A Movement, A Manner, A Counter-Culture Crime: Godshaper SC Collects The Complete Series

by Brendan M. Allen

In 1958, the laws of physics stopped working, but an alternative quickly appeared. People found that they each had their own personal god, a divine companion to take the place of electricity, combustion, transport—and money. Varying in shape, size, and power, these guardian deities changed everything.
Ennay is a man without a god, and he’s not alone. Men and women like him are Godshapers: born godless, but with the ability to mold and shape the gods of others. Paired with Bud, a friendly god without a human, Ennay crosses America seeking food, shelter, and the next paying gig. But despite their attempts to avoid trouble, Ennay and Bud stumble upon a mystery that will have lasting ramifications for man and god alike.
Written by visionary author Simon Spurrier ( The Spire , X-Men Legacy ) and illustrated by breakout talent Jonas Goonface, Godshaper introduces a vast world teeming with bold ideas exploring ownership, freedom, and the pettiness of possession—both physical and spiritual.

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods presents a world where technology and modern conveniences have all but replaced religion, gods, and personal belief systems. Godshaper is pretty much the exact opposite of all that. In this alternate reality, technology failed, leaving people completely reliant on their own personal little customizable deities. Entertainment, transportation, food, clothing…Nothing exists without the cooperation of the gods. Even money has been reduced to cryptocurrency which is manufactured by, stored within, and exchanged between gods.

As odd as the concept sounds, it plays really, really well. Writer Simon Spurrier is at the top of his game. This is worldbuilding at its finest. It takes Spurrier all of two pages to invite the reader in, pin them down, and set that hook good and deep. The characters are whole, flawed, and easily relatable. Dialogue flows easily and moves the story along at a breakneck pace. Spurrier brings nuanced flair to themes of class warfare, racism, religion, and identity.

The first thing that drew me to Godshaper was the cover. If the interiors were half as good as that cover, I’d buy the thing just to look at the pictures. Score! The cat that did the cover is the same cat that did the interior linework and colors. These pages are gorgeous. Jonas Goonface delivers an aesthetic that’s just caricatured enough to keep it fun, but oddly realistic at the same time. He also pulls out some really slick tricks with layout, composition, angles, and direction. The reader’s being pulled through the page and directed where to look and when, all the while having no idea they’re being manipulated. Brilliant. That’s some Penn and Teller stuff, there.

Godshaper is one of those rare pieces that could easily stand on the script or the art alone. The words are top notch, and the artwork is stellar. Each medium is elevated to ridiculous heights by the other, until we’re left with this amazing book that we probably don’t deserve.

Godshaper SC collects the complete 6-issue limited series. Published by Boom! Studios, it releases next week on the 31st of January 2018. Created and written by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Jonas Goonface, letters by Colin Bell.

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