G?dland #8


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G?dland #8


  • Words: Joe Casey
  • Art: Tom Scioli
  • Inks: Tom Scioli
  • Colors: Nick Filardi
  • Story Title: Origin of the Universe
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Mar 1, 2006

The origin of the Gødland universe is revealed, but what does such a cosmological unearthing mean for this modernized, philosophically-loaded, Kirby-inspired saga?

The answer to this question is not a simple one, but to begin let’s take a brief retrospective look at the past seven issues. The story began with Adam Archer, a former astronaut who encounters an enclave of alien beings upon the planet Mars. These beings expanded Adam’s consciousness, trained him to use a series of new-found, superhuman abilities, and then sent him back to earth for reasons unknown. A short time later, with Adam now a government secret residing in a structure called The Infinity Tower, a giant dog-like alien named Maxim arrives, heralding an alleged universal evolution which will somehow begin on Earth, catalyzed by Adam and his powers. During this time of change, shallow superheroes are rescued, and a fanatic supervillain is defeated and tried in public court (or more accurately, corporate television). A Gød-figure called Iboga mysteriously shows himself to spur our hero on at his weakest moment, and – finally – a multitude of evil alien races arrive to stop the proclaimed evolution from occurring.

So what does it all mean? For anyone familiar with Joe Casey’s earlier work, it’s assured that the series’ direction will be grounded in utopian ethics and unforgiving cultural critiques. In Wildcats 3.0 he granted the most accessible and vigilant analysis on the possibilities of capitalist reformation yet put into graphic storytelling format. In Automatic Kafka, American class ignorance and media shortcomings were equally laid bare. Now, with Gødland, the map is bigger, and the list of necessary rectifications to achieve a happy ending is colossal – it’s the universe entire and everything within. Adam Archer has been chosen to lead humanity into a joint partnership with a celestial collective of higher races, and once there mankind is whispered to be the ones who will lead these higher races into yet a greater destiny. And what does all this have to do with the origin of the universe?

Well, next let’s look at the art by Tom Scioli – the industry’s answer to the passing Jack "The King" Kirby. Both here as in his creator-owned Myth of 8-Opus, Scioli is doing his best classic, 60’s Kirby aesthetic with all the right poses, forms, and panel layouts as you’d expect to see in a golden age shocker. It’s solid and lush and breath-taking to look at, especially when the events turn cosmic in nature, as it does for issue #8. The further the plot reaches, the further Scioli’s art must reach as well, and each successive issue brings about a greater, denser display of extraterrestrial razzle-dazzle. But how much further can a plot stretch its arms than the origin of the entire universe?!

The answer: Origin of the Universe is, poetically, just a beginning for Gødland, and what comes next will be bigger – much bigger. The plot is Plato on speed with a migraine and a mean streak; its metaethics (yes, that’s a word) mixed with a writer’s gumption to give solid answers to questions posed. It’s wrapped in the only package approachable and inoffensive enough to stand even a chance at saying what it has to say; because it has something to say about everything. No one, no thing, and no human behavioral trait will be spared.

The "Ø" in "Gødland" is an old Latin character that, in Danish, and when used by itself, means "island". I won’t reveal here just what the origin of the Gødland universe is, but on a philosophical level, the land of the "gøds" is the same as the land we live. The world, the universe, the cosmos – it’s all nothing more than an "Ø," and we’re all living upon it, no real boundaries except that which we arbitrarily make. And while this is what the universe is, it’s also what we have to make of it, an "Ø" of our own design. One way to find out how we might theoretically achieve this is to tune in now and begin reading Gødland. It’s fun, it’s wacky, it contains things you honestly have not seen before, and it means something. There is not a damn thing more anyone could ask.

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