By Simon Spurrier, Jonas Goonface, and Collin Bell
Godshaper #1 takes us into a world where every person has a god. These gods are not like the intangible concept of a god, but like a little creature that hangs around them. Every person to a god, and every god to a person. That is the way of things; with hints of a symbiotic relationship, gods help to show a person’s status through the size and appearance of your god. If you have a big badass god, no one will mess with you. If you are walking around with a chihuahua equivalent god, well then, people will ignore you. Then, there has to be an exception, like a human without a god and a god without a human, right? Well, that is where this story takes shape and really gets interesting.
This concept takes a while to really take shape for the reader, but once we get to the middle of the book we are fully bought into this world. Spurrier has created a really unique universe that has tons of great characters who all get thoughtfully introduced in this premiere issue. Godshaper #1 has great potential to be a terrific story that tells the tale of a godshaper (a human without a god), so in the eyes of society he is worthless except when they want him to shape their god for him. This concept alone is great, a human capable of molding the powers and appearance of the gods, but never able to have their own god. They cannot have money or really any station in society, and it is not acceptable to be seen with one, but everyone needs one sooner or later. The godshaper we are introduced to has a god without a human that works with him to scam on the jerk worshipers, people with gods. His god in crime, Bud, plays the perfect Chewbacca to his Han Solo and it makes you want more of their dynamic by the end of the issue.
Loose, bright, yet detailed art fills every page of Godshaper #1. The tone of the book shifts from lighthearted to dark very quickly and the art from Goonface and letters from Bell follow in step. Goonface gets to show off a little bit of his weird side with the cool gods he gets to create for the first few opening sequences, and it is so cool to see all the detail put into the first two pages. There are some confusing moments until we kind of figure out what the hell is going on here with all the people and their pokemon-esque companions walking about. Once we start to fill in the blanks, it is highly recommended to revisit the first few pages to take in all the thoughtful detail Goonface put into the god and worshipper pairings.
The book is filled with dynamic panel layouts that give this book a unique twist, but also occasionally make it confusing for the reader to follow along. This is especially true in the panels in the ‘Cantik’ where we are following our shaper and his god with benefits. We enter the ‘Cantik’ following a really beautiful splash page, that uses the music from the center piece of the page as a divider for the remaining cells on the page. This works effectively on this one page, but as the pages unfold in this same location it becomes hard to follow the progression of the shaper and know exactly who is who during the events. Some of the pages continue the music as the divider, but then we get full splash pages with just one or two thumbnail images of the splash page blown up. It gets messy and overwhelming for the eye when, it could have been conveyed the godshaper is a bit of a mess socially and romantically speaking without the messy splash pages.
It is really hard to find a refreshing, new, fun comic, but it’s not that hard once you get your eyes on Godshaper #1. By the end of the issue, you are on the edge of your seat wondering what happens next and how did the godshaper do that?!? It all ensures that people are going to be talking about this in your local comic shop and hopefully adding it to their pull lists.