Monday, 30 January 2012

'Supergod' - Warren Ellis


Supergod by Warren Ellis and Garrie Gastonny is my first attempt at reviewing a graphic novel. I entered a challenge of reading one each month so I’m afraid there will be more. I am not big consumer of comics and graphic novel, but I have read both Stormwatch and The Authority, which Warren Ellis has worked on so Supergod seemed like a safe choice. I'd like to thank myself for so generously providing me with a copy to review.

Supergod opens with a bang. London is burning, the Thames runs thick with the dead, and a lonely man is sitting on its bank. Simon Reddin, a scientist, is on the phone with an American colleague. It's not a conversation you have everyday. Simon Reddin is not making a social call, he is recounting how he helped destroy the world.

I like the concept behind Supergod, which is an arms race between the major nations of the world. The differences lies in the choice of weapon they are trying to develop. It's a race of creating the most powerful superhero, or a god if you like. Most just want to come up with something capable of making the world into a better place, but for others it's a question of power. Each superpower had their own unique approach, which made for some interesting reading.

It would not be much of a story if each project was a success, and it's not. As is quite obvious from page one of Supergod, and also my story summary. It all boils down to how alien and different these beings are. You cannot expect them to follow human conventions and behaviour, so when they are let lose the result is unexpected.

Garrie Gastonny's illustrations work well. His style has just enough detail to show what is happening, focusing on what is important, without overwhelming you. His characters are human in proportion, and look like real people. This is the style I prefer, and comics like Spawn, by Todd McFarlane I always thought were a pain to look at.

I really enjoyed Supergod. It's quality entertainment, but with more depth than your average graphic novel. Astrocity is a good comic if you want superheroes who behave like real people; Supergod is what you read when you want something alien and unpredictable.   I came away feeling amazed and horrified by Supergod, but it also made me stop and think. You should read it too. 

Supergod weighs in at 128 pages and is published by Avatar.

Recommendation: must read

16 comments:

  1. I would appreciate any tips on what to read for next months review :)

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  2. Depends... Here are a few graphic novels that everyone should read, so I highly recommend them, but they are not necessarily new...

    ** Watchmen by Moore & Gibbons
    ** Dark Knight Returns by F Miller
    ** Xmen - House of M by Bendis
    ** Kochi Wanaba by Jamie Smart (free online graphic novel)
    ** Everything we Miss by Luke Pearson (new)
    ** Sandcastle by levey & Peeters (new)
    ** Hellboy - Darkness Calls by Mignola

    Anyway, these are just some of my favourites!

    Josh (www.IwishIwasabook.com)

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    1. I have Watchmen and haven't finished it. I think the movie turned me off. Think I will pick it back up for the challenge.

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  3. PS... nice review! I'll be checking out Supergod.

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    1. Thanks Joshy, I'll take a look at your recommendations :)

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  5. Oh you made it sound like you didn't know how to review it. Your review is awesome, genuine and has funny tidbits thrown in, and makes me want to read the book even more!!!
    Thanks for participating :-)

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  6. Thanks for the review, Erik.
    I'm not a big fan of Warren Ellis. He doesn't actually seem to LIKE superheroes, so it's always bizarre to me that he keeps getting paid to write them.

    As far as reccomendations, let me suggest:
    "Invincible" by Kirkman, especially if you like Astro City.
    "Sin City" (The Hard Goodbye might be the new title)
    I'll second the "Watchmen" rec as well.
    Dan Abnett's work on "Nova"
    "Usagi Yojimbo"...don't be fooled by the rabbits
    and "Bone" by Jeff Smith

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  7. Tried to post this last night and had some trouble, so hopefully this time around...

    I'll second (third? fourth?) WATCHMEN and will add my own:

    - V FOR VENDETTA & FROM HELL by Alan Moore
    - SANDMAN by Neil Gaiman (you need to read the whole thing, which might seem a bit daunting...try the two DEATH collections if it seems less so)
    - ROAD TO PERDITION by Max Allan Collins
    - A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE by John Wagner
    - 30 DAYS OF NIGHT by Steve Niles & Ben Templesmith
    - Any of Brian Michael Bendis' crime/noir graphics, such as JINX or GOLDFISH
    - Any of Bendis' Daredevil runs or, for that matter, any of Kevin Smith's or Frank Miller's Daredevil runs

    I'm bound to have missed a handful, but that should keep you going for a couple of days ;-)

    Matt

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  8. Can I add a vote for Maus by Art Spiegelman?

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    1. I am too intimidated to review this one. Alan Moore heaps praise over it. Scary :)

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  9. I have no titles to add, I myself am still looking for some for the challenge!.

    Great review, by the way, definitely will be looking for this one when I go shopping next month!

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