Few publishers in comics consistently bring the quality that comes from Image. Whether it is the spectacular space opera in SAGA, the weird-west apocalyptic yarn EAST OF WEST, or the pop-culture pantheon of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, the publisher brings the goods. Earlier this year, Image brought us another title, this one a limited series, that built itself a place amongst those other lofty titles.
GOD COUNTRY – created by Don Cates, Geoff Shaw, Jason Wordie, and John J. Hill – tells the sad story of the Quinlan family. Ailing grandfather Emmett is ravaged by dementia, to the point that he doesn’t recognize his son, daughter-in-law, or granddaughter. His problems are more than just for his family, however; local law enforcement is having a heck of a time dealing with his violent outbursts. Just as Emmettis about to lose his family, however, otherworldly evil appears, and Emmett finds himself wielding the mighty Valofax, a powerful sword that possesses more than just a sharp blade. Valofax clears Emmett’s tormented mind as well as dispatching the evil. But a sword such as this attracts attention…
GOD COUNTRY separates itself from the rest of the pack by offering the reader a glimpse of the pain a family feels from dementia, as well as the joy of finding someone healed and whole. In many ways, Emmett’s sudden remedy is as powerful as the battles against rising evil. It’s a story in such a grand scale, but the small moments of family joy and relief hold the reader in such a beautiful grasp. Emmett finds himself with a second chance, but at a great cost. It is a wonderful and terrible conundrum, but one that Cates manages to weave to perfection.
The artwork is tremendous, drawing us into this harsh, bleak life and filling us with hope in the insurmountable odds that Emmett and his family face. There are still a few issues left to go, but make no mistake: this is a can’t-miss series. The only complaint is that it won’t be around much longer.
GOD COUNTRY issues 1-3 are available via digital download, or from your local comic book retailer. GOD COUNTRY issue 4 is available April 19th.
Vaya con Dios,