Oct 09, $3.99
Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Garrie Gastonny
Avatar’s range of gimmick-free comics created by genuinely talented writers has so far produced some pretty decent titles, but Warren Ellis’s Supergod is the first series from the publisher that actually feels like it could be an enduring classic. The third part in a thematic trilogy begun with Black Summer and No Heroes, Supergod manages to retread numerous worn themes while feeling wholly original.
Simon Reddin sits amongst the torched remains of London, smoking a joint and dryly recounting the end of the world to an American correspondent. From his retelling of the ill-fated return of England’s alternate-history spaceflight in the 1950s to India’s breakthrough in superhuman creation and Iran’s nuclear man, Reddin’s tale of the fall of man isn’t so much a story of nations forging superhuman weapons of mass destruction as men building gods.
Relative newbie Garrie Gastonny didn’t have an easy task in depicting Ellis’s Armageddon, but boy does he deliver. His faces, especially the blue-skinned Krishna’s, are occasionally a little off, but his ruined cityscapes are a sight to behold. He also juggles the real-world and fantasy elements exceedingly well; the scientists and astronauts look like normal people, while his super-deity designs flit plausibly into Ellis’s alternate history. There’s a level of detail in Supergod, not only in Gastonny’s art but Reddin’s often bleakly humorous account of the end of civilisation that begs at least a second read.
Delivered as a retrospective lecture, Supergod might alienate some readers accustomed to more conventional storytelling. This first issue does at times read like a lecture on the nature of man and God, and we haven’t had the opportunity to bond with the characters so far. Reddin is a transparent outlet for Ellis’s own opinions and ideas, but fortunately those ideas are solid enough to support this 5-part series, if not more.
Ellis has spend much of the past decade deconstructing the superhero genre, and while many of Supergod’s themes may not feel entirely original, the quality of his writing and the unique narrative structure genuinely made me feel as though I was reading something significant. And I honestly can’t remember the last time a monthly title had such an effect me.