GOD COUNTRY #1 – Review
Story: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw, Jason Wordie, John J. Hill
Cover: Dave Stewart, Geoff Shaw
Publisher: Image Comics
What image could be as powerful as a man standing before nature in all its glory, sword in hand? That thought-provoking image is the first thing you will see as you look upon the majesty that is God Country #1. Major thanks to the Image Comics team of Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Jason Wordie and John J. Hill for creating a storyline that encapsulates such an enduring genre.
The story opens in the quintessential farmhouse in rural Texas, where dust flies in large billowing clouds over barren fields. Roy and his family recently moved from Austin to his small Texas hometown, intent on taking care of his ailing father. The opening scene is straight from a drama; a crotchety old man living alone in a home he used to share with his deceased wife, Elizabeth, rages against the world by engaging in fisticuffs. Even his family live in fear; of him, of his anger, of the all-encompassing sorrow that Alzheimer’s brings. But when a tornado unleashes a demon who threatens his family he turns into a sword wielder of heroic proportions. Unfortunately, that sword is the property of a God intent on having it returned by any means necessary.
The art style of God Country #1 is dark and gritty, as if trying to personify the depth that reality can reach. The swirling, rainbow-like coloring of the tornado on the cover page give way to shades of brown and blue. Because of this, the color schemes used in the storyline are bland – not detracting from, but complementing the overwhelming sense of darkness in every progressive panel. Even the old man’s face is hidden until the final act, as though the sun finally deemed to shine upon him.
Although it has the makings of a horrible science fiction/fantasy movie, God Country #1 is one of the most oddly satisfying action/adventure that I have ever read. It was breathtaking in a way that is impossible to explain, because it involves so much more than words. I highly suggest reading it, especially for people who like storylines with strong beginnings. If the momentum lasts, God Country should be considered a classic.
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