G.O.D.S. #1 is published by Marvel, written by Jonathan Hickman, art by Valerio Schiti, colors by Marte Gracia, and letters by Travis Lanham. The whole fabric of the Marvel Universe is about to change, as the mysterious Wyn gathers a resistance against forces that can devastate an entire reality.
This is the launch of something that has been seeded and hinted at for months. Hickman begins a cosmic epic with massive lore and extensive depth, not always taking the time to explain it along the way. There are so many new elements to the story, opening up an entirely unexplored avenue within a world that is filled with life and rules. It’s massively abstract and utterly captivating to read, but it doesn’t take long to get lost in the vast body of exposition.
Characters and snippets have been shown in other books, but that doesn’t help the first issue of a series. This is a triple-sized issue, with a slow pace that makes the comic seem massive. There are new attributes everywhere, leading to a gathering of established Marvel characters having to deal with something beyond comprehension. It is here where the book finds its feet.
Group of heroes joining together to fend off something monstrous, whilst the threads of Hickman’’s storytelling unfold alongside it. It blends magic with cosmic Marvel whilst introducing concepts that don’t even have a category to be placed in. The end of the issue is far away from the start, and heads are spinning by the final page.
Hickman’s script is intelligent and high concept, translating to the characters. The dialogue is brilliant and expansive, with a lot of personality given to new figures, but the expectation to hold on with the speed that the book travels can be exhausting. There are a lot of brand-new ideas and rules being brought in, affecting every single level of the Marvel Universe.
Wyn is a charismatic and worthy leader, with an air of John Constantine to him. He’s an immortal being with confidence and an unphased attitude to everything he meets. What does help the book is the inclusion of so many established characters. The most prominent is Doctor Strange, pivotal with the abstract beings and magical aspects. He’s the gateway into the rest of Marvel’s regular heroes, with other leaders of industry included as well.
The humor of the comic is very likable and settles much of the exposition, and a heart is generated within the book before long. Basing much of the emotional stakes around one relationship adds something you can hold onto and understand, so needed when everything else causes confusion.
What is unquestionable is the beauty of the art. Schiti is tasked with visually representing the jaw-dropping concepts that Hickman is devising, and succeeds. At first, the issue takes place in high society, within expensive restaurants and exclusive masquerade parties. But it’s not long before the cosmic factors are implemented. There is an eldritch horror to the designs of these new yet ancient beings. They are pulsating and lumpy, invoking a primal reaction to their appearance.
Even well-known cosmic characters have been adapted to cause unease. The characters invented to lead the book look terrific, especially Wyn. Bedraggled and cheeky, he has enough features to be distinctive. Doctor Strange and the world Strange ventures into are resplendent, and realistic in design without looking too photographic. There is a battle, but we see little genuine fighting. G.O.D.S. #1 thrives on spectacle, seeking to dazzle The locations are stunning and the attention to detail is simply phenomenal.
The colors are also stunning, generating the mysticism of the world. Even the normal world is awash with beautiful lights and wonderful tones, but it is when the magic explodes that Gracia comes to life. The red of Wyn’s jacket paired with the white of his assistants, which are actually part of an organisation within this new part of the world. There are multiple characters that have the blanched costume, which looks spectacular. The lettering has a lot of dialogue to wrangle with but is nearly always clear and easy to read.
G.O.D.S. #1 is gorgeous and gigantic. The series’ ambition must be commended, willing to slice into the fabric of a dimension to find new stories. And when doing that, it’s not going to be easy to explain what’s happening. This is Hickman’s specialty, putting heroes in situations that boggle the mind and altering the mythology of Marvel on a molecular level. But there needs to be something to help describe what is happening, as there is just so much to pick up from the start.
That may come later. This issue is a sledgehammer to the senses, but Hickman’s trademarked charts may have to come in handy. Schiti is one of the industry’s best and is a perfect fit for the combination of cosmic horror and magic. The series needs to be stuck with primarily because of how spectacular it looks.
G.O.D.S. #1 is gorgeous and gigantic. The series’ ambition must be commended, willing to slice into the fabric of a dimension to find new stories. And when doing that, it’s not going to be easy to explain what’s happening.