We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!
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G.O.D.S. #1 Review:
In the premiere issue, we meet a representative of The-Powers-That-Be, and one for The-Natural-Order-Of-Things… Two organizations that serve the needs of the cosmic powers in the Marvel Universe. They’re in love, married, and shouldn’t be; and by the end of the issue their relationship has changed dramatically, as has the balance of power between the two factions.
On the positive side of things, the hosts enjoyed the stories, characters and art in the issue. “It’s classic Hickman,” Justin Tyler said. “Big, dense, wide-ranging storytelling… [Then] focus back down in on characters dealing with a very specific situation.”
Alex Zalben agreed, noting the romance aspect of the book was strong, and despite the enormous stakes, Hickman kept the dialogue light and funny throughout. “I like the main characters,” Zalben added. “They’re very engaging.”
He also lauded Schiti’s art, stating that it is “beautiful… It’s commensurate superhero art throughout the book.”
However, in terms of expectations and the actual delivery of the story, the hosts had a more mixed reaction. Given the cosmic circumstances, Tyler thought we would be getting more cosmic characters in the first issue — Heralds of Galactus, old-school Guardians of the Galaxy, etc. — versus the more down-to-Earth story we did get.
Zalben was a little harsher, feeling that these new characters felt, essentially, like Doctor Strange and his long-time romantic partner Clea… When those two characters already appear in the issue. “If you wanted to do a Doctor Strange book, just do a Doctor Strange book,” Zalben said. “You don’t have to create a second Doctor Strange and a second Clea in the same book.” He added that it is a “weird doubling up [as] they’re serving the same roles.”
Taking it a step further, Tyler suggested that G.O.D.S. feels more like one of Hickman’s creator-owned books, rather than a Marvel series, with the main character serving as an amalgamation of Doctor Strange, and DC Comics character Constantine.
Summing up, Zalben said, “I think the presumption here is this is the overture issue, and we’re going to blow it out in a big way and go absolutely wild in the next couple of issues, now that we know the stakes for the central relationship… It doesn’t feel like it’s adding much to the Marvel Universe as of yet. Even though it’s a well-made comic that generally I enjoyed.”
G.O.D.S. #1 Official Synopsis:
JONATHAN HICKMAN RE-INVENTS THE COSMOLOGY OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE! WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE-POWERS-THAT-BE MEET THE-NATURAL-ORDER-OF-THINGS? The infinite détente between THE-NATURAL-ORDER-OF-THINGS and THE-POWERS-THAT-BE nears an end. Old acquaintances are reunited during a Babylon Event. The Lion of Wolves throws the worst parties. Don’t look under the table. There’s a John Wilkes Booth penny on the ground. This ENORMOUS EXTRA-SIZED first issue features DOCTOR STRANGE, who, while not boring at all, is easily the most boring person in the book.