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'G.O.D.S.' #1 pairs striking visuals with a strong main character
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘G.O.D.S.’ #1 pairs striking visuals with a strong main character

Visually sumptuous with a complex lead character, ‘G.O.D.S.’ fascinates as it expands the Marvel Universe.

There is a lot riding on G.O.D.S. for Marvel, but also for Jonathan Hickman. In an interview with ComicBook.com, Hickman said that he crafted several pitches for Marvel, but “X-Men was the bigger, more timely idea.” Given the huge success of the Krakoan era, the expectations couldn’t be higher. It’s time for the second of those pitches to see the world in G.O.D.S., a new series with Valerio Schiti on art and Marte Gracia on colors. So what’s it about? As Hickman told us exclusively, “One of the things we wanted to do is take abstracts and make a more street-level version of the character.”

Those abstracts are quite apparent after reading G.O.D.S. #1. Hickman and Schiti are building out a corner of the Marvel universe that hasn’t been explored, or at least not in this way. Essentially, there are protectors of science and magic, with the latter tied to the cosmic variety. This issue eases you into these worlds with, you guessed it, the end of the world around the corner. The ramifications of the actions of these groups are hard felt. By the end, it’s pretty clear Wyn is well-versed in the unbelievable things we witness and is likely better prepared than Doctor Strange, who makes several appearances.

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Hickman smartly uses Doctor Strange in this issue to essentially prove Wyn is better suited for some threats and, thus, a heavy hitter. Doctor Strange isn’t incompetent, but he’s clearly not as calm and casual about what they face. Juxtaposed with that is Wyn’s dour mood and general point of view on his job and what that entails. He’s quite old and pretty much over it. Yet, he continues and seems charged when he can casually slip in a win for the good guys at the last minute, which he does.

GODS #1 review

That casualness creates an odd push-and-pull relationship with the reader. Wyn is an amazing new hero who can do incredible things, but he’s also pretty drab and harder to root for. He’s a lot like John Constantine in a couple of different ways. He’s got a chip on his shoulder and a good amount of swagger, but he’s also pretty tired of all the noise. And yet, he has a responsibility. Schiti always keeps you there with him emotionally.

Further grounding the character is his relationship with his wife, Aiko. We meet her waiting for Wyn at a bar, and he’s horribly late. The job makes him late, but it also seems very common for him to put her off like that. When the comic comes around to explain why she wants to meet, Wyn is further reduced to a human level, making it easier to connect with him.

That said, an entire eight pages of this issue is devoted to Wyn and Aiko arguing. Told via a nine-panel grid, it’s shockingly long to the point where it almost seems Hickman is working personal stuff out. The entire issue is quite dialogue-heavy, with word balloons that sometimes cover entire panels. It’s never that bothersome, though, and it’s strikingly different from the average superhero comic. Oh, and if you’re wondering, there are no data pages in this issue. There are chapter breaks, but no charts of any kind.

Schiti and Gracia will help you never be bored with fabulous art. With so much talking, I had to go back and look only at the art, and it’s pretty spectacular how Schiti keeps your interest up with angle changes, art that pops right out of a panel, and some of the best coloring you’ll see all year.

There’s some expansion of new locations and magical characters, although they’re introduced so quickly that it’s hard to gather how important they are. Visually, each location and colorful character is expertly designed. In a key sequence, Wyn does some bartering and trading with multiple characters, each one given about a page to do the deal. Juxtaposed with these scenes is a massive battle to save the universe, which further cements Wyn as a very relaxed hero when he does his best work.

Something that works splendidly is the relationship between Wyn and Dimitri. A kind of assistant, Dimitri has a gizmo that can give him droves of information with a few clicks. The back-and-forth between Wyn and Dimitri is high-energy, sometimes funny, and makes for a great duo. Schiti makes Dimitri’s attitude quite evident throughout, amping up his character and making him easy to like. There’s a panel of the two characters talking on a New York street that’s so damn gorgeous I can’t stop thinking about it, yet it’s so throw-away in the grand scheme of things. The art keeps you invested.

Editor Tom Brevoort has said, “This really sits on the axis of Saga and Sandman,” and after reading the first issue, I’m not sure. The Sandman aspect is most obvious with Wyn and his entire vibe, but the Saga elements aren’t quite there yet. I’m cautiously optimistic this series will soar after a few issues are out, but the first issue doesn’t bring the wow factor House of X and Powers of X did. Regardless, visually sumptuous with a complex lead character, G.O.D.S. fascinates as it expands the Marvel Universe.

'G.O.D.S.' #1 pairs striking visuals with a strong main character
‘G.O.D.S.’ #1 pairs striking visuals with a strong main character
G.O.D.S. #1
Editor Tom Brevoort has said, “This really sits on the axis of Saga and Sandman,” and after reading the first issue, I'm not sure. The Sandman aspect is most obvious with Wyn and his entire vibe, but the Saga elements aren't quite there yet. I'm cautiously optimistic this series will soar after a few issues are out, but the first issue doesn't bring the wow factor House of X and Powers of X did. Regardless, visually sumptuous with a complex lead character, G.O.D.S. fascinates as it expands the Marvel Universe.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
There's no beating the visuals with this creative team
Wyn is an relatable yet intriguing character and surprisingly the book feels like a solo book about him
There's are nice hints at a much larger world worth exploring...
...though this issue doesn't plumb those worlds much
Dialogue can be so heavy it's distracting with an eight page argument about divorce as the cherry on top
8.5
Great
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