Mild Spoilers Ahead
Alhazred is standing before a Penangglan, a vampiric creature made of tendrils that inhabits hollowed-out bodies, tearing apart ISIS fighters in a Philippines hospital. He doesn’t know what to do, so he freezes as the creature makes it escape. The rest of the Godkiller crew busts in to see only the massacre and they once again question Alhazred’s dedication to the cause. However, they are willing to believe that something supernatural is going on in Marawi and they get a lead that ISIS is fighting something at the Grand Mosque. The Godkillers go to the Grand Mosque in Marawi and are greeted with more carnage and bloodshed.
Godkillers #2 finds a supernatural predator stalking Marawi, but it seems to have a preference for ISIS soldiers over anything else. This puts the Godkillers in a peculiar position in how to deal with the Penangglan.
One problem that Godkillers has is that I’m not sure who I’m supposed to root for in all of this. Alhazred often feels like a passive narrator in his own tale and the rest of the Godkillers range from meatheads to outright bigots. They are constantly questioning Alhazred’s allegiance and they have a pretty callous view towards the civilians caught in the middle of the war in Marawi.
I’m almost tempted to be on the side of Penangglan. It looks really cool, supports the women in Marawi, and is really just more of a predator than anything.
Another thing that bothers me about Godkillers’ approach to its own story is that it really doesn’t want to confront any of the material realities of the conflicts it depicts. It boils down everyone’s motivations to strictly religious–which, yes, I do understand is the point of it all, but, it could still at least acknowledge some of the realities of the past 40-odd years of U.S. relations with the majority of nations in the Middle East before diving head-first into a comic about how “You can’t defeat an enemy without defeating their gods.”
I’ll admit that I am going harder on Godkillers than I need too. The truth of the matter is that I do largely like this issue. Alhazred, despite being fairly passive, is an interesting protagonist and the concept of a story of hunting down and killing gods interfering in the affairs of men is a cool one. Plus, the Penangglan is pretty damn cool and has compelling motivations.
Maan House’s artwork is quite good too. His use of shadowing makes every scene uneasy and tense. The Penangglan looks freaking awesome and downright creepy. Hernan Cabrera’s color work is similarly moody and unnerving.
Godkillers #2 is a flawed yet engaging issue that shows us the kind of supernatural monstrosities that lurk in the margins of our world. Despite the litany of unlikable or uninteresting characters that the book foists upon its readers, it has a likable protagonist at its core and a hell of a hook. As such, I can still recommend this one. Feel free to pick this one up.
Godkillers #2 comes to us from writer Mark Sable, artist Maan House, color artist Hernan Cabrera, letterer Thomas Mauer, cover artist Jeremy Haun with Nick Filardi, and variant cover artist Mirko Colak.
Final Score: 6.5/10