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Godland #1

Posted: Monday, August 1, 2005
By: Michael Deeley



Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: Tom Scioli

Publisher: Image Comics


By now, you should know Iím going to like anything by Tom Scioli. Heís a friend and a great artist. But Godland really is a great comic book. Not only does it successfully recall the excitement and adventure of a Silver Age comic, it has the seeds of a post-modern self-awareness.

Adam Archer was the only survivor of the first manned mission to Mars. In his last hours of life, he finds a weird alien construct buried deep within the planet. Heís bombarded with energies and images. Time itself seems to fracture.

4 years later, Archer is a cosmically-empowered superhero working for the U.S. Military. He lives with his sisters in a Manhattan skyscraper. They donít seem happy about their forced situation. When a flaming meteor crashes in China, Archer is dispatched to investigate. The meteor turns out to be a giant alien dog on a possibly benevolent mission. Before Archer can learn more, theyíre both attacked by the army of Basil Cronus--a man whose skull floats in a jar.

Meanwhile, in the Arctic, the evil Discordia tortures Crashman and cynically watches the national news.

Archer wonders why heís talking trash during the fight. To comic book readers, itís nothing unusual. In reality, itís difficult and counterproductive to talk and fight at the same time. Immature, really. Discordia criticizes the helpless Crashman for his poor trash-talking skills. It seems posturing is related to superpowers in this world. Itís early, but I think this is the beginning of a theme of examination of traditional comic book techniques. Thereís something a little off through much of the book. It reads and looks like any old-time comic book, only . . . not. Cronusí skull isnít fixed in the middle of his helmet/tank. Itís floating sideways on top of the fluid. The whole story is like that: off-kilter, but perfectly natural.

As for the art, itís great. Iíll say itís great. It doesnít just look like Kirby, it is Kirby. Itís mighty men with craggy faces with power coursing through their very veins crackling with energy as they face weird, unearthly and unhuman opponents. Awesome. My one complaint is that the women tend to look a little butch. They look as though they lift weights everyday.

I have enough faith in Scioli and Joe Casey to craft an exciting and entertaining adventure. I hope Casey continues to bend the fourth wall and have the characters continue to examine the nature of their existence.

And as a bonus, we get a Hostess parody ad with the Savage Dragon. Itís like theyíre trying to create a weirder version of a 70ís comic!



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