From Image Comics, bestselling writer Jason Aaron (Southern Bastards) and artist R.M. Guéra (Scalped) comes the dark biblical epic The Goddamned. Here’s my review of issue #5, the conclusion to the first story arc ‘Before The Flood’.
“And the earth was filled with violence.” Genesis 6:11 It’s 1,655 years after Eden, and life on Earth has already gone to hell. The world of man is a place of wanton cruelty and wickedness. Prehistoric monsters and stone-age marauders roam the land. Murder and destruction are the rule of the day. Humankind is a failed experiment. This is life before the Flood. The story of man on the verge of his first apocalypse. Welcome to the world of the Goddamned.
“I’m Cain, the man who invented murder. But God invented me. So ask yourself… Who’s the real asshole here? – Cain.
The Goddamned is such a glorious, violent, compelling comic that I’m willing to forgive the erratic release schedule to get all five of these issues out. Jason Aaron is re-writing Christian Mythology and dismantling the Bible like some sort of dark evil story-telling wizard. I love it. After Cain is violently thrust into a battle with Noah and his troops in order to free the slaves that he has building his arc, our final issue in this incredible first volume comes to a dramatic and stunning conclusion.
R.M. Guera is channelling Geof Darrow in his intensely detailed pages, loaded with gore, horror and epic battles where limbs are flung freely from panel to panel. Cain has a fight with another giant, which I think has one of the best conclusions to any brawl yet this series and Noah himself gets into the action with his axe – swinging away directly at Cain’s balls. That Noah is one sick son-of-a-bitch. Hell, I’m not sure there are any redeemable characters in this book yet.. So far Cain is front and centre our main man and he tries, my god does he ever try to do right by this woman who tracked him down to help search for her child, but this world is complete utter shit. And Cain knows that.
And yet our leading man is sucked into a mortal’s plight to find her child Lodo, so he challenges an entire army of bloodthirsty maniacs to save him. (Noah and his men by the way are savages who are hoarding terrifying lions and beasts to put on a giant boat – this ain’t your grandfather’s Noah my child – this is Jason Aaron’s Noah and he’s a dick). By the end of our final chapter in this debut and chaotic new series, we will be taken back and asking ourselves “why?” – very much thrust into Cain’s extremely skeptic point of view. I liked the twist, even though I was disgusted, but I think it’s appropriate given the very climate of our world right now anyway. I’m fascinated at where Aaron and Guera will take us next and which parts of Christian mythology they’ll put their extremely edgy stamp on. The Goddamned is a stunning, gore-soaked thrill ride that isn’t afraid to challenge religion head on and make us like it.