Welcome to Comics Beat, in which we review comic books a few times throughout the week. Individual issues, collections, graphic novels – they’re all good enough for our comic geeks to cover.
God Country #3 (Image)
Series Description: In GOD COUNTRY, readers meet Emmett Quinlan, an old widower rattled by dementia. Emmett isn’t just a problem for his children—his violent outbursts are more than the local cops can handle. When a tornado levels his home—as well as the surrounding West Texas town—a restored Quinlan rises from the wreckage.
An enchanted sword at the eye of the storm gives him more than a sound mind and body, however. He’s now the only man who can face these otherworldly creatures the sword has drawn down to the Lone Star State… In GOD COUNTRY, salvation is a double-edged sword.
Issue #3 is called DEATH IN TEXAS.
Emmet Quinlan is the newest wielder of the sword, Valofax, the God of All Blades. Together, they have survived encounters with demons and the sword’s former wielder, Aristus, the God of War, all of them looking to obtain the massive, sentient weapon. Bonding with the sword has returned Emmet’s mind; his violent, dementia-driven outbursts are gone. His son, Roy, and his daughter-in-law, Janey, are left to deal not only with all of the new craziness, but their own unhappy past as well.
Meanwhile, Emmet’s granddaughter, Deena, is just happy to have her grandfather back. Unfortunately, Valofax is a prize that can’t be ignored, and Balegrim, the God of Death, shows up with his undead army, distracting Emmet and Valofax long enough to steal Deena…
God Country is a six-issue miniseries, so now is as good as time as any to jump on board. It’s a good mix of family drama and crazy cosmic god warfare on the Texas prairie. Sure, that’s a strange mix, but it works. I followed Donny Cates here because of his other book, The Paybacks, which is a ton of fun. While the tone here is completely different, it’s just as wildly imaginative. Geoff Shaw’s art and Jason Wordie’s colors have a great dark edge to it, and it pairs nicely with the melancholic feel of the story.
After the breathless pace of the first two, this issue gave us a nice breather, hitting some good character notes, and showing off the power of the God of Blades in a pretty cool fight scene. Valofax also had a great soliloquy about what his existence really means. I like the sentient sword, and I really like the interaction between the sword’s somewhat formal voice and the beer-swilling old Texan voice of Emmet.
Issue three is the half way point in the story, and I honestly couldn’t tell you how it might end. But I feel like it’s not going to be good, at least, not for Emmet. This feels like the story of a tragic hero to me, and there’s a valiant last stand waiting for us in the pages ahead. I’m looking forward to it.