Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review: Supergod

What would happen if there was a super-human arms race? That's what Warren Ellis wonders in his latest take on superhumans.

The argument here is that humans are hardwired to create their own gods, and have been doing so since the dawn of time. So when various countries around the world start to craft super humans during the Cold War era, it should come as no surprise that these super humans take on god-like qualities and abilities.

In this Warren Ellis comic, the English were the first in space, which resulted in some cosmic entities mixing with the astronauts, creating a three faced, mushroom spore producing deity. From there, other countries around the world begin to ramp up their own super human projects, with varying results. India's super human turned Pakistan into nuclear rubble, creating a world-wide nuclear winter in the process. Other super humans from places like Iran, China, Russia, and the good ol' U.S. of A. begin to crop up and start to converge on India.

The events of Supergod are narrated by an English scientist who worked closely with the English super human. He appears to be one of the only remaining humans left after the conflagration of super humans in India. The guy clearly has a few screws loose, and maybe isn't the most reliable narrator, but he's all we got, and his explanation for why the whole world is in shambles seems to be as good as any.

For me, there wasn't a lot to love about Supergod. If you want to see a lot of shit get blown the fuck up, then this is probably for you, but if you like plot, and characters, and strong dialog, then stay away. Ellis is usually a go-to guy for great comics, he seems to be full of ideas, and at the heart of Supergod there is a good idea, that of "What would happen if there was a super human arms race?" But the good ideas end there, and the execution is dull at best. Normally Ellis creates some memorable characters, and splashes some strong, snapppy dialog in there as well, but there really isn't any character interaction happening here at all which made this one fall totally flat.

The artwork by Garrie Gastonny was pretty solid. His star shined brightest in terms of drawing the super humans; a few of them were really cool looking. The backgrounds and settings were all done well, and overall this was a strong effort, but one thing bothered me: The regular folks. All the non-super humans looked pretty plain and dull, and their faces were pretty much inexpressive. This generalizing of humans occurred when he drew people of different ethnicities as well. I particularly noticed this when he drew Indian people; it sort of just looked like he drew generic people no matter what the ethnicity. The lack of diversity in the art didn't really match the diverse locales of the story.

Overall, not my favorite art, though there are some great moments...BEHOLD CTHULHU!!

Because there weren't any interesting characters for me to take interest in, this comic fell flat. Aside from the occasional pretty looking art, there isn't much to like here. I'm sure Avatar will eventually collect this in Trade format, but I think there are much better Ellis titles out there to read.

Grade: D-


The Incredible Kid said...

I too was super bothered at how the artist could only draw generic white people, even when the characters were supposed to be Chinese or Indian. The scenes in India had me scratching my head. No one was drawn right; the clothes, facial hair, and features were all wrong.


Ryan said...

Agreed. That was a big turn off for me in this comic. Glad I'm not the only one who noticed it.