Thursday, December 29, 2011

Supergod Hardcover Review

128 pages
$27.99 (2011)
$17.99 (2011) Trade Paperback
ISBN 9781592911004

Contributors: Warren Ellis, Garrie Gastonny, Felipe Massafera, and Digikore Studios

Reprints: Supergod #1-5 (of 5)

Synopsis: On the eve of the end of the world a scientist recounts the cause of humankind's demise.  He explains mankind's inherent urge to create deities and gods to worship as the root of our downfall.  A superhuman arms race between nations bred impossible, remorseless beings of ultimate power.  Once these beings were loosed upon the earth it was only a matter of time before the apocalypse.

Krishna's first act to save India - population control!

In India scientists create a supercomputer built within cloned flesh and fashioned to resemble the god Krishna.  China builds a man with the ability to meld flesh into complex biological structures.  The United Kingdom secretly launches astronauts into space only to have them return fused to a spacefaring meta-fungal colony.  Iran births a creature of pure, uncontrollable and destructive energy.  The United States turns one of their astronauts into the six and a half billion dollar man.
This looks kinda familiar - is it one of those visual metaphors?

Pros: Covers are interesting, Ellis writes some cool sci-fi concepts, art by Gastonny is competent, suitably dark and ominous, widescreen action (and destruction), mature

Cons: Plot has a few holes, not much explanation for some events or abilities, didn't like the tag line "Praying to be saved by a man who can fly will get you killed", Gastonny's art is not fantastic - felt like the dialogue/words didn't connect to the actual art sometimes

Mike Tells It Straight: Ellis writes a good high-concept science-fiction documentary in Supergod.  It's not your typical superhero story and puts a fanciful spin on what real-life superheroes might be like - i.e. world-destroying beings of unparalleled destruction.  The story is a commentary on human nature and our need to believe in something higher than ourselves.  Ellis is very good at this type of widescreen, super-scientific story, but the art was a bit weak (covers were neat). 

If you like Ellis' work on The Authority and Planetary then this book will be a perfect fit.  The deconstruction of the superhero genre was started way back in the early '80s by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman on Miracle Man, hit the mainstream with Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and Moore's Watchmen, and dragged through the mud by Rick Veitch's The One and Bratpack.  Will this be a seminal work for Ellis?  Only time will tell, but it's thoughtfully epic and a noteworthy read. 

TO BUY and Recommendations: