Review: American Gods #1

American Gods #1

Written by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell / Drawn by Scott Hampton

An adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel by the same name, American Gods #1 tells the story of Shadow: a convict who is ready for a second chance at life, although the form that life will take is undoubtedly not what he had in mind.

American Gods 1 cover

The story begins ‘behind bars’, building up the anticipation to Shadow’s release while hinting that all may not go according to plan. A stranger who mysteriously surfaces with a “job” offer and a dream involving a Minotaur in pants is enough for us to assume Shadow is destined for something. What I don’t know. Maybe the job is to find the Minotaur a shirt. For those of us who haven’t read the book, we’ll just have to wait and see! It comes as no surprise given the source material that the story has a narrator, so there is more here to read than your standard comic, and Neil Gaiman’s prose is worth the effort.

The art takes a back seat to the writing in terms of impact. Scott Hampton goes for realism with his figure work, but with what looks to be a heavy reliance on reference photos the characters often feel stiff, with ‘wooden’ facial expressions to match. His style does not clash with the tone of the material; rather it lends an unsettling feeling to the darkly weighted script. Of special note, there is a second story included where a guy gets swallowed whole by some ladies under-bits. Bonus! -Keli

Tweet @kelthe80skid and let me know what size shirt you think this dude wears!

American Gods 1 preview