God Country #4 Review

Posted April 18, 2017 by Alexander Handziuk in Comic Books

Written By: Donny Cates

Art By: Geoff Shaw

Published By: Image Comics

First a brief prologue: God Country #4 arrived as a euphoric light in the stream of crappy comic books I read last week. I read it! I loved it! I bought the t-shirt!  And I was extra excited to talk about it on the latest installment of the Comics Dash Podcast (link). But before we began recording, I was struck with the horrifying realization that the only good comic I read last week was an advanced review copy and that I wouldn’t be able to talk about it on the show till the following week. So I broke down, cried, left my family and friends behind, and then decided to write an advanced review for this week. So here goes!

God Country #4 manages to be sprawling and bombastic yet also simple and focused, and it achieves this feat by keeping its’ focus centred on the family. Emmet is faced by a powerful god, a trip to hell, and killer zombies, and while these obstacles feel legitimate and overpowering, they aren’t the point. This is a book about family. The insanity and world building shenanigans are just a bonus.

Janey and Roy don’t get a lot of page time in this issue, but their moments are strong, as they do their best to cope with the inevitable arrival of the zombie hoard and the unknown fate of their daughter. Cates writes them extremely relatable and manages to capture the idea that while all couples fight, love is what really matters in the end. And this issue does a great job of bringing out emotion.

Emmet’s quick journey to hell to save his granddaughter is one he takes on almost un-blinkenly, similar to how he reacted when Valofax was initially bestowed upon him. This issue cements him as the someone who doesn’t show his vulnerabilities on the outside, but Cates and Shaw manage to subtly show that while he seems all confident, he is still a flawed and scared person. The main plot twist shows how human he truly is. And while I won’t spoil it because you owe it to yourself to pick up this book, I will say that his decision makes me even more invested in his journey.

Geoff Shaw’s art compliments Donny Cates’ script much like Valofax compliments Emmet or vice versa. Shaw creates a muted, yet still vibrant world that feels lived in, and the subtle ways in which he uses shadows is nothing short of stellar. Rarely is Emmet’s entire face shown in this issue. When it is, the moment is all the more powerful.

God Country #4 is another spectacular issue and one that manages to be both simple yet packed with emotion. On one hand, it’s a shame that the book only has a couple issues left, but on the other hand, if the conclusion is anything like the journey up till now, then it’s going to be a grand finale.

About the Author

Alexander Handziuk

Alex is a comic aficionado who loves Aquaman, Overwatch, the musical Hamilton and medium length strolls on beaches. Check him out on the Comics Dash Podcast, on twitter at @axehandziuk and in real life patrolling the borders of Canada.