“A GOD SOMEWHERE” (Graphic Novel Review)

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Originally published at Fangoria.com on July 10,2010

Artistically riveting, WildStorm’s new graphic novel A GOD SOMEWHERE explores the superhero mythos as an epic tragedy. Four lives will be torn apart after a mysterious disaster turns one of them into an uncontrollable monster.

Eric Forster completely enjoys his life as a laid-back slacker, playing practical jokes on his older brother Hugh and hanging out with his best friend Sam. He lives a rather simple routine, never aspiring to be ambitious about anything. As usual, Hugh’s wife Alma throws Eric and Sam out of their house at 6 in the morning; little does she know that an unforeseen detonation is about to hit the middle of the city.

The mysterious explosion decimates hundreds of buildings, leaving a trail of burned corpses lying on the hot streets. In an emergency room full of trauma, Eric sits perfectly fine on his hospital bed. He knows something unusual has happened to his body; even the nurses can’t acquire blood samples from his arms. Sam is the first to arrive at the infirmary, and finds it strangely unsettling to see his best friend unscathed by the disaster.

A frightened and exhausted firefighter rushes into the hospital, urgently requesting help back at the scene. Survivors have been found buried deep underneath a collapsed building. After trying to stop Eric from walking out, Sam is startled to see him fly off into the air. Using his incredible strength, Eric singlehandedly pulls out a wounded child from the rubble and becomes immeasurably famous, even described as an angel by the news media. He should be happy with his newfound fame, but why is this superhero cutting ties with his family and friends? Why doesn’t he want to speak to his best friend? Sam reluctantly uncovers what is really going on inside his mind.

What happens when a superhero chooses not to be one of the good guys? What if this superhuman just wants to rape women and pillage cities? Eric thrives on his psychotic bloodlust, tearing his victims limb from limb with his bare hands. He knows he can commit all this carnage because no one, not even the military, can defeat him.

Author John Arcudi delivers a heartbreaking message about the worst of humanity, and it hits home due to artist Peter Snejberg’s shocking illustrations. In the one of the panels, Eric crushes a dying soldier’s head with his bare foot, splattering blood and popping his eye into the air. The popped eyeball lies on the ground staring at you, the reader, as Eric calmly walks away.

A GOD SOMEWHERE is an unflinching tale of superhero tragedy. This is an engrossing read from start to finish, one you absolutely need to get your hands on.