By Chris Tresson
So, the other day I was cruising through Twitter looking at what people are doing with their lives (like you do) and there was a lot of positive talk about a book that’s coming out some time in the near future... The book in question is Image Comics’ God Country #1, written by Donny Cates and illustrated by Geoff Shaw. Immediately my interest was piqued. Having read The Paybacks previously (also by this creative team), I really wanted to see what this book was like… Luckily for me, upon checking the call sheet we use for reviews here, it was in amongst the advanced review copies, God Country #1. My name was next to it shortly thereafter. So, here we go. This is my review; I hope it piques your interest…
To start, I rarely do this, but to save me talking about the story and ruining the whole thing for you (total dick move), I’m going to quote the issue’s solicitation text. Here’s what it says:
Emmet Quinlan, an old widower rattled by dementia, isn't just a problem for his children-his violent outbursts are more than the local cops can handle. When a tornado levels his home-as well as the surrounding West Texas town-a restored Quinlan rises from the wreckage. The enchanted sword at the eye of the storm gives him more than a sound mind and body, however.
He's now the only man who can face the otherworldly creatures the sword has drawn down to the Lone Star State...
Sounds like a pretty cool concept, right? Well, believe you me, it’s a metric fuck ton cooler when you get to read the full thing. I loved this book. I’d go as far as to say that in execution, this book is a near-perfect start to a series. There’s all kinds of things going on here… sensations and feelings within its pages that I fear the majority of comics these days aim for and fall short of...
Now, there are very few things that worry me in this life, but losing my mind is absolutely something I fear. I could not deal with that. So as I’m reading this book, I’m hit hard by the emotional aspects of the situation and there’s an almost instant emotional connection with the characters. I’m putting this guy’s boots on, I’m there, I’m experiencing this story first-hand because it’s managed to hit a nerve and connect with me. It may only be the first issue of this, but it’s touched me already, I’m behind the protagonist one hundred percent and I’m wanting them to succeed. There are very few comics that I can think of off the top of my head that have done that to me.
It’s a fucking great read and my hat is off (my hat is rarely off) to Donny Cates. This is a great story so far, with great dialogue and a great concept. It’s cool as mint flavored fuck, and I know it’s going to be one of the standout books of 2017.
The art in God Country is really fucking great, too. I spent a hell of a lot of time just sitting and staring at the art in this book. Geoff Shaw and Jason Wordie are a great team, Wordie’s colors and Shaw’s artwork make for something truly special and I’m hoping that what I’ve seen in this issue continues throughout the series. I’m absolutely looking forward to seeing more.
Okay, so as I finish the review here I’m going to try and say something witty…
If this book was a gymnast it wouldn’t just stick the landing, it’d throw in a couple of extra flips and fucking shatter the Earth as it landed. That was terrible, but I did say ‘try’… If I could give God Country #1 six out of five stars I would. Unfortunately, I cannot, but what I’m trying to get at is that it’s definitely a book that you need to read, so make sure you get your LCS to order it for you, you would be a fool not to.
(Special note to retailers: your Diamond item codes are NOV160544 for Geoff Shaw and Dave Stewart’s cover and NOV160545 for the Gerardo Zaffino cover. Both lovely. Order a shit load. Put it in people’s hands. This book is going to be huge.)
God Country #1
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Geoff Shaw
Colorist: Jason Wordie
Publisher: Image Comics