Advance Review – Godkillers #1 (AfterShock Comics)

Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Writer: Mark Sable
Artwork: Maan House
Colours: Hernan Cabera
Letters: Thomas Mauer
Release Date: 19th February 2020

It’s a new year and another new series from Aftershock. I probably sound like a broken record on repeat when I talk about how a well-pitched premise can make or break my interest in a crowded market, but when the pitch tickles the fancy bone like this one, it better deliver…

“What if the Gods of the people we are fighting wars against are just as powerful as ours? What if our enemies were using them against us?”

I have a bit of a minor gripe with this first issue that I need to address up front; as getting that out of the way I can focus on the good, and really good, stuff. With anything new, finding its feet can be tricky. Landing something with proper oomph is no mean feat. What starts out here is ace. Great art and depth with detail aplenty. All the things one would want. Indeed, from the first few panels alone I was beginning to think this series could easily become one I wound find myself championing. And everything was all well and good until a bit of a wobble in the middle. If we think of action horror as a scale between tingling thriller and gory black humour, Godkillers does a bit of a pendulum swing which caught me off guard.

We start with the introduction to our protagonist, Philip Alhazred (nice reference) whilst working as a history-folklore specialist helping in the recovery and cataloguing of artifacts and treasures at risk in Raqqa, Syria. The mix of cut-away exposition and dialogue is well worked to set the hook, building a sense of threat which leads to some expertly delivered action panels. The scope and premise are definitely enticing, with many threads being exposed for the creative team to tug on as the series continues.

For me it then goes a bit odd with the introduction of ‘The Team’. In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with bold lettering splashing the nick of each of these characters. It might have been perfect if I was expecting it from the opening. Instead I was left feeling a bit puzzled by the direction. There just seemed to be a bit too much time on intros after a punchy start. (On second reading – which in of itself is a good sign – I think my first impressions were maybe a touch overzealous)

I say Godkillers does a bit of a pendulum swing, and that’s very true considering the utterly redeeming build up and end splash. It might sound like I’m being overly down on a detail that could be put aside, but that’s definitely not the intent. All of the components of this new series are things I can really get behind; even if I feel that some might not have had the desired effect on me as a reader. With that said, I’m eagerly awaiting seeing where this goes, as, between the premise and art, I’m still hopeful that this will be one I’m championing in months to come.

Rating: 4/5.


The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster

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