The end is nigh for “GÃ¸dland.” It may be crawling its way towards the end, but the end is coming and this issue points in that direction strongly. “GÃ¸dland” #35 is a mix of finishing up old business, the title’s usual cosmic tripiness and setting things in motion for the end of the series with what looks to be a GÃ¸d-level event. After a string of issues that hovered around the 20-page mark, this one increases to 26, but you’d believe it was 36 with the amount of content Joe Casey and Tom Scioli pack in.
Everything is going wrong at once: Freidrich Nickelhead has created the first Supervillain Congress, the Almighty Decimators are set on destroying the Earth, and R@d-Ur Rezz may see the fruition of his entropy deathwish for the entire universe. All three of those subplots have been growing and cultivating over the past half dozen or so issues, and two of them impact in an unexpected manner.
Nickelhead has morphed over the past story arc from a villain that glorifies in being a bad guy into something more, a metafictional proxy for Joe Casey — an agent of change when the plot desires it so. When he displays a new ability, the Tormentor comments upon it and Nickelhead shrugs it off. Adam Archer may be the hero of “GÃ¸dland,” but Nickelhead’s altered role puts him a strangely more central position. He is the tool by which the plot advances and resolves itself. Even Archer acts through Nickelhead in this issue to stop the Almighty Decimators. It remains to be seen if Nickelhead will play a role in the more cosmic elements of the book, especially when the threat to the universe itself and the twisting of Iboga look like they’ll dominate the final issues of the series.
Archer’s return to Earth is treated with the proper grandeur by Scioli. With more pages to work with, he relaxes the pace in places to provide a momentary breath, like the splash showing Archer reunited with one of his sisters. Visually, he also plays up the changed nature of Nickelhead, particularly in one panel of ‘cosmic awareness’ ala Mar-Vell and, later, in an endless recurrence of panels showing numerous Nickelheads dancing with the Almighty Decimators. He captures the whimsy and strangeness of the character.
The transformation of R@d-Ur Rezz is treated with equal skill and more grandeur than anything else in the issue. It’s one thing for Casey to tell us what’s happening, but Scioli’s depiction takes it to a whole new level. This issue feels big and important and a lot of the credit for that goes to Scioli.
A surprising amount of plot resolution happens in “GÃ¸dland” #35 and, with only a couple of issues left possibly, things are definitely prepping for the big finale. Even still, nothing in this comic remains static. For all we know, the danger presented at the end of this issue will be dispatched in a couple of pages before something even bigger reveals itself. The release schedule may be lax, but every issue of “GÃ¸dland” is a source of joy, excitement, and entertainment.