There isn’t much to complain about in “GÃ¸dland” #30, except, perhaps, that the scene depicted on the cover doesn’t happen inside. All this book needed was a plot where Adam Archer, the cosmically-powered former astronaut, finds himself oddly drawn to a planet that curiously resembles a naked breast. Dirtiest cover ever? Possibly. Then again, maybe it’s just me. Does anyone else see it?
The lack of breast planets aside, “GÃ¸dland” #30 features such highlights as Kadeem Hardison donning the flip-shades worn by his character, Dwayne Wayne, a cultural icon in the late ’80s, a little orange-yellow butterfly from one of the most brilliant comics of the past decade also penned by Joe Casey and drawn by a certain Aussie from whom the butterfly escaped, and the new Iboga-San! Oh, and the universe is doomed, Earth’s really screwed, what else is new, blah blah blah. But, man, the flip-shades are back! Bill Cosby must be proud.
The centerpiece of “GÃ¸dland” has always been its trippy cosmic action and there’s some of that for the fanbase as well as Adam Archer is confronted by the spirit of Maxim, his deceased mentor, who has come to tell him to smarten up and protect Earth instead of traipsing about the universe in a misguided attempt to rescue his sister from having awesome cosmic powers, especially when she doesn’t want to be rescued from having awesome cosmic powers. Adam is a bit of a thick-minded jerk at times, as you can imagine. Then again, it’s revealed that the beings that gave Neela her cosmic powers may not have the universe’s best interests in mind when it’s revealed that the entropiast, R@d-Ur Rezz was another of their creations.
Meanwhile, on Earth, Freidrich Nickelhead has revealed Kadeem Hardison as an Obama imposter and has his subjective reality challenged by a butterfly that challenged the subjective reality of another android years ago. Nickelhead has brought the US government to his knees, but things have changed. “This started out as a political power movement,” he says. “Our chance at world domination. Now it looks like we won’t have a world to dominate. What would YOU do…?” The introspective nature of the book is one of its best features as Casey and Scioli show that even supervillains don’t necessarily want beings from space to destroy the world.
Tom Scioli’s powerful, bold art so defines “GÃ¸dland” that it’s hard to separate it from Casey’s absurd and, almost, stream of conscious dialogue. The confrontation between Adam and Maxim is dynamic and energetic, as both are staunch in their positions, both knowing more than the other, and Scioli gets that across wonderfully. The Nickelhead scenes in the White House are particularly well done as the characters move through a variety of emotions, eventually succumbing to the overwhelming sense of doom that has befallen the planet.
As “GÃ¸dland” approaches its end, the stakes get raised in story, and surrounding the story, as metaphysical and metafictional questions get asked. Let’s just hope that the universe survives long enough for the answers.