The Revolution has quickly become a big fan of Jersey Gods. I gave this title a chance because I am a huge Jack Kirby fan and I liked the Kirby feel to the characters in this title. Brunswick certainly has his own style and this title is definitely not your typical super hero title. But, it is obvious that Brunswick likes super hero comics. It is always nice to pick up a title outside of Marvel or DC that does not treat the super hero genre like it is the plague. I am confident that Jersey Gods #3 will be another quality read. Let’s do this review.
Writers: Glen Brunswick and Mark Waid
Artists: Dan McDaid and Joe Infurnari
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Barock, Helius and Rushmore arriving at Cumulus City on Neboron. There our heroes are met by Lurella. (Think a red haired Big Barda.) Lurella says that she will do battle with Barock and the others may stand down. Helios ribs Barock about how first the Earth girl was hot for Barock and now it is Lurella, the Rock Princess of Cumulus that wants Barock. Helius jokes that Barock is really on a roll now.
Rushmore says that they do not have the time for this fight. Rushmore uses his super speed to quickly disarm Lurella and then Rushmore knocks Lurella out. Our heroes then head for the palace. Our heroes quickly take out the palace guards. Our heroes arrive in the throne room where Deltus is seated. Barock punches Deltus and realizes that it is just a robot disguised as Deltus. Barock yells out that this is a trap. Suddenly, the real Deltus appears on the scene and blasts Barock and Helius with a massive energy cannon. Our heroes fall to the ground unconscious.
We slide over to Cherry Hill, New Jersey at the office where Zoe works. The Editor-in-Chief, Clifford, barks at Zoe’s boss, Jane, that they need something new to boost sales. Clifford complains that sales are down and that Jane’s butt is on the line since she was brought in to increase circulation. Jane suggests running stories about local shops that are running fashion discounts. Clifford exclaims that Jane’s idea is brilliant.
We zip forward to “later” with Zoe bringing Jane’s lunch to her. Jane breaks the news to Zoe that Jane stole Zoe’s idea to run stories about local shops running fashion discounts and Jane sold it to Clifford as her idea.
We cut to Zoe at lunch with her parents in a fancy upscale restaurant in downtown Philadelphia. Zoe complains about how her boss, Jane, stole her idea. Zoe’s parents seem largely disinterested in Zoe’s story about her work. Zoe’s mom seems more interested in talking about the upcoming Christmas party. Zoe’s parents bicker as Zoe’s dad tells Zoe’s mom to just listen to their daughter for once.
Zoe then breaks the news that Emerson will not be coming to the Christmas party since they broke up. Zoe’s mom then tells Zoe to just go ahead and tell them what both she and Zoe’s father have suspected for years. Zoe asks what that is. Zoe’s mom exclaims that Zoe must be a lesbian.
We cut to Zoe jogging through the city park. Zoe thinks how she always jogs when she is stressed. Usually, Zoe goes jogging with her best friend Deidre, but she was has other plans today and could not go jogging with Zoe today. Zoe thinks about her lunch with her parents. Zoe imagines introducing her parents to Barock. Zoe re-creates how her mother would react to Barock and question him about what kind of name he has and what kind of job her works.
Zoe then thinks how her parents really do love her and how they bought her a condo half a mile from their house just so she would not move far away from them. Zoe then wonders why she has not heard from Barock yet. Zoe wonders how long a civil war takes anyway.
Zoe then jogs past Emerson and Deidre sitting on a park bench snuggling each other. Zoe comes to a complete stop. Deidre gets a guilty look on her face. Zoe then jogs off and wonders if God is punishing her for something. Zoe then thinks “Barock, where are you?”
We shift back to Cumulus City on Neboron. We see Barock, Helius and Rushmore shackled and being held captive. Deltus proceeds to torture Barock. Deltus wants Barock to suffer as revenge for Barock killing Deltus’ son. Deltus then tells the story of his son, Legustus, and how Legustus was born weak and frail. That Deltus’ wife died giving birth to Legustus.
Legustus was always picked on by the other kids. Then one day, Legustus attempted to ride the Strife. (A giant bird that lives on Neboron) Legustus fell from the Strife and broke many bones. After Legustus healed from his injuries, Legustus dedicated his life to honing and training his body into a perfect living weapon. Legustus ended up being a leader of an entire brigade in the Legion. When war broke out, Legustus went into battle against Barock’s soldiers. Barock killed Legustus in battle.
Deltus’ assistant, Centrus, inserts that Legustus’ brigade ambushed Barock’s forces and killed majority of Barock’s soldiers. Centrus continues that Barock killed Legustus in self-defense. Deltus responds that the victors shall write the history books and record things the way that Deltus sees them.
We slide over to City of Walkers on Neboron. Avidus, Barock’s brother, approaches Sirius and offers Sirius his help. Avidus comments how Deltus made Avidus and Barock watch as Deltus tortured and killed their father. Sirius checks the main computer and notes that a giant asteroid is heading directly at Neboron. Serius then contacts Deltus and says that they have to put aside their differences in order to stop the giant asteroid that threatens to wipe out all life on Neboron.
Deltus replies that there is no need to worry about the asteroid. Deltus reveals a massive cannon that Centrus designed that is capable of splitting the asteroid in two. Sirius responds that Deltus’ weapon violates the weapons ban that they had agreed upon. That Deltus’ weapon draws its power from the stars which attracts the particles that formed the asteroid. Sirius says that Deltus has placed all of Neboron at risk.
Deltus then tells Sirius that he will stop the asteroid right after he executes the three intruders in his palace. Sirius then sees Rushmore, Barock and Helius shackled up behind Deltus. Deltus says that he believes that Serius knows the three intruders. Deltus says that it would have been a shame to kill them without an audience. End of story.
We then get a back-up story that takes place 10,000 years ago during the Great War on Neboron. We see all the Gods of Neboron in battle with each other. Except for one: Avidus. We see Avidus back at the palace getting drunk and partying with a couple of ladies. They are all partying in the throne room of King Titanus, Avidus and Barock’s father. Avidus hears his father coming toward the throne room. Avidus and the two girls hide behind a curtain.
Into the throne room walks King Titanus and Barock. Barock is pleading for his father to send him out into the front line to battle. Titanus says that the politics of the Great War are too delicate to allow the son of King Titanus to be seen in battle. Barock yells that Titanus did not give Avidus these orders. Titanus laughed and said such orders for Avidus were unnecessary. Titanus says that Avidus does not concern himself with anything that does not come in a bottle or a ball gown. (Well, there is something to be said for living life in that manner.)
Barock counters that Avidus is a good son. Titanus states that both Barock and Avidus are good sons. Titanus continues that Avidus even makes him proud every once in a while. Titanus says that Avidus worships Barock and always follows Barock’s lead. And that is why Barock has to listen to Titanus. Titanus says that their soldiers need to function as a unit and give it their all in fighting Deltus’ forces. That the introduction of royal blood into the battle will only distract their soldiers.
Barock counters that he could inspire the troops. Barock says that he could make a difference. Barock then storms off. Titanus then walks over to the curtain and says that he could hear Avidus and the girls. Titanus pulls back the curtain and it is just the two girls and a bottle of wine. Avidus is gone. We then cut to outside of the palace and see Avidus following Barock into the battlefield. End of issue.
The Good: Jersey Gods #3 was another good read. Brunswick continues to make this title an interesting and unique read. Jersey Gods #3 is a well paced issue. Brunswick moves the story along at a brisk pace, but is never rushed. The reader gets treated to a good mix of action and drama. Jersey Gods #3 is a well structured issue. Brunswick wisely bookends the slower dialogue heavy scenes with Zoe in between the action packed scenes on Neboron. It is always smart to begin and end an issue with exciting scenes that grab the reader’s attention.
Brunswick continues to craft plenty of nice dialogue. The various character have quickly developed their own unique external voices. What is the most impressive about Brunswick’s writing is his serious commitment to character work. Brunswick cranks out plenty of quality character work as all of the various characters on this title are well developed.
The combination of strong character and good dialogue result in Brunswick being able to generate some fantastic chemistry between the various characters. I loved the banter between Barock and Helius. It is just what two buddies would sound like with their constant ribbing of each other. I also enjoyed the chemistry and banter between Zoe’s parents. They definitely sounded like your typical old married couple. And I particularly enjoyed Zoe’s inner monologue concerning her imagined conversation between Zoe’s mother and Barock.
And this leads me to my next point. I really like Brunswick’s sense of humor. It is well played and well timed. Brunswick does not overwhelm the reader with “witty” dialogue in scenes where there is no logical reason for it. Instead, the humorous lines are properly placed and help to give the title some range. I like that this title never takes itself too seriously but, at the same time, it never de-evolves into nothing more than a series of “Bwah-ha-ha” moments. Brunswick has managed to find that perfect balance between serious drama and humor.
I have been fascinated with each member of the Neboron gods that Brunswick has introduced the reader to up to this point. Deltus is a certainly a good villain. Deltus is easy to hate and quite despicable. Yet, Brunswick gives Deltus some depth to his personality with the story about his son, Legustus. All villains have to possess some sympathetic qualities or else they quickly become one-dimensional caricatures.
Brunswick ends Jersey Gods #3 with an exciting hook ending as he drops several bombs on the reader. We get the unexpected plot twist with the sudden appearance of the asteroid. This is compounded by the surprise realization that Deltus’ violation of the weapons ban and creation of incredible star powered weapons that are the very reason that the asteroid is now threatening Neboron. And then we get another surprise as Deltus reveals that is about to execute our three heroes before Sirius’ eyes. Brunswick delivers one hell of an ending that gets the reader wondering how in the world our heroes are going to get out of this mess.
I love McDaid’s art on this title. McDaid is getting better and better with each issue. What I dig so much is the incredible dynamic quality of McDaid’s artwork. While McDaid is able to effectively pull of the dialogue heavy scenes with Zoe in New Jersey, it is the scenes on Neboron where his art really shines. McDaid is clearly influenced by the great Jack Kirby, but McDaid is still obviously committed to crafting his own style. I love all of the crazy Kirby tech that McDaid whips up.
What is also nice is that McDaid is effective in conveying the emotions of the various characters. This really helps to bring Brunswick’s story to life. It is obvious that McDaid is having fun drawing this title. There are still a few panels where McDaid’s art is a bit rough, but they are getting fewer and fewer with each issue. McDaid’s consistency is improving.
Mark Waid does a solid job with the six page back-up story. The back-up feature was a great idea in order to give the reader the necessary history about Neboron and the gods that inhabit the planet. And by giving this information in the format of a back-up story the reader can learn more about Neboron without this history lesson needlessly interrupting the flow of the main story.
I liked seeing Barock at the beginning of his career as a soldier. I also enjoyed the fleshing out of the relationship of the two brothers, Barock and Avidus, and their relationship with their father, Titanus. And I definitely enjoy learning more about the Great War that has been referenced throughout the first three issues of Jersey Gods. Brunswick has created an intriguing setting for Jersey Gods and the history of Neboron is quite fascinating.
The Bad: I have a few minor quibbles with Jersey Gods #3. The scenes in New Jersey that focus on Zoe bore me. Readers who like the casual and rambling indie style dialogue will probably like these scenes with Zoe. However, I find that the scenes with Zoe drag in comparison with the rest of the issue. The scenes with Zoe seem more like filler where Brunswick is just killing panel space.
And the romantic life of a girl working at a fashion magazine simply does not appeal to me in any possible manner. Zoe’s scenes are like reading an amalgam of the comic strips Cathy and Apartment 3-G. This is a total miss with me.
I have to ask just one question about Neboron. Are there any Hispanic or Asian gods of Neboron or is that entire planet simply black and white?
I have to admit that the art in the back-up story did not do much for me. I am just not that crazy about Joe Infurnari’s artwork. It is not a style of art that appeals to me. I found it way too rough and sketchy for my taste. Infurnari’s art lacked detail and was a bit too cartoony.
Overall: Jersey Gods #3 was another entertaining issue. This is such an original and off-beat title. Jersey Gods is certainly a breath of fresh air compared to the other comic books that we are getting from publishers nowadays. I strongly urge you to give Jersey Gods a chance. This is a title that has nice range and should appeal to indie fans as well as traditional Marvel and DC fans.
This titles offers a great mix of character work, nice dialogue and kick-ass super hero action. Jersey Gods has something for just about every type of comic book reader. Jersey Gods is definitely one of those titles that deserves strong fan support. This is a creative and original comic book that deserves to taste success. Unlike many titles published by Marvel and DC, Jersey Gods is worth the cover price.