- October 4, 2023
G.O.D.S. #1 Review
Written by: Jonathan Hickman
Art by: Valerio Schiti
Coloring by: Marte Gracia
Lettering by: VC’s Travis Lanham
Editing by: Martin Biro, Annalise Bissa, Tom Brevoort
Now, I’ve read two big projects led by Jonathan Hickman. I’ve read Secret Wars (and some of what led up to it) and I have well-documented my love for what he started with the X-Men. Now, he takes on the world of magic with G.O.D.S., and strangely… it feels the most normal of all of his works that I’ve read.
The Fantastic Four and Avengers runs were building up to Secret Wars, this grand sci-fi, multiverse-altering event that tested the hubris of the scientific minds in the Marvel Universe. It was a show of how and why they do the things they do, and how that could lead them astray. Because with genius, came the arrogance of believing you always know better, and doing all you can to not have to admit you’re wrong. It felt grand and larger than life, until it revealed itself to be a very simple story about the brooding egos of Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Doom. Their relationship has always exemplified these ideas when their properly executed. Secret Wars (2015) turned something big, expansive, and out of this world, into something small, intimidate, and simple.
Hickman’s X-Men has been about something that is both very broad and personal. It’s about a people succeeding against their oppressors, and struggling to keep their success without becoming their oppressors. It’s a story that can be as big and as small as it wants at the drop of a hat. Krakoa has felt freeing. It can be about anything it chooses by focusing on a single mutant or many at any one time.
What Makes G.O.D.S. Different (and More of the Same)
G.O.D.S. feels like a whole different beast. It introduces a load of new concepts with The-Powers-That-Be and The-Natural-Order-Of-Things, along with new characters to represent them. This book has so much new in it, and is seemingly built off of no prior Marvel books.
Yet, despite all that… it feels typical. It introduces these new groups, and a pessimistic main character who feels very British and acts smarter than everyone else in the room. Then it establishes a very small, personal relationship between the main character and his ex-wife, one that feels like every other relationship in Marvel where main characters also aren’t allowed to be happy together.
It even has the new protagonist save the world from a universe-ending threat from a villain with no personality that no reader should really care about. Our MC — Wyn — even gets a kiss from the girl to cap-off the issue, as if to give him a reason to find the world worth saving and to not be so pessimistic. This first issue feels as typical as it gets when you look at on the whole.
And yet… it feels so perfect. It’s a testament to the idea that you don’t actually have to reinvent the wheel. If your writing is tight enough, your art is stunning, and your new characters are compelling, you can have a story that feels like a dozen others, and still feel special.
There will be more to dig into about this comic as time passes, but it’s early. Don’t expect to have the Marvel Universe feel like it’s changed with G.O.D.S. #1, but it may feel a bit cozier instead. In this case, I prefer that, and I think many other people will too.