Cover Rank: 8.5/10
Full disclosure, I had never heard of the book or the show American Gods, so this comic is my first introduction to the entire series. While this cover may make sense to people familiar with the story, so far it doesn’t mean anything to me. Having said that, the cover is what drew me in. Whatever that thing is on the cover, I wanted to find out more about it. The art is great and it screams otherworldly.
Best Variant Issue: 8/10
There’s only two to choose from, both are good but the Dave McKean one is better. It’s a little difficult to decipher and figure out what it all means, but it adds to the allure of the book. Best way I can describe it is an almost Slender Man type of creature holding the skull of a Woolly Mammoth over its head. It’s creepy and bizarre and great.
What I Like:
So after all that the covers have to offer what on the inside is a totally different world, at least for now. The way the story is told and how it flows is great. The story of the main character named Shadow Moon is presented to us. It’s a simple enough story to start. He’s in prison, staying out of trouble in the inside so he can get home to his wife ASAP. Long story short, he receives news his wife is dead just days before he’s scheduled to leave prison. En route to his way home he meets Mr. Wednesday. An odd fellow we don’t know much about yet, but he knows everything about Shadow, and he offers him work. Work where once completed he will never have to work again. Shadow shows zero interest but we know that will eventually change.
Shadow himself is a cool guy. He’s very reserved and you wouldn’t take him for a criminal. I like that they are painting him in this light and not as a bitter guy who just got out of prison and would take the job Wednesday is offering just to get back to his criminal ways. I always root for the hesitant hero and Shadow seems like he will fit the bill.
Issue #1 is basically a big set up. But to what yet we don’t know. Wednesday is trying to recruit Shadow for something, and the details are nonexistent right now. So the sense of mystery is high.
What I didn’t like:
If you don’t want to actually read the comic, you can get the entire story (minus the ending) in the opening page synopsis of the book. Why do that? You just gave away the entire story and left nothing to surprise. Wednesday, Shadow’s wife dying. It’s all there on page 0. Didn’t like that idea.
Also certain pages the art seems lax while on others is stellar. If they were up against a deadline it shows.
It difficult to pick out one specific moment because the entire issue is just telling the beginning of what seems to be a very intricate and detailed story that’s to come. For those that enjoy comic nudity, then that is your best moment.
Who….? Did that….? Where did he….? How did….? Wait….? What the hell just happened!?
What I’m Looking Forward To:
So that ending makes no sense right now but if it doesn’t draw you back for the next issue you weren’t paying attention. It has nothing to do with the previous 99% of what we just read and includes characters we know nothing about.
So when you put all of this together, the covers that have nothing to do with the initial issue, and the issue itself that has nothing to do with the ending (again, at least for now) there’s a ton of questions that I’m asking that I just have to come back for to get the answers. It’s a little on the odd right now and it’s right up my alley. This seems like it will be a huge odyssey that covers different worlds and dimensions with an underlying war being waged by I don’t know who. I’m intrigued.