Comic Book Review: God Country #3
What happens when you take Kirby inspired cosmic drama and set it in Texas? You get “God Country”. In just three issues, “God Country” has managed to open up a huge world without losing its core, human characters. “God Country” #3 dives deeper into this family’s internal strife but doesn’t go too far from its cosmic hook.
After his conversation with Aristus where he learned the nature of his newfound powers, Emmett is enjoying some down time. Unfortunately, this down time has given way to having to face many of the lingering issues in his family, particularly those with his son Roy. Things go from bad to worse when Emmett is forced again to face the consequences of the power he has now and his family is left in the crossfire.
The first two issues of “God Country” came out swinging. Those issues really focused in on the big, cosmic stuff and because of that, “God Country” #3 feels smaller and much more quiet. However, this is not a criticism because it is here that “God Country” shows just what it wants to be. It doesn’t want to be a forgettable action heavy comic book. It takes the artistic strength of Geoff Shaw and the nuanced, emotional writing of Donny Cates and becomes something that any reader can engage with. “God Country” #3 really focuses on the relationship between Emmett and Roy and the heavy issues that still lie between them that’s only been exacerbated by Emmett regaining his health. Cates writing cuts to the point and highlights the different relationships that exist in this family. The conversations between Janey and Roy and Emmett and Roy are very different things and shows the handle Cates has on these characters. An aging, sick parent is a tough thing for any family to deal with and to have Emmett just back like nothing has happened to him over the last few years is a shock. It’s brought up a lot of old wounds and old habits in Roy and Emmett and Cates makes this relationship feel more important than the power Emmett has been given. Despite what happens later in this issue, “God Country” is still very much a story about this family and it’s a huge reason why I’ve enjoyed it so much so far.
Geoff Shaw has leveled up in such an amazing fashion. “God Country” #3, as I’ve mentioned, is very much a quieter, dramatic issue compared to the first two but Shaw’s art remains just as flashy and beautiful. Shaw brings the added layer to these emotionally charged conversations with beautifully thought out panels and character placement. Shaw’s work is gritty but he doesn’t leave out the details that matter such as Emmett tearing up when he talks about what it was like getting sick and losing his wife or the look of understanding on Janey’s face as Roy opens up to her. There’s a great feeling of playfulness between Emmett and Dee but then Shaw switches gears with bigger action scenes later in the issue. His action moves quick and chaotic in the way that it needs to be. What’s fun about Shaw’s work here is that Emmett doesn’t transform into some ripped action hero. Instead he stays exactly who he is but still avoids looking comedic. Jason Wordie’s colors are perfection. Wordie brings the right, darker, southern tone to each page without going too far. What I mean is that he plays off the actual setting of “God Country” through moonlight and shadows. It makes the later pages feel as scary and unpredictable as they should.
“God Country” #3 continues the hot streak that this series has been on. If it isn’t something you’re reading, fix that immediately.