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Goddamned, The #3

    Ian Jane

  • Goddamned, The #3

    The Goddamned #3
    Released by: Image Comics
    Released on: February 24th, 2016.
    Written by: Jason Aaron
    Illustrated by: R.M. Guera
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    The third issue of The Goddamned, again from writer Jason Aaron and illustrator R.M. Guera, we continue to the series' tradition of opening with a Biblical quote. This time around, it's Genesis 1:28:

    “And God Blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it.”

    Cut to a garden. It's a peaceful scene. Here we see a man and a woman, naked - no need for clothes - talking about how impressive their view is, each holding a child in their arms. Eve shows the nerve to speak up to Adam, and he in turn threatens to shove an apple down her throat. They're not in the Garden of Eden anymore but in a wooded area looking out into the world. Eve, to her credit, tells Adam that the snake was more of a man than he was.

    Adam ignores her and tells Cain that as the first born, all of what they survey will be his. As he says this, the art poignantly shifts from a beautiful garden to an all too familiar wasteland.

    From here we watch up with Cain as he sits at a campfire while the woman he saved in the last issue prays to God to keep her son safe, to bring him back to her. Always the optimist, Cain advises her to save her breath and this leads to an interesting conversation where she asks 'Am I not doing it right?' This is the first time she's prayed and while Cain may feel like a reprobate, she obviously sees value in it. She asks him why he's helping her and his flashbacks allude to his reasons but he's not going to give her a straight answer. They talk some more, he learns her name is Aga, but before thing can go much further than that Night Raiders encrouch.

    She wants to flee, but Cain? He stands in front of them, naked, and lets them see his mark. When they recognize it, they run back into the night and leave them be. But what of Aga's boy? His name is Lodo and he's held by Ravagers, sons of Noah they say, they feel that they've got 'God and iron' on their side and they're a bunch of sadistic rat bastards. He's forced into slave labor for them along with a bunch of other boys around his age, the Bone Boys they call themselves. They call him 'Shit Bitch' and beat him, demanding half of his food. And while this is going on, Cain and Aga get closer to the Ravager's camp in hopes of retrieving Lodo in one piece.

    And then, as you'd guess, things get violent.

    Jason Aaron's insanely grim tale of early Biblical violence is dark stuff indeed but peek under the rug a bit and you realize that as bloody and gritty and dirty and just completely fucking fierce this comic is (and it's plenty fierce), there's heart. Sort of. It's hard to say at this point. Cain is a bastard too, his death wish at first seemingly all encompassing - though he has some compassion for Aga and maybe to a certain extent to Lodo as well. He is helping her after all. But is it so that he can finally shuffle off this mortal coil or is it out of the goodness of his heart or some other sentimental reason? The jury is still out on that but it makes for tasty food for thought.

    Aaron's take on the book of Genesis doesn't pull any punches, it's a harsh landscape in which all of this takes place and once again R.M. Guera's gorgeous artwork brings every gruesome detail to life on the page. The detail and layouts are both beautiful and horrifying and this issue, even more so than the two that came before it, does a great job of really letting the artist play with an poignant sense of visual contrast (the garden where Adam and Eve look out to the world compared to the wasteland where Cain and Aga search for Lodo being the most obvious one).

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