Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: R.M. Guéra
Release Date: 24th February 2016
After a slight delay, the third installment of Jason Aaron and R.M. Guéra’s The Goddamned is finally on sale this week, and from the opening page – a profanity-laced exchange between a dysfunctional Adam and Eve as they look upon the new world – it’s fairly obvious that this series isn’t going to let its early momentum slip away any time soon.
We see Cain gradually developing before our eyes, turning from a detached loner to gradually displaying his first real shred of humanity here. This is a series that seems to be all about family thus far, from Cain’s troubled relationship with his own relatives – his brother in particular, one would assume – to his interactions with Aga, a woman who, even in this savage, lawless world, wants nothing more than to be reunited with her son Lodo.
As intriguing as Cain undoubtedly is as a main protagonist however, it’s Aaron and Guéra’s dark, twisted take on Noah and his Arc that has really my attention thus far in the series. Portrayed as a violent, arrogant man willing to go to any lengths – even the enslavement of children – to keep his mobile menagerie fed and watered, this isn’t your typical simpering, nice guy Noah. Not by a long shot.
Once again, Guéra’s art is reminiscent of his career-best work on Scalped, with an almost tangible aura of violence and desolation emanating from the pages. The level of detail that he packs into his backgrounds are what truly helps sell the world Aaron has created, with rotting corpses, cannibalistic birds and eerie piles of bones aplenty. He also continues to display his “gift” – if you could call it such a thing – for illustrating uncomfortable, wince-inducing scenes of violence, particularly during one memorable exchange near the middle of this issue. Seriously, this is sequence that is going to elicit some strong emotions, for better or worse, in whoever reads it
While it’s not entirely clear just where these two creators are going with this story, I can honestly say that, at this point, I simply don’t care. Actually, allow me to clarify that; what I mean is that, given how completely and utterly captivated I am by the world Aaron and Guéra have created, with its beautiful squalor and mesmerisingly shocking levels of violence and depravity, I honestly can’t think of a single direction they could take this series where I wouldn’t keep picking this book up each and every time they decide to put an issue on the shelves. The best new title from Image Comics in a long, long time, and that isn’t a compliment I give away lightly.
[Click to Enlarge]