This past weekend a state of emergency was called for Pennsylvania due to an act of God. Apparently God didn’t think it snowed enough in the Keystone State and decided to bury it in a mountain of white stuff. Instead of curse God for flurrying down a snowmageddon of hell on me, I thanked him because it freed me up to do some comic book reading by the fireplace.
Due to my God-caused predicament, I decided to read The Goddamned by scribe Jason Aaron (Star Wars, Southern Bastards, the list goes on for miles) and artist R.M. Guera (most notable for his work on Scalped). The Goddamned is a brutal Biblical fiction series that takes place before God decided to rain down all kinds of hurt via The Great Flood.
What’s immediately striking about this series is Guera’s art – it’s classic, raw, and powerful all at once. It submerges you in the vile world crafted by the twisted, yet brilliant, mind of Jason Aaron. It’s obvious that the creators took their time to craft the world in which The Goddamned takes place, and it shows. The characters are crude-imperfections of mankind that fit perfectly in the diseased-barren wasteland of a fallen utopia. Image Comics rated the series mature and with good reason – there is a significant amount of violence, nudity, and explicit language that would make any nun go flush in the face. That being said, the mature elements of this comic are not gratuitous – they make sense in which the world the characters live.
In the oversized issue #1 we are introduced to the main character in a way that sets the tone for the rest of the issue. Instead of being some chiseled Conan like dude, he’s a broken-spirited hobo that was robbed, and dumped into a pool of feces. Upon his awakening (which I won’t spoil how that occurs) he comes to find out that his situation is due to a group of savages who jumped him while he was passed out drunk. As any man would do who was dumped in a pool of poo, the main character decides to confront his assailants, the Bone Boys.
Things don’t go very good for the Bone Boys, in fact, things go terribly wrong for them at the hands of our main character who appears to be immortal. It turns out the main character is Cain, son of Adam and Eve, and after killing his brother, Able, has been wandering the world trying to find a worthy adversary that can kill him. Somehow it seems fitting that the guy who invented murder cannot be killed and is tortured by living in a hellish world created by his invention.
Issue #1 ends back at the poo pond where Cain was discovered by a young boy (how that discovery came about I’m still not going to say). This time around the young boy is discovered by a massive group of traveling warriors lead by none other than Noah, but not Sunday school Noah, more like a burly I-eat-rocks-and-glass kind of Noah.
Certainly, my Sunday school teacher, Sister Mary, wouldn’t approve of this version of Biblical characters and events, and would have probably treated Aaron and Guera like “The Penguin” did the Blues Brothers if they ever showed it to her.
Regardless, it is an enjoyable read that is unlike anything else out there on the market today. Consume. Review. Repeat. gives The Goddamned issue #1 a 9 out of 10 road workers taking a smoke break instead of cleaning the snow from my street.