Review: Godshaper #2
The last issue of Godshaper ended with Ennay coming to the aid of Clara Smith, after she confronted local sketchy businessman Benny and his supposed involvement with a load of missing military supplies. The action doesn’t last very long, considering the build up, and goes by without much of an impact to it. This issue does pass by with a wandering sort of feel, though the added exposition and character development is a nice change in pace from the chaotic trip of the introductory issue.
Simon Spurrier’s script is a little less concise this time around, with some comedic moments that don’t quite hit the mark and come across as more juvenile in their execution. There are some great moments that would have been nice to see extended out in conversation but perhaps information is being concealed for a later time. After Ennay and his trusty god sidekick Bud quickly leave the scene at Benny’s with Clara, the two make camp with another godshaper and friend named Clench. Clench has with him another young nogody and amateur godshaper, Sal. There is some more information learned regarding the life of a nogody and godshaper while they sit, reminiscing on their past young lives as orphans that were constantly travelling around and being put under the wing of various people. Constantly without a home and a steady sense of personal connection, godshapers like Ennay and Clench embody the life of a drifter, learning to survive through the places and people they encounter and unfixed to any particular purpose.
Jonas Goonface’s art continues to be very expressive and injects a boost of energy during the up and down pacing of this second issue. His attention to detail to capturing the array of emotions on the characters faces are fun to see; he has knack for showing the same emotion but with slight changes to someone’s eyes or mouth, attributing to his skills as an artist. Goonface could do wonders with a completely silent issue of the adventures of Bud, before Ennay came along. Background are not really drawn in all that much with more of an emphasis on the characters and their actions and instead chooses to use a consistent rotation of soft coloured backgrounds with warm blues, greens, yellows, etc. These colour choices continue to provide a surreal vibe to Godshaper, especially when contrasted to the bright, vibrant and prominently outlined gods. Goonface also specifically emphasizes anger with red, surrounding the frames of the frazzled individual with a dominant orange-red, similar to his playful use of borders in the first issue.
There are a few moments that stand out, providing some warmth, intimacy and social relevancy to the issue. Colin Bell’s lettering placements are especially important during the sequence in which Ennay and Clench get intimate, allowing for the moonlit pink and purple glow of their bodies to share a moment, entwined as one. Spurrier’s story during this single page is effective at adding a sense of melancholy while the artwork enhances the sense of loneliness expressed. Ennay’s narration suggests it’s better for fellow shapers to keep themselves separated, as having them together would only cause suspicion by others. Traveling, let alone remaining as a pair appears to dangerous for godshapers, and are fated to have just a moment of human to human compassion, only to be thrust forward before they know it on separate, wandering paths.
The sadness displayed here is further brought on by Sal as he describes being a runaway after a group of people, through distrust in him and the women taking care of him, assaulted them. Ennay’s response to the story is this: “Sometimes some folk just…need folk to blame, I guess.” Reminiscent of the classic townsfolk and Frankenstein’s monster dichotomy, the level of difference, of fear in a constructed otherness, is what places the godshapers into this kind of situation. The fact that the godshapers lack a sameness, a ‘normality’ that is represented in the accompanied gods for the majority, causes a platform of mistrust, anger and superiority to be created. There is an opportunity after this moment to dive deeper into this idea but it is quickly swept under the rug. Once again, there may still be room to dive further into these issues, especially if Ennay has faced them in his own past, soon enough. Through the introduction of a gang, the Crumpa Crew, whom Ennay denied a job with, the troubled past appears to be catching up to Ennay’s present.
Though somewhat not as tightly woven and energetic as the first issue, this second issue of Godshaper dives a bit more into world building, with a few humourous moments (though some are a bit awkward) and introduces some characters and elements that look to be early placeholders for being important, especially with their connection to Ennay.
Story: Simon Spurrier Art: Jonas Goonface Lettering: Colin Bell
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review