Review: God Country #6
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…
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.
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 all too relatable to far to many of us. Cates doesn’t make light of that struggle, nor does he glamourize it, and instead has chosen to portray it as the familial devastation that it so frequently is. Of course, with this being a comic book called God Country, that’s not what the comic is about. At least not in it’s entirety. While Emmet’s disease does form the backbone of his desire to keep his hand on the sword that returned his mind, it’s the conflict with the space gods who want the sword back that provides the more immediate physical threat.
Ultimately though, this story is so much more than it seems on the surface.
God Country is that rare beast that uses a well thought out high concept science fiction or fantasy premise to tell the most human of stories. It is truly a work of art that had my eyes sweaty with respect – and that doesn’t happen very often when I read comics.
If you haven’t read this series, then you’re missing out on one of the best stories in fiction this year.
Story: Donny Cates Art: Geoff Shaw Colours: Jason Wordie with Dee Cunniffe
Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.