cover image A God Somewhere

A God Somewhere

John Arcudi and Peter Snejbjerg, DC/ Wildstorm, $24.99 paper (200p) ISBN 978-14012-2683-1

The idea of superpowered humans in the "real world" has become one of the more popular recent tropes in comics, a trend inevitably met with diminishing returns. Arcudi and Snejbjerg's harrowing, occasionally gory take asks a familiar question: what if one single person was suddenly possessed of superhuman power? Yet their answer largely eschews feats of heroism in favor of an extended dark night of the soul. When nice-guy everyman Eric emerges from a mysterious explosion with the familiar flight/strength/invulnerability package, he starts out pulling babies from burning buildings, foiling robberies, etc., but his sudden fame and near omnipotence quickly alienate him from the people he loves and, eventually, humanity as a whole. Seen through the eyes of his best friend Sam, Eric's unexpected transformation from quasisuperman to psychopathic mass murderer comes across as deeply tragic rather than merely sensational. Snejbjerg's art is ideally suited to this jarring transition, as he remains focused on characterization whether a panel calls for cartoony bonhomie or bloodcurdling mayhem. This focus on the characters' essential humanity and sense of loss elevates Arcudi's script above the usual "postmodern deconstruction of the superhero mythos," proving that there are still some new stories out there after all. (June)