God Country #2 Review

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Posted February 15, 2017 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Donnie Cates

Art by: Geoff Shaw & Jason Wordie

Published by: Image Comics

When God Country debuted last month, it was an incredible surprise. Donnie Cates, Geoff Shaw, and Jason Wordie came out of the gates swinging a massive sword every which way. It was fast paced and brutal – both in terms of the violence and the emotions it evoked.

With the attention grabbing cold open out of the way, Cates slows the pace down for the second issue. There’s nowhere as much action, and the book is a lot wordier. Neither of these are complaints, as the world and character building that make up the bulk of this issue are excellent.

Picking up pretty much where the last issue left off, God Country #2 opens on an emotional gut punch. Emmett remembering his family proves to be just as impactful as it was at the end of the first issue. My spine was tingling as I read these pages, immersing myself in the happiness and love of this family.

Allow me to remind you: this series is two issues in, and I’m already feeling for the characters. This isn’t “Oh, I’m relatively invested in them and I look forward to that feeling developing.” No, I’m already at the point where I relish every panel spent with the cast. To say that’s impressive would be putting it lightly.

In terms of world building, well… it’s difficult to talk about that and remain sensitive to spoilers. I will say, however, that the delivery is top notch. There is a decent amount of exposition, but it doesn’t feel like exposition. I look back on it and think “Wow, that was an exposition dump.” But in the moment, it felt like two people having a conversation.

In this conversation, the sword – Valofax – is truly explained for the first time. And, as it turns out, Valofax is a character in its own right. Perhaps the anonymous narrator is the sword. Perhaps more importantly, it is these scenes in which Emmett’s internal struggle is established. The revelation here delivers yet another emotional gut punch.

If every issue of God Country is this impactful, I don’t know how much I’ll be able to take.

All of this likely sounds very personal and grounded, and to be entirely fair, it is. But if the first issue got its hooks in you with promises of extraterrestrial beings and sci-fi, you have no reason to worry. That is present in droves in this issue, and the ending promises more to come in the future.

Geoff Shaw and Jason Wordie really do a great job on this issue as well. There’s a fuzzy style to the book, almost as if the world has been distorted. This touch adds a little bit of surrealism to the style, and it fits the book perfectly.

Importantly, Shaw is also able to capture emotion incredibly well. There are panels where words become superfluous and unnecessary – all that matters is the image of a face, or a figure’s posture. Wordie’s colors animate it all, tying the line work and inks together to create beautiful portrait after beautiful portrait.

As with the last issue, I really have to hand it to letterer Jonah J Hill here as well. The increase in dialogue makes its positioning even more important. Hill manages to place it in such a way that I never felt I was missing key elements of the art, but was always able to follow the story the way it was intended to be read.

God Country is the complete package folks. The creative team does a truly excellent job on this issue. Putting into words how excited I am about this book going forward is legitimately difficult. I feel the same way I did when books like Deadly Class, Lazarus, and Saga kicked off. Similarly to the end of the first issue, I cannot wait for the next issue of this book to drop.


About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.