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Review: God of War #1

So much more than a simple tie-in.


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Legendary Spartan warrior Kratos is tasked to capture the all-curing ambrosia so he can save his malformed baby daughter from execution.
 
THE GOOD 
If you're a GOD OF WAR fan of the games, like I am, then you are going to immediately feel like you're reading a hidden chapter from the games. Wolfman absolutely nails the tone and the cadence of all the characters' dialogue. This rarely happens when I read a tie-in comic, but I could actually hear the games' voice actors speaking the lines in my head. What's more, Wolfman not only understands the game in total, he clearly understands all the Greek mythology underpinning it all. This felt like the start of a true epic, with pathos on scale with any myth. You feel empathy for Kratos' concern for his daughter, but not once does that emotion betray his status as a larger-than-life force of violent nature. I could really get behind this new quest to find the ambrosia, and it was a brilliant spin on the Spartan's cruel practice of "culling" their children - - something any fan of 300 will be familiar with. 
 
I'm ambivalent about the art (which I'll go in to more detail about, below)... but when Sorrentino is on, his impressionistic style bolsters the mythic quality of the story. I really felt like I was looking at cave paintings or Greek stucco vases at point, and I mean that in the best way.

THE BAD
I generally dislike collage-style art in a comic. The only artists I think who can ever pull it off are Bill Sienkiewicz and Dave McKean. So I'm really on the fence about Sorrentino's work here. In general, it works, as I mentioned, but there are definitely parts where the collage art looked awkward - - like pictures clipped out of a magazine. It might be more of a problem in later issues if they get to more action scenes.
 
THE VERDICT 
Generally, tie-in comics like this feel really slapped together, but that is not the case with this at all. Not only does it add something significant to the GOD OF WAR games' greater storyline, but it stands alone as a damn good comic. Seriously, you'll like this even if you've never played one of the games, either. My imagination has definitely been captured by the whole sub-plot of Kratos having to challenge the other Olympians' champions and I'm genuinely eager to see what happens next.
 
4.5/5