AMERICAN GODS: THE MOMENT OF THE STORM #6
Before the battle can commence there must be a sacrifice. But Laura throws a spanner (or should that be spear) in the works as she catches Mr World unawares, with Shadow hot on her trail following her path of destruction.But even as he arrives on the scene to confront those he now knows to have been playing the Two Man Con all along, he finds more of her handiwork. And when he demands to know the whereabouts of his wife and Loki one more player emerges from the shadows.
This is it finally. Laura’s swan song and the payoff of the machinations of Loki and Wednesday. This was always the part of the story that never truly sat well with me. It had a slight hollow ring to it in the way she was used and had her life so royally screwed, all for the sake of the game these two were playing. Even more so than they did Shadow. It always felt downplayed before and just a consequence of the overall plot. But there is something so much more cathartic in the visualisation of her final actions that redeems things in a way I never got before. It was always there but it’s only with the added imagery (a point we haven’t yet reached in the Starz TV show and maybe never will) that it becomes acutely and satisfyingly obvious.
Without any real action to carry us through this part of the story Russell ensures the script is balanced perfectly with the art and allows the flow of information to come across naturally and the script doesn’t take over every panel. And while Laura is doing her part there is the charmingly benign journey of Shadow and his meeting with Easter. I loved the interplay and also the bemused embarrassment she displays when seeing him naked. Something only a comic adaptation can deliver in terms of transposing the narrative. And again, something that has always been there but is a key moment in the story in terms of visual cues.
And the art of Scott Hampton is perfectly suited to this story throughout, adding a richness that may not always be possible to carry across in the written word. In a fantasy world as far removed from superhero slugfests as you could get, we see the sombre and very grown up struggle of one man battling to find his place in the world. A world that just happens to have living breathing gods in it. And these gods take a back seat to the continued human drama being played out here.Despite one of the most fantastical and evocative covers Glenn Fabry and Adam Brown have produced this entire arc, depicting the many varied creatures making ready for battle. From Laura’s dead face as it comes alive in her final act of revenge, to the stunning pencil work used to depict Easter as she helps remove Shadow from the tree. And even the simple wonder he shows as he looks at a leaf and other various… not so random objects.
Jennifer T. Lange also makes every scene resonate with the mood. The rainy trip of Laura and Mack, so perfectly opposed to the bright and breezy meeting with Easter and Shadow, all goes to inform the different journeys they are on. As such this adaptation does a perfect job of transmuting prose form into a visual medium and enabling the more obscure aspects to be brought forward. And deservedly adds more resonance to the voice telling the story. These visual keys help to trigger the feelings that can often be missed in written narrative alone. And lets face it, that’s why we all read comics. It’s the mix of visual art and written word that draws us to crack open the pages every month. And I plan to see this one through to the end, after all what’s not to love here? And of course last but not least there is the epitome of perfection that is David Mack’s variant cover, worthy as always of framing in a gallery.
For fans of Laura Moon this one comes with built in satisfaction guaranteed. And is a true testament to how a great novel can successfully transform itself in to another form.
American Gods: The Moment of the Storm #6 Laura Goes To Town
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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