Supergod #2 sees Warren Ellis continue his lecture on the alternate history of an world in which mankind has created a host of ďsupergodsĒ-- technologically enhanced human beings with unearthly powers and inhuman motivations.
Whilst the science fiction ideas that Ellis plays with in this issue are just as entertaining as the first, I didnít feel that he addressed the theological implications of the supergod arms race in quite as compelling a manner as issue #1. Still, for those that enjoy seeing Ellis turn out science based superhuman concepts, thereís a lot to enjoy here. My favourite idea was the Chinese supergod who is fitted with tunnelling microscopes that allow him to perceive the origins of life on a subatomic level, but the ongoing activities of the Iranian ďangelĒ and of Krishna, the Indian supergod, prove reasonably compelling, too.
Ellis also uses the second half of this issue to move away from the Asian supergods and touch on a more familiar conflict--namely, the Cold War clash between Soviet Union and the USA. His conception of ďa dead astronaut versus a dead cosmonautĒ might make for a decent action sequence, but itís frankly not as interesting or original as the political goings on of the Middle East. There might be a couple of fun touches that offer something with a little more distinctive flavor (I enjoyed the conception of the American supergod as a Six Billion Dollar Man religious fanatic) but I hope that we see the writer return to the more original territory of the Asian supergods next issue.
Artist Garrie Gastonny continues to impress here, realising Ellisís concepts in a manner thatís visually interesting and dynamic. I love the sequence that shows the destruction of Tehran, and the first glimpse that we get of Novaya Goraj is a striking, retro-style design that perfectly captures the idea of an outmoded Russian relic of a superhuman.
However, my complaint with the narrative style of the first issue persists here. Despite the fact that Ellis has teased us with the unexplained image of a present day London in ruins, it simply isnít very compelling to have the history of the superhuman arms race related to us by a surviving human in the present day. It would have been far more interesting to build some kind of connection with the people who are affected by the activities of the supergods, or perhaps even the people who were subjected to the experiments that turned them into superhumans. Instead, weíre left with a cold, removed narration of past events that might offer a comprehensive overview of the history of this world, but doesnít bring the story to life as vividly as a more involved storytelling style might.
Nevertheless, Supergod continues to be an enjoyable enough series with some interesting ideas and great artwork and Iíll continue to buy it in order to see what Ellis has in store next.
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