Saturday, August 27, 2022

Godlings and the Gates of Chaos

This team of superheroes certainly holds franchise possibilities. That would delight the low-budget film company The Asylum, because the characters are based on the gods of ancient civilizations and therefore fair game for their “mockbuster” coattail riders, like for instance their recent Thor: God of Thunder (not “Love and Thunder”). Thor is not one of the Godlings, or their allies, but they will meet Brokkr, one of the dwarves who forged his legendary hammer. Unfortunately, an evil Mesopotamian goddess is threatening the Godlings and the world they protect in Luke C Jackson’s graphic novel Godlings and the Gates of Chaos, which is now on-sale.

Milo just thought he was a fun-loving teen, with a talent for magic tricks that was sometimes actually magical. However, he is the mortal incarnation of the Greek god Dionysus. Fortunately, his once and future colleagues with the Knights of Horus found him when their enemies were about to assassinate him. Like it or not, he is the newest member of the team, along with Diana (whom he vaguely remembers as Artmeis), Ra (the Egyptian sun deity), and Chaac (the Mayan rain deity).

However, he won’t be the new guy for long. They soon recruit Tiamat, the Babylonian goddess of destruction. Her latest physical form is still young and immature, but she is extremely powerful. She is also a bit unstable, which is why the minions of Irkalla, the Queen of the Mesopotamian underworld try to lure her to the dark side. She has plans Tiamat could help advance.

The concept of the Godlings is not radically original (basically Marvel’s Thor and the Avengers crossed with Percy Jackson), but Luke C Jackson forgoes a lot of the obvious usual suspects, for a broader selection of heroes. Instead of yet another Hercules, he gives us Dionysus and Nemesis, who is currently estranged from the Godlings, because they are not sufficiently retributive for her tastes. Jackson does not slavishly mold the young heroes’ personalities to match their ancient personas, but he generally captures the broad strokes of their powers and iconic traits. That might be a plus, especially if
Godlings inspires some young readers to take a deep dive into ancient history and religions.

The art credited to Caravan Studio is energetic and the action scenes are easy to follow. It is colorful and accessible for the younger demographic, but the wealth of historical sources will intrigue some older superhero fans, as well. Again, the Godlings are hardly unprecedented, but they are solidly executed for what they are. Recommended for young superhero readers looking for something a little different from the big two corporate universes,
Godlings and the Gates of Chaos is now available from Magnetic Force.