…What the hell did I just read?
I volunteered to review Avatar Press’ God is Dead #12, which was released May 8th, 2014. Having not read any of the series, I figured it’d be best to start at issue 1 and work my way through, as to not sound like an utterly clueless buffoon while trying to review issue #12.
I’ve rarely been happier with a comic book decision in my life.
God is Dead, created by Jonathan Hickman and written by Mike Costa, tells the tale of the gods returning to Earth to reclaim what’s theirs. And by gods, I mean ALL the gods. Roman, Greek, Norse, Egyptian, Chinese…they’ve all descended upon present day Earth to wreck havoc, burn stuff, and make life for us humans generally unpleasant. Horus, one of the oldest and most significant deities in ancient Egyptian religion, freely walks the streets of Egypt. Greek god Zeus takes the Sistine Chapel for his own reign. The now-familiar Norse trio of Odin, Thor, and Loki are looking to conquer everything in their path, regardless of what god claims the area. Millions are slaughtered and sacrificed during this destruction in what the people will come to know as ‘The Second Coming.’ If A Game of Thrones were a lot less cunning and a lot more brutal, it’d be this.
At the center of it all lies a small team of scientists, fighting for the survival of mankind. Their solution: fight gods with science. It’s unfortunate that not a lot of time is spent with the scientists; the gods are battling for panel space just as much as they battle for breathing room on Earth. Due to sparse attention shown to the scientists, the plot moves forward at leaps and bounds: the team decides on a complex scientific action in one panel and jumps to the physical creation born of that decision mere pages later. They manage to create their own gods, which – as often happens in science – brings its own complications and mixed bag of results. If you’ve ever wondered which side would reign supreme in a bout between religion and science, this is one possible outcome in which nobody wins.
The artwork by Di Amorim in this book is incredibly imaginative. Beyond the heads and guts flying about, Amorim has managed to capture the panic and terror of long mythical figures striding the streets amongst fleeing people. The savagery of Odin, Thor, and Loki both resemble and completely reject the slick look of the characters used in other comics. The man-made gods look distinctly terrifying; even though they’re hulking figures like all the other deities, it’s easily distinguishable that those beasts are not of legend. When it comes to widespread pandemonium, Di Amorim is in fine form.
The only flaw I could give this comic is the extensive amount of gods thrown in. Anubis, Horus, Zeus, Dionysus, Odin, Thor, Loki, Ares, and so many more all tossed in with varying degrees of introduction. The book leans on the reader knowing the major deities, but doesn’t give us much in the way of explanation of some the lesser gods. The pages get plenty cluttered with gore, violence, and bloodlust as the gods rip each other to shreds via decapitation and disembowelment, but there’s also a good number of unfamiliar faces also fighting and making moves. Perhaps it isn’t a flaw, but an invitation to the reader to do a little independent research on his or her own to get a deeper understanding. I know I will.
My score: 4/5