Atheism In A Warzone: ‘Godkillers #1’ Reviewed

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead
Alhazred was a university professor in the army reserve. He was called to combat in Raqqa, Syria, where his unit was ambushed and he watched his best friend get gunned down by an enemy combatant. Now, Alhazred finds himself in a joint-operation unit that is deploying in Marawi, the Philippines. ISIS has planted its flag in the city, but they’re facing some kind of unnatural “wasting disease.” Alhazred and the “Godkillers” are tasked with discerning the origin of this wasting disease and, if possible, discovering how to treat it.

Godkillers #1 cover by Tim Bradstreet
Godkillers #1 cover by Tim Bradstreet

Godkillers #1 is a new original series from AfterShock. It focuses on an atheist named Alhazred and how he came to be part of the Godkillers unit. 
Religion is, naturally, a central theme of Godkillers. Alhazred being an atheist is a major element of the narration and story. It’s brought up multiple times and it’s relevant to the dramatic cliffhanger.
I’ll admit that I’m not much of a fan of “modern warfare” stories and much of the comic does come off as white noise as a consequence. There’s no imperative for any of the characters to be in Syria at the beginning and Alhazred being “dragged” into the conflict is shrugged off and laughed about.
The following mission in the Philippines has at least that unnatural wasting disease to serve as a motivation and concern, but even that runs into the question of why this is any business of the Godkillers.
The dialogue isn’t great either. Cliches and general obstinance are mixed in with military jargon that does little to give the comic an enjoyable personality. On that same note, none of the characters really stand out either–not even Alhazred.
The ending is where the comic finally comes alive and provides what you might expect from a book called “Godkillers.” It finally transitions away from being a “war is hell” book to something different and interesting.
Godkillers #1 art by Maan House, Hernan Cabrera, and letterer Thomas Mauer
Godkillers #1 art by Maan House, Hernan Cabrera, and letterer Thomas Mauer

Maan House is the artist on this venture and his work holds up even where the story doesn’t. House provides a unique style that gives the book some visual personality and it’s backed by the moody color work of Hernan Cabrera.
Godkillers #1 isn’t the most gripping first issue. The characters are flat, the story doesn’t come alive until the very end and the art is the only element that remains consistently strong throughout. I’m not sure I can recommend this book, though it does seem that the next issue will have more going for it.
Godkillers #1 comes to us from writer Mark Sable, artist Maan House, color artist Hernan Cabrera, letterer Thomas Mauer, cover artist Jeremy Haun, and variant cover artist Tim Bradstreet.
Final Score: 4.5/10

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