Often in the retelling of stories little slices of truth are carved off or embellished. When told time and again, passed from ear to ear, these stories grow and change with each new telling. Eventually, the story gets so big that, looking back, it’s hard to identify when the simple tale transformed into a legend.
That is the feeling conveyed in God Country #1. There is a sense of bigness in this story. And it’s helped along by an unnamed narrator whose words frame the story of Emmett Quinlan and his erstwhile son’s family. It’s a device that is used effectively to enhance the fable-like quality of the book.
It begins in West Texas with Roy Quinlan approaching his father’s house to talk to the local sheriff. It becomes quickly apparent that all is not well at the Quinlan homestead. Roy’s dad, Emmett, is an old man suffering from Alzheimer’s who barely recognizes his own family. He’s gone so far as to threaten his young granddaughter. Afraid for her family’s safety, Roy’s wife, Jane, leaves her husband to look after the Emmett by himself.
A Storm, a Sword, and Sanity Restored
But when a freak tornado sweeps through the town, seemingly destroying Emmett’s home and everyone inside, Jane races back. She finds Roy miraculously survived. However, just as the two reunite, a Demon swept in on the storm attacks.
Then, in a blinding flash, Emmett Quinlan vanquishes the creature with an ancient, indestructible, enchanted twelve-foot sword. While holding the sword, named Valofax, Emmett’s deteriorating mind seems to have been healed. The issue closes with the old man looking on his family with fresh, rejuvenated eyes.
God Country #1 is full of very human moments, wrapped up in the beginnings of an epic story. The relationships between the members of the Quinlan family take center stage. Hopefully following issues can answer several burning questions. Where did the demon come from? Is Emmett’s recovery permanent? Who is the vengeful-looking god, hovering above the world? And will that god get his sword back?
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