The Goddamned – Book One – “Before the Flood”

Written by Jason Aaron
Illustrated by r.m. Guera
Colors by Giulia Brusco
Letters and Design by Jared K. Fletcher
Edited by Sebastian Girner
Released by Image Comics

Gang, a few weeks before Coronatine, Steve from Metropolis Comics in LaSalle IL had ordered this trade paperback, and I’m not sure if it was for someone who didn’t pick it up, or if it was for the store, but he proclaimed that it is one of the best stories he has read in the last few years.

  Now, Steve has told me that before, and I have come to realize that our tastes don’t often mesh.  Granted, he has been heavy into comics for a very long time, is a fan as much as a shop owner, and some of the things he’s recommended needs me to read countless issues, that I have neither the time nor the money, to catch up on.

So I bought the book, because that week I had no books coming in, and I like to get something each week, to support a brick and mortar shop. It then sat on my night stand for a few weeks.  Finally, one night, after it stared at me, I cracked it open, and started reading.

A little background.  As a youth, I was born and raised a Catholic.  I was never a reader of the Bible, because that is generally not what Catholics do.  We get the translated versions from the priests and above.  I did enjoy the stories of the Bibles.  I would often read them in “The Illustrated Book of the Bible”, which, at that time, was in every waiting room of every office.  Back then kids, religious material was always available.  In fact, around us, most doctor’s were firmly backed by one church or another, and they did not have to hide this.

So I read the stories of Noah.  I knew about Cain slaying Abel.  I heard all about the serpent tempting with the apple.  I read them all.  Sometimes my family would pretend to be really religious, and talk about them.  I also spent many a Sunday in Church.

Luckily, being a Catholic cured me of religion.  Over the years, I have become an atheist.  I am not opposed to people believing.  I really feel that some people need “God” in their lives, and who am I to say they are wrong.  They are right for them.

“The Goddamned” is the story of Cain.  Yes, the Bible Cain.  It’s been 1600 years after he killed his brother.  He has been cursed to roam the earth, and every time he dies, he comes back. 

At this time, the earth is apocalyptic.  There are tribes all around, who struggle to find food, who struggle to find potable water.  This is the story of Cain, who ends up at odds with Noah (he leads a band of raiders), and how he interacts with his surroundings.  Along the way, there is a side story about a young man, the travails he goes through, finding his mom, and how he eventually ends up as well.  You get two for the price of one.

The lettering is great.  I like that they made it big, easy to read, but not intrusive.  The script was great as well, moved the story along when it needed to, but also stopped when the story needed no words.  It was an excellent balance in my opinion.

I can’t stress how much I loved this book.  From the apocalyptic landscape, the great drawn characters, and a story that fit in perfectly with the original tale, they did an excellent job all around.

Even if you don’t care for religion, or religious tied in stories, this story is beyond that.  It transcends religion, and turns into a great human story, with hero and villains, and those titles ebb and flow.  Some don’t fit with the original work of fiction (I’m an atheist, had to throw that in there), but honestly, at that time in history, people were god damned savages, so to me, it fits the time.

I strongly suggest finding this book and giving it a read.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have.  I actually read it twice, which is a rarity.  This is also one I found myself, and not from the pile Overlord John has.  Those are coming up.

Hail Satan
Mista J

                  (It’s a joke, I don’t believe in him either)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.