Zenescope Entertainment 2016
Written by Joe Brusha
Illustrated by Eric J & Cristhian “Grizam” Zamora
Coloured by Marco Lesko
Lettered by Matt Krotzer
The world as we know it is gone. The New Gods, led by the bloodthirsty deity Chaos, have come to rule with an iron hand, causing destruction wherever they go. Now humans are fit only to be their slaves...But deep beneath the Nevada desert in a secret military base, the head of a classified mission has other ideas. Former soldier Derrick Tillman brought his family there to keep them safe but he’s about to find out that there are no more safe places on earth...and that he, and the rest of his former team, are mankind’s last hope.
Now before you go thinking this sounds the Crime Syndicate, the evil version of the Justice League, it is and yet it’s not. Joe has taken a group of Old Gods, those from various Pantheons, that once ruled the world and brought them back with the desire to once again rule. Now it’s clear that they’ve taken their current visage as a way of demonstrating power and being more familiar than what they used to look like. It makes sense it’s a good ploy but make no mistake these are gods of immense power and very little conscious.
They however aren’t the focus of the book, not really, they are instead seemingly the catalyst for the real story here. Instead this is about the military and the think tank group that was put together to come up with solutions towards any number of threats the United States would face. Apparently this is one of them, creating enhanced humans through a forced mutation. This series will be about the resistance and how they go up against a group of individuals who are actually gods. Gods who have had thousands of years of practice with their powers versus a group of military, with one exception, folks who just gained theirs.
The interiors here are really very well done. I like the fact that General Spencer looks like Gerald McRaney, whether that’s on purpose or not doesn’t matter I like it! The attention to detail is nice to see though you can spot the difference in how the backgrounds are used between the two artists. Eric’s work for me is instantly recognisable and I have to say his work is amazing to see I love how powerful the characters look. The book flows nicely through the page layouts with the use of angles and perspective.
The characterisation here is good, the story progression is nicely handled and Joe’s getting better as a writer and we can see that. What started out feeling like a familiar story has quickly turned into something else with more originality. I like the think tank aspect of what we’re seeing and that they’ve got a plan for this contingency. The minds at work and the questions raised about untested technology that’s been mothballed for a few years goes out the window when the most powerful of those beings, who rules North America, pulls out all the stops to prove his might.
Human resilience and defiance at being forced into slavery is nicely portrayed here as well and with this group to rally around it’ll be interesting to see the general populace’s reaction. Better than the first issue with more explanation and a clear look ahead this shows more promise than I’d originally seen.