . . . uh, well . . . I run a little book, now and then -- to, y'know, supplement the coffers! Seancing, spells, potions -- they just don't pay off these days, not like in the Sixties . . . and the early Seventies! Now that was the time for witchcraft! [Expletive] [group sexual events] everywhere, man! And people really went for all the incantations and sh--. A very mystical time, y'know . . . 'Rhiaaaaaannoon! Dreams unwind . . .'
Yeah, well, anyway . . . Now y'can't even run a small-time op like mine without his boys taking a piece! And I'm talkin' serious change. Hardly leaves me enough to maintain this place, even without the rent control . . . Anyway, since neither the cops nor you seem able to lay a paw on this [expletive] . . . I figured that we might be able to strike . . . mutually beneficial arrangement. I mean, I can't believe you haven't tried this before, what with you . . . situation and all--URK!
[Argent angrily lunges at Arbogast and grabs him by the throat.]
Argent:Get to the point!
Arbogast Hockley: I'm talkin' magic, man! A spell that'll lead you right to that mystery prick! I mean, obviously you've gotta understand the power of magic!
Argent: What type of spell?
Arbogast Hockley: An augur draught! It'll sensitize you to his presense. No matter how well he hides beneath that mask, you'll sniff him like a huge stinkin' pile of dog doo! Oh . . . um, sorry.
[Arbogast Hockley worries that his reference to "dog doo" might have offended Argent, who is a man-wolf (given the fact that wolves and dogs are closely related).]
Argent: I already know his smell.
Arbogast Hockley: This isn't a regular scent, man! It'll cut through anything like a beacon! You won't be able to not smell him! Trouble is . . . for it to work, we need . . . something from someone who's actually seen him! That's not easy . . .
Argent:I have seen him. Far too often!
Arbogast Hockley: Oh . . . Well, no. That won't work. We need a fetish . . . A piece of the person as an ingredient for the spell . . . The eyes, actually.
Argent: I know the perfect donor . . .
After Hockley told Argent that they needed human eyes for the spell, Argent went to the prison where Johnny "The Bone" Bonarro was jailed on an illegal weapons charge. Bonarro was the righthand man to Renaldo Costello, who was one of Grenaldo's chief lieutenants. Argent ripped out not only the eyes, but also most of the face, out of Bonarro's head. This killed Bonarro. Although Argent sought to protect innocent people and bring down the criminal Grendel, he was willing to kill Bonarro because he considered the man a worthless criminal, and he felt it would further his quest to bring down Grendel. Arbogast Hockley clearly had no moral compunctions about send Argent to retrieve a living man's eyes. When Argent brought back the man's face attached to the eyes, Arbogast Hockley didn't seem to have any reservations about the fact that Argent had killed Bonarro. This suggests that Arbogast Hockley is rather self-serving, with little regard for the well-being of others.
From: "Devil Dreams", written by Matt Wagner with art by Kelley Jones; reprinted in Grendel: Red, White & Black; Dark Horse Books: Milwaukie, Oregon (2005); pages 75-78:
[Argent is with Arbogast Hockley, a self-described wizard of questionable ability. Hockley has been preparing a magical spell that he claims will help Argent find Grendel by allowing him to smell and home in on Grendel's scene whereever he his, regardless of the distance.]
Arbogast Hockley: Okay, man. It's done. But it needs a flame to finalize the process. So . . . Toke up, man!
Argent: You . . . You realize the cost of any mistakes, should this fail to produce the desired results . . . You will pay the price.
Arbogast Hockley: It's cool, man! It'll work. I made a virility draught once, and it worked like a [expletive] dream! Man . . . What a weekend that was!
[Arbogast Hockley lights the bong-like apparatus in which he has poured his magic potion. He lights some type of self-rolled cigarette and begins smoking it, while handing the potion, which also resembles a Native American "Peace Pipe", to Argent.]
Narration: The sour stench invades his nostrils. A ritual he hasn't performed for centuries.
Argent:Hack! Hack! Hack! Hack!
Arbogast Hockley: Did . . . Did it work, man? What do you smell?
Argent:Hack! Hack! II smell nothing! Only smoke - Hack! Hack! - Only vile vapor . . . but . . . I . . . I see . . .
Narration: A vidion of hope.
[Argent is hallucinating. He sees himself standing across a stream from a small Native American village. Canoes are in the water. Wigwams are on the land and Argent's fellow tribespeople walk around peacefully.]
Argent: It . . . It is the village! As it was so very many moons past . . . Is this a dream?! Have I, at last, come home?!
[There are two pages of material about this vision, not excerpted here, because what Argent sees in his hallucinatory vision pertains only to him. At the end of Argent's vision, the demonic vissage of the wolf-demon Maslun transforms into an even more demonic face: that of Grendel.]
Argent:NOOOOOOOOOOO! It--It cannot be! Cannot . . . be . . . real! Just a . . . dreammmmmm . . .
[Argent falls to the floor. The vision is over.]
Arbogast Hockley: St-stay back, man... I know that you can't enter this protection circle, so j-just go away! It obviously didn't work . . . n-no harm done, right?
[Arbogast Hockley sits cowering on the floor with a magical circle drawn in paint or chalk on the wooden floor. A couple of candles sit burning on the circle's perimeter. Argent, undeterred by the circle, lunges toward Arbogast Hockley, apparently intending to kill the man.]
Argent: But I am no demon from hell, charlatan! I am . . . of my own making!
Webpage created 20 May 2006. Last modified 21 June 2006.
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