REVIEW: 'God Country' #3 by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, and Jason Wordie


★★★★☆ (4/5)

Valofax is kind of a dick. The powerful talking sword is not good with kids, to say the least, but what do you expect from the mighty "Sword of Swords." It's for slaying mythical demons and monsters not for entertaining children. Nonetheless, it remains one of Donny Cates' most unique ideas in a series that blends wild fantasy and realistic familial angst that resonates. 'God Country' settles down a bit in a "calm before the storm" chapter that continues to build on wonderfully realized characters. 

The inevitable return of the God of War is just a matter of time but before he comes to reclaim the Valofax the Quinlans still have to process that their patriarch is the chosen wielder of a magical sword. An artifact that allows Emmett to be a normal grandpa and enjoy his granddaughter without the devasting effects of Alzheimer's disease that had ravaged his memories. As much as this series is about fighting the forces that brought the sword to West Texas it's also and more importantly about family and cherishing the time you have with one another. This is something that weighs heavy on Emmett's son. He's full of guilt for not being more sympathetic to his father as his condition worsened. It's a sentiment that is universal when we don't feel we've given enough. 

It's these type of thoughtful discussions that elevates 'God Country' to more than just a fantastic battle between realms but an examination of our own humanity and the suffering of our elders. That's not to say there isn't plenty of action because there is. Issue three closes out with a bang but because of what came before we care what happens to the Quinlans. 

Geoff Shaw and Jason Wordie continue to produce dramatic and cinematic panels bringing the plains of West Texas alive with great layouts and muted but varied colors. There's great framing of the quieter scenes and when the action gets going the energy is exciting and intense. Shaw's penciling is distinctive, clean, and masterfully orchestrated. 

'God Country' is a special series with more on its mind and heart than just great fantasy spectacle. It combines the best of both worlds without sacrificing a cohesive narrative that tugs at your heart while taking your breath away when the spectacle comes. 'God Country' is a transcendent comic book series that deserves all the praise it's gotten. Read this now!