‘Godshaper:’ Advance Trade Paperback Review

Godshaper has a rhythm to it, a musicality that crescendos to a transcendent catharsis. I was moved. It’s also incredibly eccentric and strange in the best of ways. I first read Simon Spurrier’s work with The Spire and fell in love with his twisted, Jim Henson-like, Miyazaki worlds full of rich fantastical characters, complex moral allegories, and the strongest of human hearts. Godshaper does not disappoint.

Ennay is a Godshaper. Godshapers are some of the few who do not have gods of their own. Let me unpack that a little. In 1958, all technology was lost - kaput. Somehow, everyone then ended up with these little spirit creatures that interact with their host human. The little, Mayazaki-like gods can get upgrades and special powers, almost like Princess Mononoke meets Pokemon. These gods basically make the world run; they are the engines to cars; they are the electricity and the technology. People have become obsessed with their gods and upgrading them.  Can you see the allegory taking shape? Godshapers are humans without gods; they are run out of town, beaten…lynched. They are outcasts - judged and condemned. They are the ones that upgrade and reshape people’s gods. They are hated, but also needed. Ennay works with a god that doesn’t have a human. The little guy is named Bud. He’s a mystery. A very powerful, little mystery.

Ennay and Bud get pulled into a story with a lot of moving parts, but every part slides together so effortlessly. It’s an adventure, a tale of someone on the run from everyone, including himself. A story of love that - like The Spire - explores homosexuality in a positive way. The only place Ennay feels free is playing music. Spurrier uses this device to give his story that rhythm I mentioned, that rolling forward, that lyrical quality to the words. It’s beautiful and powerful.

Jonas Goonface, with his art, captures this world and this energy with aplomb. It’s spectacular to look at - full of color and life – vibrant, which mirrors the humanity present in the book. Letterer Colin Bell is a regular at BOOM! He’s lettered some of my favorite books of theirs, and he continues to give the dialogue a flow, up and down, like a roller coaster or waves lapping at a beach; the visualization of the dialogue pulsates.

If you’re looking for something a little different but so freaking good it will give you feels and make you think, grab the trade of this wonderful series.


Creative Team: Simon Spurrier (story), Jonas Goonface (art), Colin Bell (letters), Marie Krupina (designer), Cameron Chittock (associate editor), Eric Harburn (editor)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.

 

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