By Ben Snyder
After the initial chapter’s intense action and hints at a destroyed world, Dread Gods #2 instead focuses on the world of the “Gods.” It’s not entirely bad as it does somewhat clarify what exactly the “Gods” are, but it lacks the secondary storytelling that made the first issue so exciting.
The actual world is not the focus of this issue as Carver is only in it for a short scene highlighting his mechanic expertise, and I actually think the comic suffers for it. It’s not that the Gods storyline is terrible, but it lacks the mystery of what happened in the actual world and the people that inhabit it.
We do get a taste of the physical world. Carver meets a friend who seems to be sticking around for a while, aptly named Rad, as he travels to Prometheus City to help the Gods. We also get a glimpse of the head of Prometheus, Prometheus. For some reason, he needs the people and/or Zeus in order to sustain himself. Prometheus also appears to be melting for some reason as his physical body rots away. I am wondering if he is a version of the ancient being Prometheus who brought fire to humankind or just a random dude named it. However, I am still not that impressed with him so far. He looks scary and disgusting enough for the part but as of now, we simply just don’t know that much about him or his motives.
Most of the time in this chapter, we are shown Zeus’s decision to descend into the underworld and accept Hades’s challenge. Once again, it’s not that this storyline is wholly uninteresting, as it’s fun to see the politics of the situation when Zeus makes his decision. It’s just not what I was expecting from the first issue. But there is still time for this series to change its trajectory and evolve. Watching the other Gods rush to his aide and attempt to persuade him showed how much respect they have for him, and Zeus’s pride and hubris is shown when he inevitably goes alone. I appreciate the wink towards Zeus’s infidelities in the Underworld as he smirks when saving the girl, especially having this scene follow Hera sending him off almost knowing he may wander from her again. Hopefully this means other ancient myths will also play a role in the series.
Tom Raney’s art is perfect for the depiction of the ancient Gods. They take on this superhero/wrestler aesthetic that really make them larger than life. The character designs hold true to their myths but are still muscular and scantily clad. Zeus even has a lightning bolt tattooed over his face. It all works really well and plays into the fact that they’re almost like a Saturday morning cartoon. The actual world still looks cool as well. It’s noticeably more drab and barren as it should be. I’d like to see more metropolitan areas in future issues and it looks like we will. It seems that Raney’s style depends on the bright lights and glossier aspects that a bigger city would allow. His heavily detailed cartoony style should truly shine in that setting.
Dread Gods #2 isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. It simply lacks of what made the first issue so exciting. However, I do believe that the series is heading in a positive direction as this issue lands and sets up an eventful next chapter.
Dread Gods #2
Ominous Press/IDW Publishing