By: Rachel Freeman
Godshaper is published by BOOM! Studios. It is written by Simon Spurrier with art by Jonas Goonface.
I don’t know what switch flipped, BOOM, but please do not shut it off. I won’t lie, I have always enjoyed the all-ages stuff from BOOM (no, I don’t have kids, I’m just an overgrown child) but I was never a big fan of their more mature content; besides Power Rangers or the content from their Archaia imprint. That is, until the C2E2 retailer summit this past April. I was blown away by the content they showed for their presentation and immediately, I needed to jump on board these new comics. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like BOOM has opened their doors to more versatile ideas and it’s definitely paying off.
Why aren’t you reading more BOOM?! Fix it. I recommend doing this by picking up Godshaper. What’s a Godshaper, you ask? Well, what a lovely question! Seeing as this is issue #3 and I haven’t reviewed 1 or 2, I’m going to take some time to explain what the series is about…
So, Godshaper is a term used to describe people who “shape” gods. These aren’t gods like almighty God, or Vishnu, or Shiva, or Zeus, or Hera, or Anubis, or Kebechet, or anything like that. They are…creatures. They look almost like demons. Some are shaped similarly to animals or mythical creatures, others look like what you think when you think of a demon, and some are just…well…average. They are all unique in their design and features and they exist to serve humans.
Let’s back up – in this other version of our modern, 2017 world, the machines just stopped one day. They didn’t gain sentience or riot, they just stopped. And so humans were left with nothing. Until these “gods” appeared. Instead of using money, people use “beads” to pay for things and these beads strengthen your god. The more beads you have, the bigger and stronger your god becomes. They get sweet powers and abilities too. There is supposed to be a god for every person and a person for every god. But that isn’t true, not for Ennay, a traveling Godshaper. As I said, Godshapers do exactly what the name suggests. They shape gods. They are able to reconstruct their outer appearance, change their color, make them cuter or more fierce, reformat their powers, all kinds of neat things. But they are godless and therefore they are treated as inferior to those who have been “blessed” with a god. So if every human should have a god, then every god should have a human, right? Well, in most cases, yes. Without a human to believe in them, a god will vanish. Or. At least, they’re supposed to. Which brings us to Bud, the adorable, small god who travels with Ennay scamming the rich, but Ennay is not Bud’s believer and Bud is not Ennay’s god. Weird, right?
That’s the basics for those who haven’t read any of it yet. Moving on to issue #3!
Despite his disdain for being selfless or being a hero, Ennay often ends up getting roped in to being just that: a hero. Alongside, Bud, of course. So even though Clench stole his stuff and then sold him out, Ennay doesn’t want him killed at the hands of the mobsters searching for him. Ennay doesn’t like to hurt people, but he has an incredible gift, one many mob bosses want to get their hands on. Ennay also now has the orphan girl, Sal, to protect until she is able to shape gods on her own to support herself. While she may be young and lack experience, Sal proves to be incredibly useful and clever, although a bit pessimistic. Which is such an interesting contrast. Ennay, the adult, is this upbeat, stay positive, be happy while you can, type and Sal, the child, is just, why help rich snobs when we could ruin their lives, type. At a party for a young rich boy, Ennay and Sal make a quick escape from Mr. Benotti’s men, luckily Smudge was there to provide the getaway car. While, yet again, on the run, Sal accidentally sees into Bud’s head and views some intriguing images. Memories? No one knows where Bud comes from and these images just raise further questions. They think they have found a brief moment to relax in a small god’s church, but little do they know, even here, someone is looking for them. Looking for Bud.
Pros: I have loved this series so far. I love the way they speak, the slang they use, I love that it’s 2017 but Ennay is dressed like he’s in a movie from the 50s. But not everyone dresses this way! It’s like a blending of style from every decade. I also love Ennay in general. I love his character, I love that he’s a black, non-straight, cross-dressing, male and in this world none of that matters. The only thing anyone notices or cares about is his lack of god. And Bud is just the best. He only has eyes and he never talks, but you can read his emotions so well. He and Ennay have a true bond and understanding of each other. I love the vibrant colors and the character contrast. I really just love the style and feel of this comic series as a whole.
Cons: Sometimes its hard to tell how they get from point A to point B. I know it’s a comic and I can fill in some blanks myself, but for example: there’s this scene where they’re trying to sneak out of the church and the door knob starts rattling, you can see the preacher’s shadow through the window so you know it’s him, then we see his face, then Ennay and Bud’s faces, and then the door is open and we see them hiding off to the side while he continues his sermon. What? How? What opened the door? Did the preacher? Did his god? Did Ennay or Bud do it? Did no one do it and it just happened? Stuff like that, though minimal, irk me because I feel like I’m missing something.
OVERALL SCORE: 9.5 / 10
My complaint was minuscule, especially compared to how amazing this book has been. I hope the skipping from A to B doesn’t continue, but I also know sometimes you have a page requirement to meet and you have to cut down where you can. Regardless, I HIGHLY recommend this book.
Make sure you pick up a copy from your local comic store!