Image Comics 2017
Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Geoff Shaw
Coloured by Jason Wordie
Lettered & Designed by John J. Hill
Last issue we met the Quinlans. Roy, his wife Janey and their little girl Deena had gone to Texas to see Roy’s father Emmett. Emmett suffers from Alzheimer's and he’s one heck of an ornery cuss. After the family gets to the Quinlan house and the sheriff leaves a tornado hits and changes their lives forever. Seems there was a demon riding that tornado and suddenly Emmett had a huge sword and did battle with the demon.
So after that battle is exactly where we pick up here. I love what Donny does here the characterisation he’s bringing us is stellar in quality. Emmett is fine the Alzheimer’s seemingly gone and Deena thinks the whole thing is incredibly awesome! Roy and Janey not so much they are in disbelief and freaking out as well they should and the whole thing plays out exactly like it should. It’s so very well done and the fact that the entire time Emmett never lets go of this sword goes unnoticed by Emmett but no one else is a huge deal.
Now normally when we get a slower issue after a massive punch in the face like we got it can feel like a let down but not here. Instead of the usual aftermath cleanup and explanation of the events Donny does things a little differently. We get the introduction of one from the race of beings who calls himself a God who created the sword to begin with. Aristus, God of War, Blood and honour pays a visit seeking the return of the sword Valofax. What transpires between the two men is a tale of the sword Emmett now wields and what role Aristus plays in all this. It’s all rather terribly civilised at this stage but the promise that it won’t be is given. Also the dialogue is just as good, strong and interesting as the first issue's promise with that battle.
Now i’m just going to assume that Donny created this version of the god even though a quick google search says he exists as a god of the sea. I’m a huge fan of mixing gods and humans into stories and using long forgotten gods. Even if Aristus and his people are made up the prospect of them is still something to revel in.
Geoff and Jason do some marvelous work on the interiors here. The way that page layouts are utilised through angles, perspective and the use of backgrounds really do wonders for the reader here. I love that we feel like this is Texas and that this God has his power behind his visage. That Emmett and his kin are just average folks and that this whole thing is so much larger than anyone imagines is all in how we see the story presented visually.
With the history of the sword Valofax laid before us and the promise of conflict to come as well as Emmett’s own dilemma, if he gives up the sword he’ll go back to that stage of Alzheimer’s, well it’s already beyond fascinating material. While we still have yet to learn why the demon rode in on a tornado or why Emmett was chosen by Valofax that will undoubtedly come with time. Until those reasons are presented to us let the imagination run wild because this is the kind of story where that is an asset. An old man suffering advanced Alzheimer’s has been chosen to wield a powerful cosmic style weapon and the only one who knows why is the sword itself. This is pure genius and I’m anxiously awaiting to see what Donny does with this next.