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
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!"
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
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.