Thursday, August 5, 2010

Supergod #4

Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Garrie Gastonny

It was a surprise to see that this book was released this week (it was originally solicited for February), and reading it after a a gap between issues of about four months, it becomes a good illustration of the limitations of Warren Ellis as a writer.

Now don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Ellis.  He's written tons of comics that I love, but he is known as someone who returns to the same well a little too often.  That's not really my complaint with Supergod though.

Supergod is about artificial gods that have been created by the different nations, in a new twist on the superhuman cold war approach that we've seen many times before.  The gods are fascinating, and take many interesting and novel forms.  There is a British god made up of mushroom spores from space growing on the conjoined bodies of three astronauts.  How cool is that?

The problem is that the story lacks any emotional centre.  The whole thing is narrated by one of the scientists who worked on the British project, and he's narrating through a telephone to his American colleague.  The world is well and truly screwed at this point (the Iranian god was tossed through the moon, destroying it), and it's kind of hard to care.  The narrator could be writing a government report for all we care about him, and it becomes increasingly clear that Ellis is simply playing out these ideas without bothering to invest the story with any real human interest.

Had he structured this as a longer series, and had taken the time to develop the characters and the world, this could be quite fascinating.  As it stands right now, it's kind of cool, but heartless.

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