Thursday, February 05, 2009

Jersey Gods #1 - A Spotlight Review

Jersey Gods #1
Publisher Image
Writer Glen Brunswick
Art Dan McDaid
Colors Rachelle Rosenberg

This was a flat out fun book. I have to admit I went in with a little trepidation as the book’s premise sounded a little odd and I was totally unfamiliar with the artist. Turns out my fears were unjustified, oh sure I was incensed that that had sent out PDF files to Mike Allred, Kurt Busiek and Mark Waid to get pull quotes and not me, but I can take the snub.

What I liked about the story was how quickly I was able to get into it and how fast the story flowed. I was almost surprised when I got to the end and realized that I had already finished the issue. It is a deceptively simple premise, yet a great story.

The “Gods” in the books are homage to Jack Kirby’s New Gods. This is an effective method as it saves time in doing a lot of back story and trying to explain everything about them. We can infer enough and get details later if needed. We have good gods and bad gods and shades of gray as they obviously interact between their cities more then Kirby’s two sides ever did.

The actual story started with Zoe (our female lead) and at first I thought I was reading “True Romance”. It was very funny when her boy friend got tired of her telling him everything to do and he left her at the mall. Then we cut to the introduction of our gods, cut back to a bad god tearing up the mall, good god coming to save the day and then Zoe getting herself involved.

It was a lot of action, a lot of great lines and just a well done and entertaining book.

Glen Brunswick was the writer of Killing Girl which started off very strong and then fell apart as the mini-series progressed. A big part of the failure of that series (IMO) was the original artist leaving the series (Frank Espinosa) and the new artist Tony Cypress either rushed or just not up to the task. What I did take away from Killing Girl is Glen has some great concepts and ideas. This book brings that to the forefront as Glen has given us a slam-bang action book that moves fast and mixed in the “True Romance” type story and brought some joy back into comics.

Dan McDaid is a name I did not know and his commenting on this blog when I stated something about all the Image #1’s made me take a harder look at this book. Dan apparently won CBR’s comic book idol contest and his layouts and design of the pages tell you why. It is a very easy page to read and the words and pictures are pretty seamless. Dan’s art style is half Jack Kirby and half Frank Espinosa with a little Darwyn Cooke and Bruce Timm thrown in for good measure. There are a few panels here and there when I think the exaggerated anatomy did not work and could have been better, but nothing to hurt the story. In fact Dan’s art contains so much energy that it jumps off the page. I can almost feel his enthusiasm for the book.

The colorist also did a great job. I don’t know enough about the process to be able to critic it in an effective manner, but I know what works and what does not work and Rachelle’s coloring helped set the tone.

Of course the fact that I lived in Jersey for six years also did not hurt, as I agree with Glen that no one every respects Jersey, until you live there you don’t know what it is.

This book is comic book joy and goodness delivered to us as folded pages stapled together. So many books seem to be permeated with a dark rain (so to speak) and this one is fast paced action and adventure with romance and humor mixed in.

Grade A - A book not to be missed.

Places to visit
Dan McDaid’s Blog
Jersey Gods’ Blog
CBR Interview with Glen and Dan
Naked Pictures of Glen and Dan


  1. Definitely a lot of fun. Homage to Kirby seems to be the main basis of the story, but I'm sure it's going more interesting places than just that.