If you haven’t been reading Godland so far, there’s little point in explaining what’s happened so far. In fact, there’s little point in explaining anything in Godland. It’s one of those rare comic books that must be seen to be believed. It is easier to experience than explain. The reader achieves an understanding of Godland philosophies only through multiple readings, combined with pondering the story’s events within the context of comic book mythology.
Adam Archer, Earthman, and accidental instrument of cosmic destiny, has found his sister Neela, also transformed by similar cosmic forces. They both confront R@d-ur Rezz, their disgraced predecessor turned into a self-styled advocate of entropy. Rezz learns about the vulnerable Earth and plans to unleash his powers upon it. Back on Earth, Friedrich Nickelhead is being told the secrets of the universe by a cigar-chomping butterfly, but they are interrupted by a new attack from the Almighty Decimator. And Basil Cronus undergoes his most hilarious transformation yet.
I’ve enjoyed Godland’s extreme cosmic style. Inferring the characters’ philosophies on life and the universe, (and every character has one), has lead me to some strange conclusions. Trying to understand this comic has opened my eyes to different points of view. And yet, those viewpoints are often simple. They usually boil down to “defend life,” “conquer all,” “promote death,” or “seek pleasure.” Good enough for a comic book, but they fall short of the promises made by the series’ pretensions.
I’m sorry to say that I can no longer ignore the artistic flaws of the book. I like Tom Scioli as an artist and a person. But his figures often look awkward and flat. I still believe Scioli can be the modern day heir to Jack Kirby. His art has a similar energy and style without being a direct copy. But even Kirby at his best needed inkers. I’d like to see someone other than Scioli ink his work. Perhaps they can add qualities of depth and definition that have been lacking from the series.
Godland will be coming to a close later this year. Having read every issue, I predict the series will become a cult classic. It’s style and voice are different enough from all comics currently being published that it will attract fans for years. And while it’s not as deep or complex as it would like to be, it’s still an entertaining challenge to read and understand. Reading Godland is an experience unlike anything I’ve had with other comics. Pick up the first trade book and see it for yourself.
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