Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'God Country' #6 by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Jason Wordie, and Dee Cunniffe

Image Comics' 'God Country' by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Jason Wordie, and Dee Cunniffe has been an unconventional fantasy epic built on heart over might, words overs fists, and family above all. It's hard to believe that it comes to an end with this issue, the limited series closing out in a manner befitting the tone and scope of the last five issues.


GOD COUNTRY #6 
    
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Geoff Shaw
Colorists: Jason Wordie and Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: John J. Hill
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: June 21, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

★★★★★ (5/5)

I don't want to short-change this issue because there is a huge battle in the end (shouldn't come as a surprise). Emmett Quinlan enters the Kingdom of Always to face Attum, god of kings, once and for all. It is crumbling around him yet desires nothing more than to have Valofax, the god of blades, back at his disposal to rule the universe with an iron hand. It's at near Gollum-level thirst and not even his son Aristus, the god of war whom he barred from returning home, can change his mind. All Emmett wants is to remember his family and that can only happen with Valofax in hand. The contrast between the god and the magical sword-wielding mortal is immense. 

Meanwhile, back on earth, for a god of war with a maniac father Aristus seems surprisingly empathetic and reassuring to the young Deena Quinlan. A character like that would have every right to be angry, cynical, and petulant. Instead, he's the reluctant enforcer, the level-headed and optimistic son. It's one of the ways Cates upends expectations and delivers a much more layered and thoughtful story. This is never more clear than during the big epic showdown between Emmett and Attum. 

The Kingdom of Always is deteriorating, collapsing around Attum, and his only focus is that sword in Emmett's hand. For Emmett, retaining that sword keeps his mind right, fully engaged with his thoughts and memories. The Alzheimer's that has stolen his past and threatens his present and future is gone and can finally enjoy his time with his son Roy and his family. For Attum, the only thing that matters is the power that sword represents and nothing is going to stop him from getting it. There are clear distinctions between these combatants. One wants to hold on to his memories and the legacy he leaves behind and the other is only interested in himself and the here and now. It's a confrontation that goes beyond trading blows but trading ideologies. And thanks to Cates' dialogue, the words are even sharper than Valofax's blade.

The battle is beautifully illustrated by Shaw and Wordie. There are the stillness and breadth of Texas with Roy and his family and the chaotic universe shattering of the Kingdom of Always. The best way I can think of complimenting their work is to say Jack Kirby would be proud. It has a powerful grandeur full of colorful shock waves and windborne facial closeups. And as good as the art is, the contrasting philosophies of Emmett and Attum are what hit home the most. 

If you wanted to dig deeper and consider the possible allegory sitting there, that this battle mirrors our current healthcare debate in this country it could be made. Emmett (the American public) depends on Valofax (healthcare) to fend off the effects of Alzheimer's but Attum (the government) wants to take it away. I'm sure it's not intentional 

'God Country' is a lot of things, some you expect, some you don't. It's very much an epic fantasy tale but that's just the gateway to the heart of the story - family. To what lengths would one go to, to hold on to a lifetime of memories, of those you loved? For Emmett Quinlan, not even all-powerful gods will stand in his way. 'God Country' is a limited series of great depth and complexity. In the end, it's about the power of love, family, and legacy. It's also one of the best comics of the year. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: Tyler & Wendy Chin-Tanner's 'Dead Beats' Music Themed Horror Anthology

Dead Beats is a 160-page full-color anthology of music-themed horror comics centered around the curiosities for sale at one peculiar record store by its enigmatic Shoppe Keeper.

..if you're looking for new or used vinyl, cassettes, CDs, gear, or merch, Dead Beats has the best selection in town. Of course, everything we sell has a story and our friendly Shoppe Keeper is happy to tell you all about it. All sales final Edited by Joseph Corallo (Oh S#!t, It's Kim & Kim, Mine!) and Eric Palicki (This Nightmare Kills Fascists, All We Ever Wanted), Dead Beats features more than twenty comics stories and more than forty up-and-coming creators and industry veterans, as well as cover art and interstitial narrative illustrations by Lisa Sterle (Long Lost, Submerged).




From the Dead Beats introduction, illustrated by Lisa Sterle



From "Vanishing." Illustrations by Sally Cantirino from a script by Matthew Erman.

From "The Cursed Saxophone of Skasferatu." Illustrations by…

Poison Ivy's Rebirth From Child to Sexed-Up Adult on 'Gotham' Covered in New Featurette

The wacky world of Fox's Gotham has long embraced its brand of crazy. "Anything goes," seems to be the motto as the show has tried to fill in the blanks of a pre-Batman Gotham City. Besides making the future Commissioner Gordon an erratic hot-head, his future wife a sociopath, and brought back a villain from the dead, the latest stunt involves aging-up a teen Ivy Pepper magically into an adult to use her powers as a seductress.
Executive producer Ken Woodruff explained this creepy premise to THR: We made the change for two reasons: The character Ivy in the comics, one of her greatest powers is the power of seduction. Everyone was much more comfortable with that with an older actress as opposed to a teenager. We want to explore that classic, canonical power of Ivy. And we didn't just make her older with that attack. When she's changed and transformed, there's a real character change as well. She'll still have some of the same traits, but she'll be much d…

An Artist Will Get His Revenge in The Post-WWII Original Graphic Novel SIMON SAYS

Image Comics announces an all-new, original graphic novel Simon Says by Andre R. Frattino and Jesse Lee which will paint a post-World War II Europe in a scarlet shade of revenge this September.


Simon Says is a drama-filled, crime noir story that follows a former artist to the Führer who hunts down and seeks justice upon the Nazis he witnessed murder his friends and loved ones during the war. It is an original graphic novel inspired by true events and by a real-world Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, an artist who lost his family and took justice into his own hands.
"Simon Says is about an innocent and gentleman, an artist, whose family and life are destroyed by a real-world event. Not something sci-fi or fanciful, but something that has happened and could happen again. In that way, it's the story of any of us, and how we would respond if who we were and what we had were lost,” said Frattino. "The real-life, famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, was quoted as once sayin…