By Dustin Cabeal
There are quite a few things I enjoy about this issue of Godshaper, but there’s this nagging feeling that the big reveal should have been hinted at better before this issue. We’ve got to know Ennay and Bob pretty well over the last two issues, but like all relationships, there are new things to learn and discover about each other and sure, there’s the occasional bombshell to be dropped.
We see what Ennay’s new life with Sal is like as he’s forced to pass on a three-way after one of his shows because of how frightened and displaced she looks. Afterward, we learn of one other job a shaper gets, and that’s to shape a god for the first time. Apparently, they manifest around age three, and so Ennay gives Sal the job for a rich family’s spoiled brat. Sal has some reservations about doing the job since the God doesn’t want the beads and doesn’t want to be changed. Ennay’s core principles are then explained, and it’s a great bit of insight into why the Shapers carry on as they do. Everyone hates them, but everyone needs them.
There’s plenty of drama as well with characters from the past two issues showing up, which is timed with a reveal about Bob that’s still not fully explained. As much as the story is gearing up for Ennay to be a hero and the “best of the best,” a deeper look is billing him as the tragic hero with Sal set to be the chosen one as it were.
Simon Spurrier’s writing is still on point with this issue, but he does seem to pump the breaks some as he continues to world build. I’m sure it’s hard not to continue to build this very intricate world, but one of the finer points of the issue was almost completely lost on me because of the new introduction we were getting. It took me sitting down to write this review to realize, “Oh, shit… that was a pretty important page at the end.” It just didn’t sink in because of the events just before it. The characters ring true, and their dialogue comes across very natural still.
Jonas Goonface’s artwork is still the saving grace of the comic. Obviously, he’s not doing it all himself, but the art has been extremely important to this world without machines and full of personal gods. Little details like Gods driving cars stand out and make the world wonderful and charming. The characters continue to be a pivotal part of the success of the story. The designs, the mannerisms, all of it is memorable. In particular, the way that Ennay is portrayed in both aspects of his life. When he’s just a shaper, his appearance is grey and drab, much like he’s clocking in at his day job, but when he’s playing music, he’s bright and colorful. I wouldn’t go so far to say that it’s his true self because I think that lies somewhere in between, but it’s an amazing visual to see him struggle with his identity visually, to the point that even Sal buys into his happiness.
This has been one of BOOM!’s best books, and I truly hope to see more titles like this with writers that are sharpening their skills and flexing their muscles. This isn’t asking to be animated or turned into a game, this is a comic book in its purest form, and that is why it continues to be so damn good. True comics will always shine brighter than adaptations, events or backdoor scripts into Hollywood. If you love comics as much as you say you do, I hope to hell you’re reading Godshaper.
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jonas Goonface
Letterer: Colin Bell
Publisher: BOOM! Studios