God Of War (PS4) has received much praise after being released a few months ago. Capitalizing on the success and popularity, Santa Monica Studio has released the first issue of the God Of War comic book and unlike the video game, it just doesn’t stand out.
Disclaimer: I haven’t played the game. However, I can deduce that the events in the comic take place near the game’s start.
The story begins in a wintery forest outside a wooden cabin. “Boy” is busy playing with wooden figures when Kratos appears and asks him where his mother is. The mother has gone out hunting and should return by nightfall. “Boy” is meant to chop firewood and Kratos, as expected, chides the child and shows him how it’s done before venturing out to “test” himself. Kratos then tests himself by willingly encountering beasts and attempting to restrain his rage and urge to engage them. Unfortunately, one of those beasts is not what they appear to be.
Kratos is a stern figure now. He seems to be taking part in his own anger management program but struggles not to lose control. He is capable of sympathy but as a result, it can lead to him jumping in to save people (even if they are far from saving). There is some depth to him but he has very few moments of it. Usually, he is just stone-faced and grunts.
“Boy” a bit of an escapist. He plays with his toys and forgets to do his chores. He is sort of timid when Kratos appears but is very interested in the “tests” Kratos does. He seems to admire Kratos. “Boy” is presented as a normal yet isolated child. He is seemingly innocent and spends his time alone with the companionship of his toys.
The art is above average. There are some well-drawn panels, the colors are generally used appropriately but nothing really stands out. Some panels are also awkward – with the flow or art itself. One example is where one panel shows a standing Kratos, the next he’s in the air (assuming he jumped) and the next he somehow twists around to appear suplexing a beast. There’s no anticipation. There are gaps in the motion.
The dialogue is average and sometimes not appropriate for the panel. An example is where Kratos is roaring in the scene but the dialogue just has him grunt “Hrm!”. It’s not very convincing. “Boy” and Kratos usually have appropriate lines for their characters which makes them more believable. There are also Viking runes to show the native (Norse?) people speaking which is a nice touch.
God Of War could use some improvements. So far it’s average but here’s hoping that later issues will be better. Maybe someday we’ll learn what “Boy”’s real name is…
(Spoiler: it’s “Atreus” but he’s only known as “Boy” in the comic for now).