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God Country #6 (of 6) Review

Words by Donny Cates

Art by Geoff Shaw

Colours by Jason Wordie with Dee Cunniffe

Letters and Design by John J. Hill

Reviewed by Lorna Maltman (maltmanlorna@gmail.com)

Stories, especially family ones, are important to be passed on. One of my favourite family stories is that one of my ancestors was coming to England from Spain as a baby, but on the way the ship crashed and he was rescued when he washed up on the shore. This idea of legacy and family heritage is central to the issue and is handled with touching poignancy and proves why this series is something special.

Emmett Quinlan (the old man whose Alzheimer’s was solved by the magical sword Valofax) has finally gone to the Kingdom of Always to confront the King of Kings who has been sending waves of enemies to try and reclaim Valofax. This confrontation is at first narrated and summarised by the God of War, who has some sweet moments with Roy Quinlan and his family. Then the fight between Emmett and the King unfolds, with both taking heavy hits. How the fight ends is not what you might expect, but it carries emotional weight that resonates.

Cates has been a breakout writer this year and this issue demonstrates why, as he blends fast paced action that is character driven, with real and deeply human emotions, folded into a sci-fi action premise. Cates is not afraid to write an issue tackling the tough or complex issues, but he does so with such delicacy and care it elevates the issue and series to above average.

Shaw outdoes himself in this issue, especially with a stunning splash page of all of Emmett’s memories and the next page which he almost treats as if a photo with the background out of focus to draw attention to the foreground of Roy and Emmett embraced. Shaw’s thick pencils bring a brilliant dynamism to the action, but also ground and bring a rawness to the emotional beats. Wordie goes to town with the colours, with the whole range applied to create vibrancy but also comfort and familiarity to the comic.

Verdict:

Buy. Look, if you haven’t been reading this series you should definitely pick it up in trade. Cates and Shaw have built a touching world in God Country that provides you with everything a comic should have – great action, insight into life and great characters with emotional depth.

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