The phenomenon that is God Country has been rolling on, into a third issue, and you can even get a t-shirt now (you know you want to) to express your fandom. Featuring the Quinlan family who, in the midst of a family crisis over Emmett Quinlan’s encroaching Alzheimer’s, encounter a magical sword from another dimension and have to decide what to do now that the sword seems to give Emmett his former mind back. The series casts the landscape of West Texas as an equally major character and artist Geoff Shaw is doing some of his finest work yet on this series. Written by Donny Cates, with colors by Jason Wordie, and letters by John J. Hill, the comic blends the realism of family drama with concepts drawn from Westerns, scif-fi-superhero traditions of the Silver Age of comics, and even has a little horror thrown in.
This issue serves as a major turning point in the plot, if you’re asking “what now”. Not only does the magical sword Valofax give Emmett back his mind, but it seems to make him stronger, better, more focused, and more present for his family, including his son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter.
Since the solicit text for this issue teases, “Now DEATH has come to West Texas to show the Quinlan family the price of resurrection..”, it’s no spoiler to say that this is an issue with big conflict setting in, and a foe coming to face Emmett and Valofax. In the previous issue, you may recall, he refused to give Valofax back to its owners and was determined to face the consequences in order to keep his restored, “resurrected” self in tact. These are the consequences.
But since that veers into spoiler territory, let’s circle back to what this issue shows about Emmett, since there’s plenty to discuss. His relationship with each of his family members, and in particular, his son, is spotlighted in this issue and we begin to understand something: Emmett has been resurrected mentally, and it’s the real Emmett that’s been resurrected. And that Emmett was not a knight in shining armor.
He’s got his good qualities, and the comic really brings them out, but this is the moment where we realize that he’s kind of a shitty father and was, like all of us, the product of a long life of questionable decisions. Maybe that’s why he’s on this journey, actually, in a storytelling sense. This is about he whole Quinlan family and getting their patriarch back, but it looks like Emmett is going to be on his own path figuring some of this out.
Receiving Valofax enabled Emmett to assume the Protector role over his family again, and he does that in this issue–perhaps overconfidently–but that doesn’t mean he’s superhuman inside. But he has an opportunity here–another chance to work on his decision-making and maybe that’s another kind of resurrection we should be rooting for.
Also in this issue, the madly camp speechifying of the glorious Valofax, when it becomes clearly what he is in terms of the multiverse. Also in this issue, Geoff Shaw drawing flying knives. Lots and lots of flying knives. Also in this issue, one of the creepiest comic foes you’ve seen.
Run out and grab a copy of God Country #3.
Here’s that t-shirt, too. Find it at Nakatomiinc.com: