If you saw our preview you know there’s some god-on-god throwdowns in this issue. Is it good?
Red Thorn #10 (Vertigo Comics)
So what’s it about? Seriously read our preview silly head.
Why does this book matter?
What is our fascination with gods? Humanity seems hell bent on writing story after story of gods attempting to sway and manipulate us. Oh wait…are these stories just excuses for our bad behavior? Now it all makes sense! There’s certainly a lot of bad behavior in this series.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Bring it on!
Writer David Baillie and artist Meghan Hetrick craft a solidly paced issue due to the back and forth between Tarek and Thorn. One is attempting to find a god that’s mucking things up for him–with some clever new gods introduced here–while Tarek discovers something about himself. The plotting is impeccable and it all leads to a smashing good cliffhanger.
That cliffhanger works because of the political intrigue in the issue. I’d love to know when this script was written as it deals heavily with the racism going on in the UK right now. Tarek must deal with it first hand being a non-white person and Baillie lays down that hate well in different scenes. It’s nice to see even Thorn hates the jerkwads and again, that cliffhanger really brings the racist people home. In a way Baillie seems to be suggesting it’s not their fault, which is why we have gods, right?
Hetrick draws another fine issue; in particular the Thorn vs. the gods scene is quite something. I really dig the musculature she gives Thorn. He’s ripped like some kid in a punk band, but slightly more so. The cel-shading look gives everything a cartoon feel–aided by the pop of color by Nick Filardi–and really I don’t think I’d want to see a penis drawn by anybody else after this issue. It makes me want to hurl (in a good way).
It can’t be perfect can it?
Having gone in and out of this series–my fault I know–I wasn’t exactly sure what Tarek’s mission was or why we should care. Obviously a serial series shouldn’t be picked up willy nilly, but some effort should be in place to give us a semblance of the mission at hand. Regardless, this half of the story didn’t feel as big or as important as Thorn’s because of it.
It’s all about the journey.
Is It Good?
Red Thorn is good at gods and even better at making them look otherworldly. The narrative keeps you interested, though I did find it hard to care much for Tarek’s side of the story.