Review: God Country #1-#4
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…
This issue, Emmet Quinlan goes to Hell.
The first paragraph above is the sales pitch for the first issue, but still works very well as a series overview because it gives very little away. The line below is the synopsis for this issue, and comes directly from Image‘s website; it’s also the first line in the comic.
God Country has one of the more interestingly unique concepts in comics; that of an Alzheimer’s patient who is cured when his hand touches a twelve foot sword, only to be drawn into the soap opera like world of space gods that have more than a passing resemblance to the Greco-Roman pantheons. Written by Donny Cates, who also co-wrote The Paybacks with Eliot Rahal; that series looked at the other side of superheroing with a starkly funny focus on a group of knock off characters serving as superpowered repomen (and women) struggling to emerge from the crippling debt their equipment put them in. On the surface, God Country may have little in common with The Paybacks other than half of the writing team (and Geoff Shaw‘s art), that’s certainly true on a superficial thematic level, but at their core both series focus on something quite relatable: people and their struggles against every day adversity.
Emmet Quinlan’s family have been struggling with the horror of watching a loved one slip away whilst suffering from Alzheimer’s, and their struggles are haunting – if you’ve ever had to watch a loved one slip away while suffering this horrible disease as I have, then you’ll understand immediately how hard it can be. Donny Cates treats the subject with the respect it deserves without sugar coating anything.
And then a ray of light appears and Emmet Quinlan’s mind is restored.
If you enjoyed Jason Aaron’s run on Thor: God Of Thunder then you’re going to find a lot to love here, from the heavily emotional sequences in the first issue to the more operatic space god scenes in subsequent comics, this is a powerful series – indeed, without Cates wry humour that appears every so often throughout the series, then this could easily become an almost too heavy story.
As it is, this is one of the most exciting, and awesome, series on the rack right now. Every issue has been a banger in all the ways a comic should be. There’s a reason this series has had multiple printings per issue.
Story: Donny Cates Art: Geoff Shaw
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
Image provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies to review.