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Goddamned, The #2

    Ian Jane

  • Goddamned, The #2

    Goddamned, The #2
    Released by: Image Comics
    Released on: December 16th, 2015.
    Written by: Jason Aaron
    Illustrated by: R.M. Guera
    Purchase From Amazon

    The second issue of The Goddamned, from writer Jason Aaron and illustrator R.M. Guera, once again opens with a quote from Genesis, this time from 6:11 that says:

    “And the Earth was filled with violence.”

    If you've read the first issue, you already know how appropriate that quote really is. We pick up the story where it left off then see a bearded man is approached by a gang of nomadic type who tell him to drop the axe, but he refuses. He tells them “If I drop this axe, everything dies. Everything that has ever lived.” The nomads are Ravagers and they're not taking no for an answer. They've never seen an iron axe before and they intend to take it.

    He calls them out as murders, rapists, thieves, and fools. He accuses them of laying with beasts and tells them that they are the reason that everyone will die when the rains come to wash all of this filth away but this only makes them angry. They attack, and while he is outnumbered, they never really stood a chance. When the brawl ends, his three sons approach him and he tells them that what happened was God's will. What's left of the men he's killed is eaten by wolves and the man and his three sons are followed out by a massive tribe.

    While this is going on, the man we believe to be Cain from the first issue wanders alone through the wasteland. He comes across a woman, scared and wielding a knife at him, telling him to get away. She assumes he's 'with them' but he's not. They took her son but he doesn't care, until he sees what they've left in their wake. She tells them that the men had shells on their heads like crabs and he's savvy enough to know that she means to say iron, even if she doesn't realize it or know what it is. He heads forward, into a valley where he knows he'll be ambushed. He wants to end this curse, he wants to be murdered. He wants to die.

    But he also remembers a time when it wasn't like this…

    Aaron's story is growing nicely, but not at the expense of the action, chaos and flat out carnage that made the first chapter as gripping and darkly intense as it was. There's enough character development here to keep us hooked, while the battle/fight scenes are gritty, gory and just plain nasty. There's very definitely an air of seediness to all of this, but it fits, it works really well in the context of when and where this story is happening. It's flat out stated that soon enough a flood will come, so if you assume Aaron is staging this before God decided to lay waste to the Earth, when humanity even in its earliest stages was at its complete worst (which is saying something, given the current state of the world), then there's no reason this should be any less horrific than it is.

    At the same time, our lead is not without feeling. The ending makes that clear. In fact, in one way you could say he's almost a romantic. That may or may not last, after all he's clearly got a serious death wish, but for now, when this issue finishes up you're definitely left wanting to know where it'll go from here.

    R.M. Guera's artwork, beautifully complimented by Giulia Brusco's coloring work, continues to find that perfect balance between horror and beauty. Like the script, the visuals here pull absolutely no punches whatsoever. There's great detail, fantastic character design and just as importantly the backgrounds here all look fantastic (this is something that is all too easy to brush over in comics - the backgrounds - but when they're as intricate and well-drawn as they are here than can make a huge impact in the quality of the illustration).

    If you're looking for something different, something off the beaten path, and don't mind stronger content in your comic book reading, give The Goddamned a shot. At only two issues in it makes quite an impression and it's a refreshing alternative from a lot of the more mainstream titles out there these days.

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