Writer: Donny Cates / Artist: Geoff Shaw / Image Comics
Clarity can be such a beautiful thing, as Emmet rediscovers this issue in God Country. We get to see Emmet as the person he was before the Alzheimer’s took over and had him feeling lost. I mentioned before how the pacing can feel a bit fast with the majestic feats taking place, and this issue we see Emmet wielding Valofax in order to fix his house that was wrecked in the storm (mad foreshadowing on that house being fixed, by the way). Not only is this sword cool-as-fuck lookin’ and serves as its own Home Depot, but this muh fucking blade has a history unto itself, which we discover when a god comes to take it back.
We meet Aristus, who is a God of War on some peaceful shit as he arrives asking Emmet to hand the sword back over to him… but Emmet got some uber swag ’cause he ain’t handing it over. They mentioned last issue you could ask anyone in Texas and they’d tell you that Emmet was a god when it came to throwing hands. I don’t know what level of fisticuffs you have for you to talk shit to an actual god, but apparently Emmet is on it. Volofax steps in (hell yeah, it talks too) to set the matter straight between the the two of them by letting them know who really runs shit.
Aristus then gives Emmet the back story to Valofax. Valofax isn’t like Excalibur; this sword is Excalibur, the muramasa blade, the blade of Kenshin Himura, Samurai Jack, Joan of Arc, and Miyamoto Musashi, and so on, all throughout history. Valofax is the sword of all swords, homie. It has its own will and does what it wants, when it wants. Long story shorter, you can’t tell this blade a damn thing.
The best portion of this issue is the one-on-one between Emmet and Aristus as they spoke in private. Aristus informed Emmet of the dangers of wielding Valofax (especially if he decides at any instant that you have become unworthy), and all that it will subject him to; why would he continue with no cause? Cates then has Emmet explain Alzheimer’s to this god, and translate it as a curse with the ailments it gives to him. That shit is bars man, I don’t even wanna describe the scene any further because that’s A-1 writing. This book delves deeply into personal strife while developing its character and I am not disappointed.
From the jump we see Shaw draw Emmet wielding Valofax with this bravado that you can’t help but believe would be there even if his Alzheimer’s wasn’t an issue. We’re just getting to know Emmet, but there is so much we can tell about the way he carries himself through the artwork. This is only the second issue, but the setting of Texas during the conversation between Aristus and Emmet is such a gorgeous look that really distinguishes this book. Wordie’s coloring brings it all to life and got these scenery looking like 8th World Wonder levels of greatness.
If we keep with this level of depth then we are on par for a monster of a title run. I was already bought in with the premise of the series, but this issue is what solidifies that Cates and Shaw are about to knuck if you buck with this these characters.
Reading God Country? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.