Review – God of War: Fallen God #1
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Tony Parker
Colourist: Dan Jackson
Letterer: Jimmy Betancourt
Release Date: March 2021
I loved the recent God of War game on PS4, so I was eager to read #1 of God of War: Fallen God for review. The book is intended to fill in the gap following God of War 3, which saw Kratos kill the last of the Greek gods, ending with Zeus. When we pick back up with the Ghost of Sparta in God of War 2018, he is now in Midgard and battling gods and deities from Norse mythology. The Fallen God series is intended to fill the audience in on how exactly Kratos got from Olympus to Midgard.
This first issue picks up shortly after the end of God of War 3 and the first half of the issue sees Kratos attempting to get rid of his Blades of Chaos to no avail. They seem to have an omnipresent hold over him and follow him wherever he goes. It works as a fairly blatant personification of his past not letting him go and constantly catching up with him.
The second half of the issue follows Kratos getting further and further away from Mount Olympus and starting to hallucinate due to a lack of rest. These hallucinations consist of animals speaking to him in order to remind him that he can’t outrun destiny. This carries on until a shattered Kratos finally collapses at the end of the issue.
This isn’t a first issue that contains a lot of action; in fact it contains no real action scenes whatsoever. I understand that the writers are attempting to take Kratos from the impulsive, super angry dude that we followed in the first three God of War games to the more contemplative, sombre version we see in God of War 2018. However, the idea that he goes immediately from an action packed god-killing adventure directly into this slow travellers tale is somewhat of an anti-climax.
I don’t mind a slow burn, but when you’ve just come directly from the exciting climactic cutscene and the end of God of War 3 and go straight into this, it’s a fairly big step down. I was expecting to see a more violent Kratos in the first few issues that would slowly turn into the more circumspect and mature version of the character we see in God of War 2018. Instead Chris Roberson delivers a weird disconnect from the way that the character was written in the game that took place immediately before this issue chronologically.
Also, a first issue is supposed to grab new readers and get them excited and onboard for what’s to come. A slow actionless issue such as this usually comes at around issue 4 or 5. Starting the series off with a slow-paced issue like this isn’t a great way to get new fans onboard. Additionally, if anyone happens to pick up this book that doesn’t happen to already be familiar with God of War lore, then all that you are going to take away from this is a boring 20 pages of a guy wandering the desert and slowly going mad.
The art is decent though, Tony Parker’s pencils and inks manage to capture the look and feel of the landscapes that we see in the earlier God of War games and Kratos is drawn accurately as well. There aren’t any stand out pages that come to mind that really left me awestruck though, but every panel is perfectly serviceable. The colours are nice enough and the lettering is decent but again, nothing mind-blowing.
Overall, I am pretty disappointed after reading the first issue of God of War: Fallen God for review. Not enough engaging elements are present to really hook the reader. It takes a lot to make a character like Kratos boring, yet somehow Chris Roberson has managed it here. This is one to skip whether you are a God of War aficionado or not, hopefully the series will pick up a bit as it progresses.
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