I’m back for another quick, dirty, and outdated review of a comic book! 2017 is the perfect time to look back at comics that are already 11 years old!

godlandGødland vol.1: Hello Cosmic! (Collecting issues 1-6)

Written by Joe Casey, art by Tom Scioli

Image Comics

January 2006

Joe Casey and Tom Scioli look back at the history of comics and say to themselves if Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are the best comic collaborating creators of all time, then why not make more comics like “The Man” and “King”?

Thus Gødland.

While I will get in to the plot a little bit later, in all honesty, the plot is secondary to the project of trying to recreate the magic of the early years of Marvel Comics, especially in the first six issues of the series. There is almost no doubt that the book was conceived for Joe Casey to use the bombastic dialogue characterized by Lee and allow Tom Scioli’s already Kirby-rific pencils to ape/honour Kirby unabashedly. There are some themes that are updated for a modern audience (A BDSM super-villainess, a high-functioning addict chasing the ultimate high), but in an odd way, the seem more like 70’s counter-culture slammed into a 60’s comic than an edgy plot for a 2006 book. It seems like it should be a hot-mess, but the creators run at full speed fueled by sheer enthusiasm, and you can’t help but be dragged along into enjoying the ride.

Adam Archer was the last surviving astronaut on a failed mission to Mars when he stumbles across an ancient artifact that reveals a universal consortium of galactic sages. They bestow upon Archer powers of near-godly scale; teleportation, flight, invulnerability, power-blasts, and so-on. He is returned to Earth to jump-start human evolution to prepare for admittance to the community of the universe and all its advanced culture, but the United States government mostly just uses him as a cross between secret agent and super hero, keeping him in a downtown compound with his three sisters. Neela was also an astronaut, but her career was nerfed with the discovery of advanced inter-stellar life. Stella is dutiful and computer and communications-savvy, and Angie is a punk-rock rebel pilot. They have interpersonal dramas as the main plots roll. Archer saves a green dog space prophet, fights the aforementioned drug-addict villain, and rescues Crashman, America’s favorite hero, from torture and death.

I have just re-read “Hello Cosmic!” for the third time, and each time reads more smoothly than the last. The dialogue is loud, the art pops and jumps and punches, and the book is homage, parody and love-letter to Stan and Jack’s Fantastic Four/Iron Man/Avengers work together. I give it four Johnny Storms.

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