Review: Godshaper #4

Godshaper has quickly become a book that I look forward to reading as soon as it shows up in my pile at the comic book store. With issue number four, we start the second half of the story. Ennay and his pals quickly go past frying pans as they hop from the fire to the bonfire.

In a world that diverged from our own in the 1950’s, when all technology died, people quickly discovered that they had their own personal gods and while they couldn’t replace all technology, the power and belief of these gods let them do many of the same functions that technology used to.  There is a small portion of the population that don’t have gods of their own but they can change the personal gods of others. Called godshaper’s, they are shunned by upstanding normal folk.

Ennay and Bud narrowly manage to escape from a temple of radical gods worshipers and seem to have found a safe haven where they can regroup with Sarge and Sal. This is a speakeasy where Ennay has the crowd eating out of his hand. Sarge and the rest of the crowd mistake his onstage energy for hope. Little Sal isn’t fooled, however. She knows that is bitterness that fuels his music.

Ennay loses the crowd when he announces that he is a shaper. Before the crowd can get violent, Demonstrators burst through the door. For once the godshaper’s aren’t their target. Instead, they want Bud, the only god who can survive without a human. Ennay has to get his fellow shaper’s free while getting Bid to safety, but can he do that with an angry crowd around him?

Simon “Si” Spurrier tells a lot of stories about outsiders. While they usually focus on the fact that his protagonists would rather be themselves than conform to society, Godshaper really shows the price of that non-conformity. Spurrier (Suicide Squad, Weavers, Spire) opens up how Ennay’s bitterness comes from the realization that anyone who has been bullied secretly feels that for once in a while they would like to be one the side of the bullies and not have to fight for acceptance all the time.

While the godshaper’s do have connections to one another, the fact that they either have to hide who they are or live a life on the road on the run from one angry, prejudiced mob after another means that it is impossible for them to build any kind of community. The best that they can hope for is short-term relationship with one another as their paths cross on the road.

I really love how Jonas Goonface’s art is both incredibly cartoonish, yet captures the sweep of emotions in every scene. Whether it is Ennay’s back-flip into body surfing the crowd or searching through the empties for a drink after being rejected by the normal people once again Goonface’s (F(r)iction as Jonas McCluggage) style make is easy to accept the floating ghostly gods that are in all the scenes.

Only two chapters left after this to see if Ennay, Bud, Sal and Sarge can escape the Chicago mob and the Demonstrators. Will they make it to San Francisco? Can they ever find acceptance?

Only one way to find out.

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jonas GoonFace
Letters: Colin Bell
Publisher: Boom! Studios

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