Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Godland Vol. 1 Hello, Cosmic! Trade Paperback Review

Godland Vol. 1 - Hello, Cosmic!
Image Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
144 pages
$14.99 (2006)
ISBN 9781582405810

Contributors: Joe Casey, Tom Scioli, Bill Crabtree, and Rob Steen

Reprints: Godland #1-6

Synopsis: Meet Adam Archer, former astronaut granted cosmic enlightenment and awesome superpowers on a space mission to Mars.  His home base is now the Infinity Tower in the middle of Manhattan with his three sisters (Neela, Stella, and Angie) as support staff - they tackle enigmatic menaces to mankind on a daily basis! 

A mysterious meteor crash lands on Earth drawing the nefarious attention of Basil Cronus, a dastardly villain who gets high by immersing his disembodied head in a jar of illegal drugs (or blood from cosmic beings).  The meteor contains a strange being with clues to the underlying cosmic tapestry of the universe.  Opposing Cronus is the enigmatic Friedrich Nickelhead, can Adam rescue the being from the clutches of these two lunatics?

Mmm...crunchy cosmic goodness
He must also save America's most beloved superhero, Crashman, from the foul clutches of S&M torturess, Discordia!  Seeds of discontent bear fruit at the Infinity Tower and this first series ends with a pop!

Pros: Quirky story with plenty of retro-cosmic action, rooted in the modern world despite the retro style, Scioli mimics Jack "King" Kirby's art style to perfection, cool cosmic enlightenment concept

Cons: Dialogue doesn't feel natural with art and character designs - i.e. Basil Cronus and Friedrich Nickelhead don't talk the way I would have expected based on their looks (too hip/modern), Crashman is kinda whack

Mike Tells It Straight: Get your retro comics fix right here!  The story and art are an homage to the epic cosmic-action tales of the '60s and '70s.  The plot is solid and Casey/Scioli design some neat characters.  Kirby's art (as aped by Scioli) looks good with the modern computer coloring techniques.  This book embraces the retro while keeping some modern sensibilities.  Casey is a master at hipster dialogue which didn't match up with the retro Kirby character designs for Cronus and Nickelhead.  Didn't quite feel natural to me, but I got over it.  A successful effort (convinced me to check out the next volume) and decent read.

TO BUY and Recommendations: