Review: Godland Volume 1: Hello Cosmic!

Published on November 16th, 2010

Do you ever think to yourself, “I wish Jack Kirby was still alive and making those amazing comic books.” I wake up every morning with that thought, followed by, “I want a burrito.” That second thought really has nothing to do with anything. Sadly Jack Kirby never seems to come back to life to make mine better, but we got the next best thing, Godland. I’ve never read this book before, but at the Long Beach Comic-Con a couple weeks ago Simon showed me one of the books at the Image booth, I was hooked just by flipping through this first volume so I decided to pick it up and share it with all of you on this week’s Trade Tuesday.

Godland is about an astronaut named Adam Archer who is one of the crew for the first mission to Mars. Apparently it didn’t go well because Adam is left as the only survivor wandering the planet’s surface while running out of oxygen until he stumbles into a cavern where he meets the Cosmic Fetus Collective (yeah I was confused too), a bunch of godlike, fetus looking creatures that bestow upon Adam cosmic powers. Adam is given some training in his new powers and sent back to Earth to bring the human race into the future!

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Four years later Adam is basically working for the U.S. government as a superhero. He is given his own building known as the Infinity Tower where he lives with his three sisters who act as his support team. Adam is sent to China after a meteor crashes near the Great Wall, when Adam gets there he meets a giant dog-like alien who is running around causing trouble. Adam and the alien fight until the creature bites Adam, Adam is given a psychic impression that the alien is friendly, then this crazy super-villain, named Basil Cronus, who can best be described as a rotting head in a jar attached to a robot body attacks the alien and kidnaps it. Basil brings the alien to his secret base, and while you would think the guy wants the alien for some plan involving world domination, he actually just wants the alien so he can use its blood to create a new drug to get high on. Adam busts into the hideout and frees the alien who now has the ability to speak English, which he uses to express his distaste in how he was treated. Adam and the creature team up and give Basil a good old-fashioned beat-down until the drug-addicted villain teleports away.

Adam brings the alien back to his headquarters where he learns the alien, who is named Maxim knows a lot about the source of Adam’s powers and his new purpose in life. Meanwhile Adam’s oldest sister Neela has taken an assignment that was meant for Adam to rescue another superhero called, Crashman who has been captured by a super-villain named Discordia. Neela attempts to rescue America’s Most Cherished Hero, but is instead captured and forced to suffer through Discordia’s sadistic torture along with Crashman. Adam finds Discordia and releases Crashman and Neela, then Discordia sends out some of her evil robots. Adam gets his sister to safety where they get into an argument about how her life is devoted to his and she is forced to live in his shadow. Adam then returns to find Crashman has taken out all the robots and captured Discordia.

This is one of the strangest comic books I have ever read, at first glance it just looks like a throwback to comics from the 1960’s. When you you actually read it and see all the crazy characters there’s no way this could have been made back then, and I find that contrast very interesting. Joe Casey’s writing in this book is great, I especially love the villains. Basil Cronus is one of the best villains I’ve seen in a long time, you think he’s just another random guy trying to take over the universe, but nope he’s just looking for his next high, and I didn’t even mention the other villain, Nickelhead, who you’ll have to find out about by reading this book. And I have to mention Tom Scioli’s art, it’s amazing. It really looks like Jack Kirby came back to life and started drawing again. The art and the writing compliment each other perfectly and I’m gonna go order the next trade, and if you want to get this one you can pick it up from Amazon for only $12.81.

Ken Zeider
Ken@ComicImpact.com