Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Pre-Release Review: God Country #2

Readers may recall I recently discussed, "God Country #1," in a review-segment and quite liked it. As a fan of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw I try to follow their work and news about them. Therefore, when Donny Cates offered via Twitter to send-out digital copies of the 2nd issue of, "God Country," to reviewers ahead of its release next week, February 15th, I eagerly jumped-on the chance to read the next chapter in this intriguing story and review it.

With the scene-setting of the 1st issue complete this one moves more into explaining just what exactly is going on, and sets-up what is sure to be a violent conflict. Last issue Roy Quinlan and his wife Janey witnessed as a demon came to their house in Texas via a mystical tornado and almost killed them before Roy's Father, Emmett, dispatched the demon with assistance from a sword that had arrived too. Emmett had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease but now that he has this sword suddenly remembers everything--good and bad. Us readers learn the sword's name--Valofax, and see it has immense power at the start of the issue as it rebuilds the ruined-house. All good news so far, right?
Well, a God named Aristus arrives to angrily request if he can have the sword back, and he and Emmett converse about the sword and how it will surely bring trouble and strife, but as long as Emmett has it he can remember everything (and is super-powerful, so that's cool). It becomes apparent the God respects Emmett's decision to keep the sword, but the end of the issue it is shown some fellow Gods probably won't approve.

I've given you a bit of a summary of the comic, but you truly have to read it to enjoy watching the bits of story I've described play-out. Cates' plotting continues to be careful in its measured balance of quiet sorrow (Emmett thinking-back over the past as his memory slipped away is touchingly painful) and a good helping of humor too--Emmett doesn't suffer fools lightly! Shaw's artwork is absolutely astonishing as it has always been too, with his human-figures looking great and his landscapes being absolutely jaw-dropping. Just observe this page where Emmett tells the God how he is visiting the, "Realm," of Texas:
Shaw's people stand-out and the land is superbly detailed, with thanks owed as well to colorist Jason Wordie for how it looks beautifully bathed in the sunset's orange hue. The whole book masterfully balances natural beauty with the supernatural like this, and its a treat for the eyes.

Were I to take issue with this book, it would be that in my previous review I said how things were slow to start before a lot of action at the end of #1. In this issue #2 we mostly have a lot of conversing and explaining, which is perfectly fine but I've got to be honest and admit I'm just itching to see Emmett use that sword in order to carve-up some otherworldly threats. Still, the build-up to this issue's climax makes it very clear trouble will soon be coming Emmett's way so I doubt there will be too much of a further wait before Valofax get used.

With this second issue of, "God Country," Donny Cates gives-us humor, sadness, and a heaping dose of suspense for the trouble coming Emmett's way. Artist Geoff Shaw just keeps proving this issue why I've continued to love his work since I first saw it on, "Buzzkill," some years ago, and as a team these two are dependably awesome entertainers. "God Country," #2 may be a quieter issue, but that doesn't mean it's boring or slow. I'm chomping at the bit already for issue #3 and can't wait to see what awaits Emmett Quinlan in upcoming issues. If you haven't been reading, "God Country," I would recommend you do so and pick up this issue a week from today on February 15th--I know I'll be grabbing a copy!
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Journalistic Integrity Disclosure:
A digital copy of the second issue of, "God Country," was provided to me for the purposes of review. No other incentive was given or offered, I don't have any financial stake in Image Comics, etc. etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment