Thursday, January 22, 2009
The Goddess of War: Volume One by Lauren R. Weinstein
Poor, poor Goddess of War. The open battlefields of wars of yore call to her, but Valerie is stuck answering messages from lone bombers, her best friend Nebulon: Universe Eater is sick of her whining calls and her car won’t start. She is low down and sorry for herself in a way that only a discarded god can be. After getting drunk on virgin blood, Valerie realizes that all that she wants is to be back with “the Apache,” Cochise.
The bulk of this oversized volume is the story of Valerie and Cochise’s torrid love affair. What happens when a good man hooks up with a bad-girl goddess is perhaps what you’d expect, and the aftermath is terrible. Chapter One ends with a cliffhanger, but you get enough story to feel only anticipation for the next chapter.
I love that Valerie is, even with a bombshell body, the wretched gal in a dark corner of every woman’s heart. Even her massive power, she is still trying to get it right and going about that in a spectacularly ill-conceived way. No superheroes here, but even that aspect of the story doesn’t feel like a lame, indie skewering of the Superman ideal. Lauren Weinstein is too smart and too funny for that. (Come on guys, please stop doing those stories. They are really boring!)
The art is in her loose-lined style and black and white with an olive-y green. At first I wasn’t sure about this wild story being told with such a dull pallet, but in the end, it does a job, forcing the reader to imagine exactly what colors virgin-blood hallucination present. Weinstein breaks up the large pages with varied panel structure and makes the large format work for her.
Overall, Goddess of War is a swirling, grinding mess of awesome. Picturebox Inc. did a great job with the book and I look forward to seeing more of their books.