Supergod #3

"Supergod" has been a revelation as Warren Ellis tries to examine a world where all of the superhumans operate in entirely different ways than traditionally thought of. Think of Dr. Manhattan from "Watchmen," make him even more alien and, then, create a few more of him. It's an interesting experiment, told more like an essay than a narrative, though that changes in this issue as the various superhuman elements look to be converging in a single place with, what one can assume, will be disastrous results.

In this world, the superhumans created by various governments all think in different, alien ways. Krishna, the Indian superhuman, goes about protecting India by, first, decreasing its population to a manageable size. Morrigan Lungus, a combination of three British astronauts and alien fungus, is kept in a basement, worshipped as a god by some and requires anyone in the building to take special fungal-killing pills to prevent it from producing spores inside of people.

In this issue, the narrator and central character of the story, Dr. Reddin, tells of a time when he got drunk and went down and demanded answers from Morrigan Lungus. What the tri-headed alien fungal god says is disturbing and a little difficult to understand, speaking in a different manner than a human would. It's compelling and unnatural.

Ellis plays around with time in this issue, showing bits and pieces of upcoming events as Reddin tries to remember the order of events. Ellis takes the manner in which Moore used Dr. Manhattan's temporal perception abilities and enhances them: the Iraqi superhuman is not a slave to what will happen, able to choose which potential future to create, seeing it as a series of tunnels and paths to take. It's a collection of purple pieces of metal or rock and these lenses. A creepy visual that works well with its creepy powers as it responds to what Reddin says in the future, able to perceive Reddin speaking about him.

Garrie Gastonny's art is clean and strong. Most of the time, he seems like he's trying to keep up with Ellis's writing, jumping between Reddin in the ruins of London and the events of the past, showing superhumans doing horrible things. However, he has a few places where he excels like the two pages showing the Iraqi superhuman or the Morrigan Lungus monologue. He's at his best when he's depicting this human-yet-alien creatures that are similar to us, but different. A scene where Krishna kills 90% of India's population is energetic, but lacks a true feeling of horror. It's all energy and half a dozen people dying, lacking the emotional weight necessary for the scene. When focusing on one or two specific characters, Gastonny does great work, but the sheer amount of detail, characters, and scenes that are in this comic seem to be too much for him.

"Supergod" #3 continues the fascinating series that acts as a template almost for the next batch of superhuman writing, exploring the idea of superhumans as alien, as gods, as something other than the all-too-human characters we're accustomed to. It's one of the most thought-provoking and interesting things Ellis has done.

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