Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Geoff Shaw
What It Is: Emmett Quinlan is an older man with Alzheimer’s that can’t remember his own name half the time, let alone his family. His wife has passed, and his adult son, Roy, (along with his wife Jane and daughter, Deena) have moved back to the family home to take care of Emmett. But Emmett’s often confused, and he can be dangerous.
Yet when the storm comes like a harbinger, destroying his house and sweeping Emmett away in a funnel cloud, Roy and his family are faced with a new evil. The storm has somehow brought a demon to Earth. Just as the family is in danger, Emmett appears again, this time with a 12-foot talking sword, which he uses to quickly dispatch the evil.
When Emmett touches the sword, his mind returns to him and he recalls his life in perfect clarity, the effects of the Alzheimer’s completely gone. So, he does what anyone would do in his position: He decides to keep the sword, who has chosen him as the new owner, and he becomes dangerous in a completely different way than before.
What Works About It:
I never read the Outcast comics, but I watched the show, and this book definitely gives off that kind of tone and vibe. An average guy thrust into the supernatural world of demons. But God Country is more than just demons. I would say that if you took a 60-ish year old man with a crippling mental disorder, gave him an Asgardian weapon that serves as both his crutch and his strength, you would kind of have this book.
The tone is met with a dark humor, mostly borne on the interaction between Emmett and Valofax, the sword, but just as prevalent visually as this old, slightly overweight man totes a giant ass sword through the halls of his old country home.
I’ve always been a visual person, and thankfully, the art, here, is on point! The pencils are solid, but the coloring is atmospheric and moody, very textured, very muddy, which serves this book incredibly well.
Apart from the supernatural threats, the book also pulls very well at the heartstrings, with the tension between Roy and Jane serving as a solid B-story, as Emmett’s illness and Roy’s guilt playing catalyst. I don’t want to say much about the story of issue #3, other than to say that the first 2 issues set the stage and laid out what little back story was necessary, while this current book launches the reader directly into action and leaves you dangling perfectly in the final panel. Well paced throughout. The dialogue is surprisingly well done, being that it heavily leans on a Texas dialect, which can be not only cumbersome to write, but downright distracting when done poorly.
Oh, and as a solid little Easter Egg, they drink Duff beer (you know, from the Simpsons)!!
What Doesn’t Work:
Honestly, there’s not much I don’t like about it. It hits hard in all the right ways with few to no chinks in its armor at present.
In the 90s, Image Comics was the third largest comic publisher. Because of Spawn. Sadly, they had never become more than this, at least in my mind. But now, with this book and a couple others I’ve had the pleasure of flipping through this week, I can see they have a lot more in their utility belt than just the old demon warrior. God Country is a book that I had never heard of, but just jumped to the top of my monthly must-read list.
God Country #3 is available March 15 wherever comic books are sold.