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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Comic Review: Godstorm by Pat Shand

By: Pat Shand


The Highborn Gods of old have been biding their time, waiting for the right point in human evolution to make their return. Some have waited with nothing but good intentions and the desire to help the people of earth. But not all the deities from the past have such altruistic plans. One fallen god has set her sights on a much loftier and more sinister goal...the enslavement of all mankind.

In the annals of history, it's unlikely Zeus ever won a "father of the year" award. Just a glance at his greatest hits in Greek mythology conjure the image of a god with serious personality disorders. It's not unreasonable to cast him as an envious, lascivious, vengeful, paranoid tyrant. Who can relate to that these days? Outside of politics, that is.

Godstorm transports the gods of Greek mythology to present day, with Zeus sitting alone in his mansion overseeing the lives of his offspring as they live out mundane existences unaware of their true history. Zeus, living as a wealthy CEO, Gregor Brontios, is full of regret for his mistakes and sets in motion the awakening of the other gods, as a kind of final reckoning, with one demi-god in particular as a pet project.

Enter Julian. The childhood friend and hired muscle for a young and ambitious crime boss out to take over the city. But Julian's best friend has succumbed to greed and malice, ordering him to do more and more violent things to further his ambition. And Julian is having second thoughts. When old enemies catch him at his weakest, Zeus serreptiously intervenes, essentially activating Julian's godlike powers, all while Aphrodite watches in the guise of a prostitute.

Julian's role in the coming battle of the titans may not be so noble though, as he is the human embodiment of Zagreus, a rage-fueled conqueror with serious daddy issues. And once he realizes his potential, Zeus has his hands full.

The graphic novel is a collection of the first few issues of Zenescope's Grimm Fairy Tales presents Godstorm series, and despite this series picking up from the beginning there seems to be some pre-existing canon. Fortunately, there's isn't anything omitted to prevent enjoying the story as a whole. And the cheesecake aspects that I've come to expect from much of Zenescope's comic book line are considerably diminished--though Hecate is decked out in insanely skimpy battle armor. Oh well.

Godstorm #0 / Godstorm #1(variant)

Some of the dialogue feels stilted, but the motivations of some characters, particularly Julian, feel uneven in spots. There's an ungodly amount of action, with one epic encounter after another, giving the book a bit of a modern-day Clash of the Titans feel. It has a lot of promise, but just falls a bit short of reaching the mountain top of awesomeness. If there's a Godstorm Vol. 2 any time soon, it'll be interesting to see if it can build on what's been laid out in this volume.

3 1/2 Stars

Guest Reviewer: Gef Fox

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