It may be but a mere 20 pages, but the latest issue of “GÃ¸dland” packs in more energy, story, craziness, and cosmitastic fun than most trade paperbacks. (My editor tells me that “cosmitastic” is not a real word, but I say who cares? When a comic is this unique and wonderful, you need to make up new words to properly describe it. Other contenders were “Kirbyendous,” “psychedelicious” and “holymoleythisisadamngoodcomicbookanditjustblewmymind.” But, I like “cosmitastic” best.)
You like supervillains? How about a hotel full of them being whooped up into a fury by Freidrich Nickelhead while being spied on by Basil Cronus whose skull-in-a-jar head is still attached to the body of Discordia, daughter of the Tormentor, before he/she takes a bath while being watched by the Tormentor’s giant rats in tights and suits? How about Nickelhead delivering a rousing speech on how supervillains are an oppressed minority and that it’s time for them to take back what’s theirs. How about Tom Scioli adding the fantastic touch of the robotic-looking Nickelhead wiping his brow with a purple handkerchief? How about this only being the first three pages?
But, then, things jump across the universe as Adam Archer, possessor of cosmic powers, off in search of his missing sister, finds himself smack dab in the middle of a fight between cosmic beings with everything at stake! Oh, the drama! First, Archer is on one side and then another, unsure of who’s right, and who’s wrong — until he’s taken prisoner and almost cut in half in a temple. In a temple! When was the last time you read about an astronaut with cosmic abilities who’s almost cut in half by a weird cult before being saved a mother/son team from another galaxy? That’s right: never.
The pure thrill and joy of “GÃ¸dland” is the sheer imaginative enormity found not just in every issue, but on every page. Casey and Scioli never slow down, they never let up, they just continually pile on idea after idea, new concept after new concept, making 20 pages seem like 120. Okay, maybe not that many, but more than 20, that’s for sure!
Casey’s dialogue is a modern interpretation of ’60s Stan Lee scripting, with equal parts melodrama and bombast mixed with a twinge of pop culture. There’s a real tongue-in-cheek wit to his writing, like having Adam think, at one point, “…esrever ni …sthguoht gnivah …m’I” or having a muffled cry by Adam translated at the bottom of the panel as “Dammit!” The dialogue doesn’t just advance the plot and reveal character, it’s designed to be fun to read.
Scioli’s art continues to improve, always maintaining that obvious Kirby influence, but becoming clearer and bolder with each issue. His splash page of the “villain” N’ull Pax Mizer holding a trapped Archer in his hand is beautifully crafted.
My only complaint? Issues don’t come out quick enough! It’s been ages since #25 and this latest “GÃ¸dland” issue proves once again how brilliantly cosmitastic this comic is.