When I got the office copy of A God Somewhere in a few weeks ago. I had no idea what to expect. Of course I knew the creators who made the book, writer John Arcudi has been around for years writing stuff for B.P.R.D., Predator, The Mask, Young Avengers, and Hellboy, and the illustrator Peter Snejbjerg isn’t a name you easily forget once you learn how to pronounce. I’m serious, look no further than the work on Preacher to know that the man has a pedigree.
These two creators have collaborated with each other for a long time, but it was nice to see an actual graphic novel materialize from their times together…and one that has some serious gravity.
A little comic geek 101 for some of the more ‘non-savvy’ readers out there. There is a huge distinction between a graphic novel and a trade paperback. A trade is a volume of comic books collected into one tome, meanwhile a graphic novel can stand on its own and is generally one large story in an omnibus edition. This distinction is important because with regular comics, you’re bound to get a cliffhanger every 20 or so pages. A graphic novel can take it’s time telling a story. This is where A God Somewhere comes in.
The novel is essentially a ‘what if’ story based in the real world. There are no super heroes…but what if someone was to receive super powers? That is the major crux of this story, and one that will leave me haunted for a long time. It’s not very often that I sit and ponder a story after consuming it, and for this book I believe I have the beautiful yet harrowing artwork that Peter Snejbjerg placed in this book.
You can stop reading now if you don’t want any spoilers and just skip this seemingly white space to my final thoughts below.
The story is about 3 friends, 2 of which are brothers, living their lives as normal blue collar workers in southern California. One night, after a late evening the area of the city where Eric lives is rocked by an explosion that has no apparent reason. He is rushed to the hospital where he undergoes monitoring due to his freakishly high body temperature. Upon hearing further news of the people in his apartment building still trapped under the rubble, he rushes outside the hospital to help only to find out that he can now fly.
He arrives at the apartment building and manages to save a few people trapped in a matter of minutes rather than the hours it would have taken the Fire Department…all thanks to his newfound abilities that now include super strength and invulnerability. It is here that humankind meets it’s first super.
Things go well for Eric until he realizes that his powers don’t help repair his strained relationships with his friend Sam and his brother. Eric soon starts to realize that he has very little in common with the human species as the rules no longer apply to him, and they all fear him for his power. It’s this twist in the storyline that begins the descent of Eric from messiah into antichrist that really sets this book apart from most graphic novels I’ve read in years past.
The book is about 200 pages long but feels much shorter once the story hits its stride…right around the middle of the book. I know that it’s going to sound retarded but the phrase that can sum this book up would have to be “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. You’ll be shocked at what this book holds when you really get into it, but just a warning…it is very very graphic and isn’t for those of you that can’t handle ultra-violence.
In my opinion, the team of Arcudi/Snejbjerg have cemented themselves as deserving their spot on the same stage as the greats like Moore/Gibbons and Gaiman.
Bottom Line: $24.99 / $24.99