God Country #6 Review

Posted June 20, 2017 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Donnie Cates

Art by: Geoff Shaw, Jason Wordie & Dee Cunniffe

Publisher: Image Comics

Opening God Country #6 was a bittersweet moment. Obviously, I was excited. This series has been one of the best on store shelves since it debuted back in January. But I also knew that this was the last time I would be reading a new installment.

As much as I would love to spend more time in the world of God Country, this issue wraps the story up perfectly. In my mind, it was never a question of whether Cates, Shaw, and co would stick the landing. Where they would go with the ending, however, I had no idea.

Ultimately, the ending is about as fitting as possible. There isn’t a focus on Valofax or the celestial deities the Quinlans encountered. Those elements are dealt with, but the focus never shifts from the family dynamic at the core of the book. A series of especially resonant pages sees Emmett and Roy finally reconciling. Others feature beautiful, heartfelt conversations between Roy, Janey, and Dee. Hell, even Aristus gets a few scenes that had me choking back tears.

Again, this is incredibly fitting. After all, the narrator tells us there is not a happy ending to God Country. Things don’t just work themselves out. There’s no deus ex machina to ensure that everyone makes it out Ok. And in that sense, it feels real. People live, and then they die. We’re only mortal.

Cates grapples with the concept of morality incredibly well. He’s done such a masterful job crafting these characters that I felt a sense of loss at the end of this book. But it’s also uplifting, ironically. People may die, yes, but core to this book is that our memories–and more importantly, our stories about them–live forever.

It sounds immensely corny when I try to describe it, but Cates writes with such sincerity that I was moved to the verge of tears.

This issue also features some of the art team’s best work to date. Geoff Shaw uses page layouts incredibly well, breaking from the normal grids to create maximum effect. The amount of time spent in the Kingdom of Always also lets him delve even further into the realm of the surreal than normal. The results are gorgeous to behold. His ability to capture the sincerity of the emotions felt by the characters is just as important to this issue’s success as Cates’ writing.

Of course, Jason Wordie and Dee Cunniffe’s colors are essential to the art functioning as it dies. They really bring the Kingdom of Always to life, with a vibrant set of colors. The same is true of Texas, although the contrast could not be more striking.

I’ve loved God Country from the beginning, but I could never have predicted the impact that this finale had on me. It brought me close to tears–multiple times–and wrapped up the story in a way that blows my expectations out of the water. God Country will go down as one of the best stories of its era.

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.