Another new issue of The Goddamned: The Virgin Brides and another quote from the Book of Genesis, this time pertaining to the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib, implying a woman’s place in Biblical society was not on par with that of men. Grossly unequal, as we recognised from the debut issue and the enslavement of young girls to be brought up only to face a cruel destiny as one of so-called Virgin Brides. Seems even at the beginning religious institutions were greatly corrupted with children often the victims. A total betrayal by humankind of God’s teachings. Even a God of fire and brimstone.
The subject matter, the exquisite, rustic art of R.M. Guéra and color work of Guila Brusco, feels like the kind of high-end, high concept albums of Europe and Humanoids, and it’s that feeling that has me regretting that this stunning story – a HUGE departure in subject matter, even by indie comic standards – cannot be presented in an oversized format. Maybe in the inevitable collection? This is a book that is screaming out for such a treatment.
We meet up once more with Jael – a rebellious little tike – and Sharri who has just had her first period and a sign that she will soon be targeted by the elderly matriarchs who rule over these girls with an iron fist. Tough times call for tough solutions.
The coming of her menstrual cycle and her elevation into womanhood – as marked by the proto-nuns of the ancient, mythological past of Genesis – is enough encouragement for these two firm friends to rebel and become runaway brides. How far they’ll get with an elite Amazonian army on their tails is yet to be decided, but with the hunt on, the tension mounts and we get to see a little bit more of this primeval world as devised by scriber Jason Aaron. A world in which historical fact – the inclusion early, primitive man (and the only men to appear in this issue) – meets mythological fancy; in this case a more developed matriarchal society with a centralised religion, organised military and subjugation that stand in all ways above early mankind. And all in the name of God, or at least their interpretation.
Aaron continues to create a beautifully savage world that’s reflected back at the reader through the type of characters Guéra envisions; a world in which might is usually right and those with the more advanced weapons will always win. How then can a religion be debated and developed in such fierce conditions? Is it no wonder that even here at the dawn of time, we are met with such ferocity? And, it’s this ferocity that Jael and Sharri must either adapt to, or die trying.
A gripping and horrific, savage saga that echoes through the ages and into our own, where it is every bit as relevant, sadly.
The Goddamned: The Virgin Brides #2 is available now from Image Comics