With Ennay kidnapped and Bud, Smudge, and Sal on the run, things were looking pretty dire at the end of last issue of Godshaper. This month, Simon Spurrier and Jonas Goonface continue being merciless as our heroes get farther and farther embroiled in the machinations of their enemies. With deals being made left and right, by the end of the installment the stakes rise higher and higher as things get more dangerous for our shaper and his god best friend.
As always, Goonface has an awesome eye for creature creation and color palette that sells the crackling energy of this world and makes an awesome book to look at. I’ve said it before, but it’s impressive how cohesive this book looks consider all of the variety of color Goonface uses. He’s found a way to engineer every color of the rainbow (plus a few lightning bolts on top) to just the right temperature and saturation for a variety of applications, while still staying consistent to the visual language he's already established. A truly impressive feat.
Spurrier’s writing keeps up with Goonface’s art this month, providing some awesome new ideas that show off the talent of the artist. In fact, it’s these new ideas that distinguish this issue in an already great series. Five issues in, and this book is still chock full of new concepts, new locations, and new gods. What makes this issue distinctly impressive though, is that while there are a number of revelations this month, none felt surprising. Instead, they felt like organic extensions of what had already been established. Even the groundbreaking, hitherto unseen device revealed early in the issue feels like a logical part of the world. Much like Goonface’s unity of color, Spurrier has a unity of ideas. This is a world that feels very thought through with an impeccable internal logic to it all. The treat of reading each new issue is seeing how the creative team pushes further and further out, exploring more and more of the world around these characters.
Unfortunately, there is a trade off for such a luscious world. While each new issue brings with it more and more cool new concepts from the world of Godshaper, the actual story being told still seems a bit opaque. So far the story has been pretty laser-focused with all the events of the series happening one soon after another. Consequently, there is a nice, concise energy to the pacing that keeps the book moving and the stakes high. Despite that though, we still haven’t traveled a lot of distance in the emotional journey of the needs, wants, and goals of everyone involved, protagonist and antagonist alike. While I’m certainly supportive of a comic that wants to slowly and methodically unravel the plot and characters, if that’s what Spurrier has planned to do, it’s at odds with the energy of the book. Instead, it feels more as though all of the cool ideas for gods have gotten in the way of the relationships between characters.
Consequently, as much fun as I’m having seeing what new special powers are on display, I’m also more and more impatient to hear about such characters as the mysterious religious leader that has Ennay held prisoner. What’s her deal? The book has some really great ideas and that makes it a ton of fun read, but until these questions can be answered, I’ll keep praying for Godshaper.