GØDLAND Review: Book Thirty-Six
GØDLAND Review: Book Thirty-Six
This comic contains the end of the universe, so if you don’t want to know how that goes, look away now.
Still with me? Then feet forward, faithful follower – what lies ahead are imaginatively envisaged idioms – impenetrable to individuals entrenched in idiocy!
Behind its god-awful cover (not indicative of the work inside), this is writer Joe Casey and artist Tom Scioli doing exactly what they want to–which is paying homage to trippy, particularly-Joe-Kirby-fueled, cosmic stories of another era. If that doesn’t interest you, this isn’t the book for you, and Casey and Scioli don’t mind – the ‘Story So Far’ segment on the inlay page of the book reveals nothing but that our hero is Commander Adam Archer – a former NASA astronaut who possesses incredible cosmic powers and is humanity’s cosmic emissary to the universe.
From there, a caption asks you to ‘Imagine the end of all things,
filtered through your own personal imagination…’ But this isn’t gonna be your imagination, it’s very much gonna be Casey and Scioli’s…
Weird and wonderful alien beings are amassing, including the Hydra-like Lucky and the cooler-than-thou Nickelhead, trying to get to grips with what’s occurring. And what is occurring is the Galactus-like, unpronounceably-monikered R@d-Ur Rezz has become an ‘inexplicable energy concept’: the inevitable decay of everything. He’s gradually expanding and transforming into pure vacuum energy – and when this transformation is complete it will mean the end of this reality!
Someone needs to step up to the plate – and that someone is our man Adam Archer! With the stakes as high as they can be, it’s time to let ego go, to let self go… and for Adam to combine energies with the mysterious Maxim – forming Adamaxim!: a living symbol of existential experience; that-which-is-beyond normal comprehension; optimism in the face of entropy!
Double-splash pages abound as Adamaxim and R@d-Ur Rezz do battle on an unprecedented scale – Adamaxim fighting for reality’s integrity, R-to-the-@-to-the-D fighting for for its ultimate demise.
The two appear evenly matched – but hit with the distraction of the universe cracking and nine hundred billion death-screams, Adamaxim falters (Come on, Ad’, focus!) – but a telepathic pep-talk from his sister Neela (Adamaxim picturing the two of them in their childhood forms) invoking the strength and love of their bond steadies Adamaxim’s balance, before Neela assembles a cavalry of Immortal Warriors to existentially recharge the optimism he so desperately needs to prevent entropy! With reality rupturing all around, the fight resumes, and with Adamaxim’s hope renewed, he proves victorious – Entropy is expunged!
But it’s too late.
The entity of ultimate erosion may have been thwarted, but reality’s already in ruins. All that’s left to occur now, seemingly, is a visit from Iboga: the Final Man… Last Sentient Denizen of an Empty Universe (apart from Adam, his sister, and whoever else is still knocking about… including the mythological man-beast known as Lucky. And Nickelhead (one plus-side of the end of reality, at least Nickelback have been wiped out).
Lucky has been hard at work utilizing his right-hand man Kadeem Hardison as some kind of conduit to a ‘portable reality’ – while Nickelhead now meets with Igoba (over a drink) to discuss the state of play; before Maxim and Adam are separated once more, and reunited with Neela – and between the three of them – tapping into Adam’s past human-life experience – come up with the solution to the universe’s decimation!
So it’s BIG stuff in this, Casey & Scioli’s love letter to the aforementioned cosmic sagas of old; although it’s a post-modern take, with tongue regularly in cheek and with references to Queen and having/kicking someone in the stones, balancing the epic severity of events. But this, though welcome in allaying the pretentiousness of things, serves to detract from how serious I, as a reader, took matters.
Gødland is intended to be pulse-pounding fun on an existential level, but the uneven tone of Casey’s heavy-on-narration script, and Scioli’s artwork – with Brad Simpson’s colors – don’t enable it to ascend to the scale of grandeur it’s aping; the team falling short of the monumental dynamism and spectacle its event calls for.
Still… at least they won’t have to hear any more Nickelback in this reality.
Score: 64 out of 100
This issue is available from Image comics at your local comic book shop.
For more from reviewer Sam Johnson, check out http://samjohnson-comics.blogspot.com