Saturday, February 13, 2016

REVIEW: God is Dead #47

Main story writer: Mike Costa
Main story art: Emiliano Urdinoia
Backup story writer: Dan Wickline
Backup story art: Michael DiPascale
Review: Will Dubbeld

I have mixed feelings about this book, and publisher Avatar Press in general. On one hand, God is Dead and Avatar Press deliver no-holds-barred mature content, leaving nothing taboo and giving creators an outlet for stories the Big Two wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole.
Wielded by Plastic Man or something.
On the other hand, the books are often outlets for pure, unadulterated depravity. I sometimes feel like I should be buying these comics from some shady individual in the back alley behind a seedy porn theater. I also sometimes feel like I need a shower after reading.

That said, an alarming number of Avatar books, from Providence to Über, are on my monthly pull list. Maybe it's the weird little gorehound that's inside of me, the one who loves Lucio Fulci films and Garbage Pail Kids, or maybe I'm just a bit off-kilter, but I keep reading. 47 damn issues deep and I still keep reading . . .

God is Dead was originally scribed by Jonathan Hickman and was based around the premise of gods from myth and legend returning from obscurity and taking over the world. Mankind suffered, fought back, sought godhood, and generally wallowed in defeat after defeat. After Hickman's run God is Dead just went further and further down the rabbit hole. Or off the rails, I'm not entirely sure.

In the story arcs following, the book got bloodier, more exploitative, and gains and loses cohesion depending on the issue. I've seen Thor and Zeus and Satan and a myriad of other mythological figures wreak havoc on mankind and their fellow gods so much, it's pretty much old hat at this point. There have been some interesting angles with the Australian Aboriginal dreamtime and the death/rebirth of the universe (I think . . . that plotline was lost on me a bit), but mostly we're exposed to a retread of god-on-human-on-god atrocity that sometimes borders on rapey torture-porn.

The current issue maintains the status quo, as a hit squad made up of Thor, Janus, Satan and a few other horrible gods attack the Silver City of Heaven and slaughter a host of angels and God (The Judeo-Christian God) himself.
The assault ends with the implication that Satan sodomizes Janus because he's got a "huge hard-on and nowhere to put it!"

To quote.

We then jump to our heroes (term used loosely) who gain entry into a TV. studio, kill an anchorman, and hijack the broadcast in order to save the world.
They infiltrate the news station by having our female protagonist spread her cheeks and press her ladybits against the window. No lie.

I use the term hero and protagonist very loosely, almost ironically, because with few exceptions every character in the book is a horrible person. Or god. There's only varying degrees of characters who are slightly less horrible than the other guy, relegating them to protagonist role. Anyone earnestly good is quickly killed or turns heel, be they god or mortal.

The book closes with a backup story about a man seeking revenge on ancient Welsh goddesses for murdering his family. Not to be outdone as a mere backup story, our hero shoots a dragon and slits a naked woman's throat as a sacrifice to Poseidon.

I can't really recommend this book to anyone, but in the same breath I can't really condemn it either.
Because I keep buying the damn thing. It falls in that niche that feeds the reader's Id, assaulting the eyes with a cavalcade of sex, gore, violence, foul language and nudity.
I'm not sure if it's some deep-seated insecurity or some darker psychological flaw, but I keep buying these damn things. They must appeal to me in the same way Grindhouse movies, circus sideshows, and death metal does.

I got hugged enough as a child, so that couldn't be it . . .

In any case, God is Dead and some of its Avatar ilk will continue appearing in my pullbox, but I won't recommend any of them with the possible exception of Über. Showering gouts of blood aside, Über is a fairly well researched comic about superhuman weapons in WWII.
God is Dead, on the other hand, will serve to fill only your desire for equal amounts of gratuitous violence and nudity.
Avatar Press may be branching out from the norm, but most of those branches bear pretty low-hanging fruit.

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