The latest outing from the Vertigo multiverse imprint gives us a bizarre, if familiar world with a similarly familiar protagonist. Goddess Mode puts us into a world on the brink. Everything seems to be going wrong, from the water and air being poisoned, to the overbearing grasp of technology, to the rich being above us all. And caught up in it all is our protagonist Cassandra Price, another young person who just wants to fix it all and save a loved one. Only this isn’t our world, but a twisted timeline where people immerse themselves online to distract from a bleak reality. Oh wait…
An interesting start
Goddess Mode hits first and asks questions later, bombarding you with information and pixelated fury. There is much to be explored in this vast, colorful universe. Robbi Rodriguez is an excellent choice for this series. His style complements the various technological aspects in a way that far surpasses his earlier contributions on Spider-Gwen. Quinn’s script wouldn’t be half as interesting without his work.
Quinn, a noted technophile, has constructed not just a beautiful series, but also a love letter to the Cyberpunk and hacking genre. There’s a cybernetic conspiracy, an all powerful AI that runs the world and a greedy company with a stranglehold on our collective existence. And of course, the Tron-esque path opening into the digital world. There’s plenty of used tropes here, but it’s presented in such a way that it feels fresh and invigorating for a genre that has little foothold in mainstream comic publishers. This a fascinating world that as of yet remains unexplored, but demands further depth.
By the end you’ll want to know the answers to many questions, like what is happening to the digital world and how did Cassandra get there? What is the “Tucker Brady Syndrome”? And how are all these bright magical punk women going to save the planet? If you desire to know, I highly recommend picking up a copy.
Can it all be good?
Sadly Goddess Mode can’t hit a perfect score thanks to some notable issues. The initial few pages are something of a dump of exposition that bogs down what could be an especially strong start. This is easily forgiven though and by the time you fold over to the conclusion it will be naught but a fleeting memory. Replaced by wonder and awe.
Robbi Rodriguez though isn’t free of some flaws either. The majority of the issue he is standout; characters are well defined and there is a level of detail to everything one would expect with a story of this theme. Cyber and digital effects feel authentic and well drawn.
The only noticeable complaint is environmental definition. Late in the issue, there seems to be a tsunami of drawn digital effects that fuse messily with character outlines right in the middle of a fight scene. This moment was quite confusing and I hope Rodriguez avoids this in the future.
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