Written by: Donny Cates
Art by: Geoff Shaw & Jason Wordie
Letters by: John J. Hill
Issue 3 starts off at dusk around the curettage of Roy Quinlan’s property where his dad and daughter, Emmett Quinlan and Deena, respectively, are chasing fireflies and bonding. Emmett has Alzheimer’s, but the power of the sword that he wields takes away his affliction and previously told the former owner of the sword, to come and take it setting up an inevitable showdown. Aristus, the God of War is the owner of Valofax (the sword) and told Emmett that when he returns for it he will not be coming back as an ally.
Emmett’s son and daughter-in-law (Roy and Janey) are drinking beer and trying to figure out what is going on with his dad who is now cleaned up and shaven and spending time with their daughter and Valofax. Valofax is a living sword, an amalgamation of all swords ever created and it speaks to Emmett. Roy speaks with Emmett on the front porch and tries to claim responsibility for everything bad that has happened, but Emmett switches the subject to baseball. Emmett pisses Roy off by telling him his mother hugged him too much and Roy walks away upset. Roy thinks that he is responsible for the Demon Shadow’s appearance.
The issue wraps up with the Demon Shadow attacking Roy with a bite to the neck. Emmett raises Valofax and gets ready to attack the Demon Shadow when a legion of his followers appear. He slices away while Roy and his family take cover inside. Balegrim, the God of War, appears from out of the shadows and entices Emmett to battle, but he disappears in the blink of an eye. Emmett puts his focus back on protecting his family, but one of them disappears as well. Which one is it? Will Emmett and Valofax be able to recover them in the next issue? Will we see another showdown between Balegrim and Emmett in the coming months.
Donny Cates’ writing in this issue is much better than that of the first. Issue two sets up God Country #3 up perfectly with no inconsistencies or questions about what was going on. Although, it really helps to have read the first two issues to get a sense of what is going on in this one. And while recommend reading the whole story first, however, if that is not possible, this won’t be too difficult to understand as a standalone by as it’s not difficult to infer what has happened in the previous 2 issues.
The plot is fantastical and the writing is Southern American English which is appropriate considering the story takes place in Texas. There is a certain amount of expletives, but not so much as to warrant distastefulness. The art is well done and complements the writing narrative perfectly. The sword itself, if it was planted in the ground would look just like the Image Comics logo, and I am not sure if this was done purposefully or not. George Shaw and Jason Wordie’s art shines brightly in scenes where Valofax is shown slicing away at the bad guys. God Country has an original antagonist and protagonist, and the creators deserve kudos for their originality and creativity. The story is compelling and should keep readers coming back for more. I will be looking forward to reading the next issue.