Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artwork: R.M. Guéra
Colours: Giulia Brusco
Lettering: Jared K. Fletcher
Release Date: 1st July 2020
“…the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men. And they bore children to them…” – Genesis 6:4
It has been almost four years since we last heard from the cruel and violent biblical world of Jason Aaron and RM Guéra’s The Goddamned. Today sees the return of the much lauded creative team with The Virgin Brides, a brand new series that takes a slightly different look at this dark era – an era which, for fairly obvious reasons, finds itself oft-overlooked in bible studies classes.
First and foremost, it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t a direct sequel to 2015’s tale of Cain, son of Adam. In fact, it bears no association to the previous story at all, aside from the overall tone and its “before the Great Flood” setting. That said, this is most definitely another story of humanity gone to hell, providing even more justification for God to eventually decide that enough is enough and hit his aquatic reset button.
In this new series we are taken away from the wanton violence to a quiet nunnery in the mountains where the holy sisters tend to their flock of orphan girls, safe from the cruel depravity which is engulfing the rest of the world. Sounds like paradise, right? Well, not quite, because once these young girls ‘flower’, they are forced to embrace their duty as blessed Brides of the Sons of God, an obligation which bears some mysterious yet fairly horrific consequences.
The story here focuses primarily on two such youngsters, Sharri and Jael, and their reluctance to fulfil their ‘duties’. Aaron does a stellar job of setting things up here as wide-eyed innocent Lillian nervously accepts her fate on the mountaintop, keeping the horror in the margins and just out of sight throughout. Sharri and Jael are far less oblivious than their predecessor about what is coming, and are doing absolutely everything they can to disguise the arrival of their womanhood.
Guéra has long since cemented his spot at the top of my all-time artists list with his absolutely spectacular turn on Scalped, and his work here proves to be more than worth the near four-year wait as he brings the thinly veiled menace of the world to the page with a real flair. Sharri’s nightmare sequence is genuinely unsettling, as is the disturbing reveal of the offspring of the union between Gods and mortals.
The final pages inject more than a little urgency into Sharri and Jael’s predicament, and this is where the series gives me slight pause. From the original Goddamned I know just how cruel and vicious Aaron and Guéra’s world can be to the innocent, so the prospect of these youngsters trying to make their way through it while being pursued by God knows what fills me with a genuine anxiety.
Ultimately though, this is every bit as gripping and captivating as the original series, and it’s always great to see this particular creative partnership making magic together. Providing a dark, unsettling take on this traditional bible story, The Virgin Brides proves to be more than worth the wait, and while my excitement is tempered with no small amount hesitation for the welfare of our two leads, I absolutely can’t wait to see where this story goes next.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]