God of War: Fallen God #1 is published by Dark Horse Comics. It comes from the creative team of writer Chris Roberson, artist Tony Parker, colorist Dan Jackson, and letterer Jimmy Betancourt of Comic Craft. The story begins with our titular God of War, Kratos hurling his flaming weapons into the sea amid a maelstrom. He retreats inside of a cave to spend the rest of his existence in isolation. However, this is not to be.
Kratos awakens to find the weapons, his Blades of Chaos, resting next to him. So he begins a pilgrimage. He travels over great distances to escape the blades. But every time he sleeps, he awakens to them resting beside him. His journey continues and leads him to a small village in Egypt. All of the villagers flee from him, except for an older man. The man explains that despite his attempts to escape it, his destiny still follows him. But Kratos is not prepared to give up yet, and his pursuit of freedom lays a long road ahead of him.
God of War: Fallen God #1 takes place between God of War 3 and the most recent game in the series, God of War. This puts it in an interesting and fertile storytelling spot. Unfortunately, Roberson’s script doesn’t do much with this first issue’s potential. While it is important to see how Kratos made his way from Greece to the land of the Norse gods and giants, it doesn’t need to be this hyperfocused. The entirety of this issue is Kratos throwing away his blades, falling asleep, finding them again, then leaving. There are small interludes of people and animals talking to him about destiny. But they don’t expand on the premise any more than that.
I would have loved to have seen him grapple with his guiltless tangibly—visions of his family, flashbacks to his trauma, something besides the ever-presence of his blades. The video games were often criticized for making Kratos a one-note character, fueled only by rage. This comic makes an entire issue out of that concept but without anything interesting to say about it. He merely walks, sleeps, gets angry and walks again.
The art, on the other hand, is solid and does the character justice. Parker finds ways to make the constant travels of Kratos interesting to look at. Whether the panels show Kratos at sea or beset by a pack of wolves, Parker’s art does a great job of keeping his journey compelling. The colors from Jackson are similarly strong. Particularly the beautiful night skies with their dark rich blues and the spattering of brilliant white stars. The letters from Betancourt are strong if reserved. The different font and red box coloring for Kratos’ inner monologue feels surprisingly fitting for the character.
Overall, despite my stalwart fanhood within the God of War series, God of War: Fallen God #1 left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Kratos’ temper and relentlessness are well documented. I wish the author would have pulled more of the stoic, tragic character from the new game. The art is good, and the series still has a strong premise. To all of the God of War fans out there, you might want to wait until this one goes to trade paperback. General fantasy fans have plenty of other places to look while this series finds its footing.
God of War: Fallen God #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.
God of War: Fallen God #1
…despite my stalwart fanhood within the God of War series, God of War: Fallen God #1 left me with a bad taste in my mouth.