GøDLAND: CELESTIAL EDITION ONE
Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: Tom Scioli
Colorists: Bill Crabtree & Nick Filardi
Letterer: Jimmy Betancourt, Albert Deschesne & Rob Steen
Publisher: Image Comics
Once again I was late to the party on this one. I still remember seeing this on the shelves at my LCS, but for whatever reason I just missed out on it. Fast forward and continuing my dive into all things Kayfabe related, including Scioli's work and this was a must read. This series is an homage to and a revival of the "Cosmic Superhero Epic" from the 1970s. Taking most of it's influence from the work of like Jack "The King" Kirby. With Scioli's "Kirby" inspired art style and Casey's hilarious and off-the-wall script, this is an essential read . While this series is obviously inspired by the past, Casey and Scioli add their own modern twist.
The series starts four years after astronaut Adam Archer, your prototypical Kirbyesque hero, becomes the first human endowed with the universal enlightenment. He's the sole survivor of a journey to Mars gone awry. Archer meets alien entities known as the Cosmic Fetus Collective (brilliant fucking name), who transform him into a cosmic being and teach him in the uses of his new powers. But they do it almost begrudgingly which makes for some really humorous moments.
After being sent back to Earth, Archer becomes a famous superhero He's distrusted by government (who he works for) and the public. One of the funnier things about Archer is the way he calls out his powers/moves as he performs them. It's those things that make Casey's stories so fun to read. The military provides him with a base where Archer and his three sisters, Neela, Angie and Stella, protect the Earth from all manners of enemies. Another clever thing you'll notice, if you take the first letter of all the siblings names, is that they form the word NASA. Each sister is unique and serves specific purposes in Archer's life. Neela is also an astronaut, but she resents the fact that she missed out on that fateful trip into space and has now been relegated to watching over her brother instead of focusing on her own career. Angie, a fighter pilot, is a rebellious spirit, and Stella is probably the most level-headed of the sisters, she oversees communication with her brother while he's in the field.
Throughout his adventures, Adam encounters some of the strangest and bizarre supervillains you'll ever see in a comic. Basil Cronus who's floating skull in jar, a was probably my favorite He's on an eternal quest for "the ultimate high", which lead to some of the funniest pages of the book. Then you have characters like Friedrich Nickelhead (former servant of Tormentor) who reminds me of a Bond villain but a little more twisted with no real motives other than to show that he can stand on his own. Discordia and her father the Tormentor and his army of Superman/Clark Kent-Mice round out the villains.
Along the way he meets Maxim, a space dog, that becomes his mentor. He gives him further insight into his past and the birth of the universe. It's these pages that Scioli unleashes some of the most explosive and Kirbyesque imagery that will blow your mind. You could spend hours going over every detail that Scioli puts into his art. I can only u imagine how long it took to draw a page, let alone an entire issue.
How Scioli and Casey are able to make a genre out of Kirby's art and modernize it, is no easy feat. What they accomplish with this book is nothing short of astounding. They are able to weave together so many different elements of Kirby's work while also making this feel completely new. If you can find these books I highly recommend you pick up every volume, it's that addictive.