By Zak Edwards
September 18, 2012 - 17:15
For all the easy comparisons to things like American Gods and Brian Azzarello’s current run on Wonder Woman, both of which are heavily concerned with the interactions and statuses of ancient gods in a contemporary world, Godstorm #0 stands as an intriguing prologue to a story about these very same things. I don’t expect the series to be a unique perspective on the concept, but it will certainly entertain.
The prologue, coming in the form of a promotional #0 amongst DC Comics similar strategy of introducing #0’s, focuses on a repentant Zeus, one whose past fall from the King of the Gods has given him some perspective and humility. As he walks down a hallway of memories in the form of paintings he made himself (once again, the points are for being interesting, not original), Zeus remembers the feats of two of his sons, Heracles and Perseus, and contemplates the failure of his son Zagreus, an obscure character that seems to occupy the role of bitter, evil son (or will). The issue’s strength lie in the simplicity and enticement, two things that really make the book successful. The writers, and there seems to be a lot of them, don’t attempt to overburden with excitement, but distill a single character down to some very identifiable traits that readers can recognize. After all, isn’t that what these gods represent, the sort of distilled aspects of our own traits and constructions? The book benefits from setting up a mood of foreboding and nervous anticipation rather than trying to be exciting and, while Godstorm is obviously well versed in and concerned with ancient mythology, there is a history since then that plays a larger role. This role, seemingly simplified to a desire to be loved or desired (and I will avoid comparisons to Preacher at this point as well), hopefully will be a little more complex. But overall this book has something that other comics should take note of, that in many ways less can still be more and stories do not need two page spreads of heroes doing melodramatic fighting (although this is coming!) to tell an engaging story. The team here does it all with a single character and that is all it needs.
Artistically, Jason Johnson is also not breaking new ground and it looks a lot like the sort of stereotypical style associated with superhero books. The proportions get hilarious at times, just look at the cover, but I can see the purpose of making these Greek gods seem exaggerated. With the context of contemporary Zeus, who looks relatively more normal, the book works well in simple juxtaposition. The art is clean, well rendered, and coloured brightly and non-offensively. If I could categorize the entire book, I would say it’s playing safe and this is actually to its benefit. I expect to be pleasantly surprised by this story as it unfolds.
Grade: 7/10 The book isn’t breaking new ground, but it is reminding us of what works.
Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25
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