Rat God #1 Review

Written by: Richard Corben

Art by: Richard Corben

Publisher: Dark Horse

I don’t know if I’m missing something here or if I just haven’t properly understood the story, but this is a comic I really didn’t like. Perhaps it could be my unfamiliarity with writer/artist Richard Corben, so I’m not accustomed to his style, maybe it’s my lack of knowledge about Native American lore or maybe it’s some other reason, but I just straight up disliked this comic despite the reputation its creator has.

I’ll start with what I did like about this comic firstly, namely the art and the sense of dread created. Despite some ugly character models that seemed to change shape between panels, the art is very atmospheric and versatile, with some very lush, open plains in the opening before becoming cold and barren towards the end. Some of the creepier aspects too look great, presenting an unsettling vibe that captures a Lovecraftian horror aesthetic.   This worked, and if developed correctly could probably lead to an entertaining mini-series for fans of this style.

Aside from this however, I found very little to enjoy about this comic. I felt there was too little context given in the story for me to care about what was happening which in turn made me feel less of the horror as I just wasn’t sucked into the story. Speaking of which, I don’t know if I’m just being dense but I really couldn’t tell you what the story was. Usually I’d open one of these reviews with a little description of the story to help you decide if you’d be interested, but I just really didn’t understand what was happening in this. We had an opening involving two natives running through a jungle (or maybe a forest? I’m not good with terms) being seemingly chased by unseen force. It was a promising set-up, with some interesting horror moments towards the end, though half way through it becomes a completely different story about a man looking for an old friend of his. This was very jarring to me and made me feel like I’d missed a page somewhere. Again, perhaps I’m just being thick and another read through would help clear things up for me, but the story interested me so little I really didn’t feel like going back and checking.

The whole story just feels very lifeless and stilted, exposition is handled poorly, with our lead just talking to himself, reiterating all the information for seemingly no reason (within the story at least). I don’t like tearing into a comic, especially one coming from such prowess, but this just didn’t click with me and I don’t feel like trying again next issue. This is a comic I really can’t recommend, unless you’re already a fan of Corben and know something about this I don’t.