The title of Chapter 002 is "San Gennaro."
Official Blurb[edit | edit source]
The festival of San Gennaro is nigh, and what better time to catch up with old friends? Sharing a drink with Claire and the Gandor brothers, Firo reminisces about old times and the rumors circulating through the tabloids about a certain killer stalking the streets of New York...
Characters in order of Appearance[edit | edit source]
- Berga Gandor
- Keith Gandor
- Firo Prochainezo
- Luck Gandor
- Claire Stanfield
- Randy and Pezzo
- Maiza Avaro
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
1919; eight years ago. Having set out in search of Claire, Firo and the Gandor brothers' quest finally comes to an end when they find him playing on the roof of an abandoned warehouse. Claire insists that it took hard work on his part to reach the roof, but the ease with which he descends to the floor leaves Berga Gandor unconvinced that he is fully human.
The five boys prepare to hurry home, fearful of what the Gandor patriarch will do should they fail to return before dark. Lingering behind, Firo wonders what will become of him once the Gandors take over the family mafia and Claire pursues his own dreams.
1927. Claire has finally returned home after years of working in the circus, and he, Firo, and the Gandors meet in a Gandor-run eatery for a long-awaited reunion. The news that Firo has joined the Martillo Family rather than the Gandors catches him off-guard, and he is immediately concerned with what they will do should the Martillos and Gandors someday come into conflict. Berga is of the opinion that the Gandors should drag Firo back to their side right away, but Luck firmly reminds him that they promised to leave the subject alone.
Firo changes the subject to the Feast of San Gennaro, a festival taking place the following day in Little Italy. Luck explains to Claire that the festival is a Neapolitan custom celebrating the day when the dried blood of their patron saint became liquid once more. San Gennaro's story reminds Berga of a spreading rumor concerning "The Phantom Father", a murderer disguised as a priest who supposedly does not die even when stabbed. When Claire comments on Keith's visible disinterest in the festival, Luck teasingly explains that Keith prefers silent movies on account of a certain lady pianist.
Two nearby patrons break out into a drunken brawl, which Berga violently brings to a swift end. With the mood ruined, Luck reminds the business manager to conduct good business tomorrow and follows the others out of the eatery.
As the group head down the sidewalk, Luck confides to a curious Firo that the Gandors plan on selling extra liquor during the festival. Caught between admiration and insecurity, Firo cannot help but compare himself to Luck while simultaneously praising him: though they are the same age, Luck has proven to be an intelligent and capable mafia head.
Luck is physically dragged out of the conversation when Claire slings an arm around his neck, demanding that Luck take him to the festival site. Berga hurries to catch up with them, leaving Firo and Keith to walk behind in silence. Keith, ever perceptive, finally breaks it by asking if Firo is all right - a move so unexpected that the first thing Firo does once he recovers is to comment on how rare it is for Keith to speak. Though conflicted, Firo eventually answers that he intends to 'make it' in life on his own – without relying on the Gandors or God to help him.
By this time the two have reached a crowded street, where a fleeing thief bumps into Firo and knocks over a priest in his haste to get away. Firo helps the priest to his feet, and the priest, after introducing himself as Donatello, hands him a lollipop as thanks. His offer for Firo to join the 'other children' watching the nearby puppet show depicting San Gennaro's miracle, however, is coldly declined.
One of Donatello's colleagues calls for him to help carry festival supplies, and he departs after advising Firo to be careful and enjoy the festivities. Firo, watching Donatello trip in the distance, asks Keith in bemusement if he thinks the priest will be all right on his own.
The next morning finds the festival already in full-swing, people flocking to market stalls and entertainment under Italian flags proudly mounted overhead. Not far away, Martillo executives are Randy and Pezzo are making their way down a deserted street when they come across a truck with large quantity of crates inside its open cargo hold.
Pezzo's guess that the truck is transporting liquor appears to be confirmed when he opens one of the crates, as the crate contains what look like several wine bottles at first glance. He and Randy hide when the truck driver returns and watch him secure the tarp, much to Pezzo's regret; he would have liked to have stolen some of the wine first. After some brief speculation, they conclude that someone must be planning to profit off the festival and leave the area.
Back by the truck, the truck driver asks his companion for intel on the location of the local police officers. His companion warns him to be careful while in transit, as the liquor he is carrying – even though it is failed – is worth more than any other alcohol on the market.
Elsewhere in Little Italy, Firo encounters Maiza Avaro and asks if he is going to visit the festival. Maiza replies that he cannot due to work obligations, but encourages Firo to enjoy the festival so long as he is not careless.
Firo decides to stop by the Alveare by way of the alleys, where he stumbles across a grisly scene: a man's corpse has been suspended mid-air, strung up between two buildings via stakes piercing his body and adjacent walls. Horrified, Firo recognizes him as the thief who bumped into him the day before.
At an unspecified time, Donatello confronts Keith in a secluded area. He asks the wooden San Gennaro puppet he holds why the innocent must suffer for the sake of evil no matter how earnest their faith, only to drop it a moment later in favor of a lollipop. With a hateful smile, he calls New York 'incredible' in how it teems with villains and scum: no matter how much one kills them, the mafia infest New York like vermin.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Due to page limitations, some of Narita's dialogue had to be cut from the conversation in the eatery for the chapter's release in the Young Gangan magazine. The cut dialogue is restored as bonus content at the end of Volume One, and continues from Luck's line about the 'lady pianist': Claire, tactless as ever, muses that the upcoming talkie The Jazz Singer will likely put the pianist Keith is sweet on out of a job. Everyone freezes at Keith's expression, and Claire hurries to assure him that he can support her on his own from that point on.
New Characters[edit | edit source]
Unanswered Questions[edit | edit source]
- Why is Donatello confronting Keith?
- What is the truck driver doing with the failed immortality elixir?
- Was it the priest who murdered the thief?
Quotes[edit | edit source]
"You can kill them and kill them, but there will always be more. They breed like maggots and swarm like ants!! The mafia. Yes, the Mafia...!! They swarm New York...like vermin!!" - Donatello