“Love. Haven’t heard that word in so long I’d forgotten it existed. I run from it like it’s leprosy.”
Desolate, desperate and depraved. Welcome to the world of The Goddamned.
I missed issue one when it released so in true, ‘let’s pretend I know what the hell is going on’ style, I sat down with the opening two chapters and got myself bang up to speed with this twisted take on the biblical stories of old. And I have to say, I’m deeply impressed.
To break things down; Cain, son of Adam and the first person on earth to commit the act of murder, has been punished by God to walk the ever more bleak landscape for eternity. Immortal, and massively pissed off by the fact. Cut him, tear at his flesh, break his bones and body, he heals and lives on. He’s also a pretty mean-spirited soul (well you would be wouldn’t you) who remembers the beauty and tranquillity of the world lost. He travels the globe in search of the fabled, Nephilim, or giants, who legend states, will be able to finally give him what he longs for…to be murdered himself.
Within the strong opening we also meet Noah who travels with a small army, collecting animals, killing bad guys and predicting some pretty inclement weather is on the horizon.
Writer, Jason Aaron, has laid foundations for what promises to be a spectacular tale. The world he’s creating is one of the darkest I’ve ever encountered. Murder, rape and cannibalism are commonplace, and things get even darker when Cain stumbles upon a group using wild-eyed, half-starved kids as attack dogs. This stoneage setting isn’t exactly The Flintstones.
In terms of the artwork, r.m. Guera has captured the desolation in all its dismal glory. Grime, blood and horror spill out from the corner of every page. My only slight concern was that in the scenes of action and fighting it all moves a little too quickly and can be difficult to keep track of what’s taking place. But beyond that Guera has delivered a darkly realistic slice of hell on earth that is in equal parts mesmerising and stomach turning.
Issue #2 offers us a first glimpse that within Cain there is a warmth and an empathy still burning. I’ll leave that here for now.
Going forward there is a lot to entice the reader. The inevitable meeting and head banging between Cain and Noah. The hopeful introduction to some of the interestingly named groups that roam the land, I’m particularly looking forward to making the acquaintance of the Shit Witches, although it probably won’t be tea and marmalade sandwiches in the garden.
It was good from my point of view that I read the opening two issues back to back. The second is considerably stronger than the first and has ensured I’ll be back for another helping of the depravity as soon as it lands. It’s early days of course, but right now The Goddamned #2 is gathering pace ahead of the incoming storm and things are only shaping up to get even rougher…in the best possible way.
About as brutal and depraved a story as I’ve yet read, but it isn’t shock value for shock value’s sake, instead we have the beginning of what could prove something very special.