Demons, gangsters, the 1930s: that’s Cullen Bunn’s The Damned in a nutshell. While it has the world building and epic story arc that Bunn in known to imbue with most of his works, it also has the rhythm of a jazz band riffing at the top of their game.
Andy Kaufman was for real. He was born in 1949 New York City – a member of the baby boomer generation – and raised on a modern invention: the television. Rather than a passive receptacle of the programming he was watching, he ingested images of Mighty Mouse, Elvis Presley, and wrestling, and he was inspired. A natural showman and impersonator, he liked to entertain. The writing was on the wall for Kaufman: an entertainer in the making.
As the series has gone on, one of the pillars of each The Wicked + The Divine arc is that, as a precursor, we get a look at our beloved gods at a different point in their lives during one of their short, two-year stays in the world of the living.
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.
What do you get when you cross Neil Gaiman with H.P. Lovecraft? Probably nightmares, to be honest. But, more specifically, you get Only the End of the World Again, a short story about werewolves, old gods, and strange creatures of unfathomable horror.