‘The Dead God’ comic review
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
Is cliché fantasy that is done well still cliché? This is the question I asked myself as I examined The Dead God by Erik Bear. Yes, I enjoyed it. Yes, I felt it was immersive. But the entire experience left me with an itch in the back of my mind, a little tingling that said this was all too familiar.
This graphic novel is part of the Foreworld Saga, which began with The Mongoliad, a serialized prose narrative that was available on various mobile devices. The Dead God is meant to act as a pre-cursor to that narrative, as it takes place nearly a millennia before the events of The Mongoliad. Basically, it’s a heroes’ quest. Three chosen people seek the head of a god in order to obtain knowledge. You have the generic fantasy character classes—the warrior, the ranger, and the rogue—as well as the usual epic journey scenario, similar to the one found in works like The Hobbit and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
There’s nothing really unexpected here. It’s all pretty standard. This is a problem, because it puts this narrative in direct competition with other, more established fantasy authors such as J.K. Rowling or J.R.R. Tolkien.
The art is done by Haiwei Hou, who I will admit is probably a big reason why I was so engaged in this book. The art is amazing, and Hou’s name will definitely be one I keep on my list of artists to watch for.
Overall, unless you’re a die-hard fantasy fan, I wouldn’t really recommend this graphic novel. It has its moments, but overall it’s a bit of a flop in terms of narrative quality. I have never read The Mongoliad, and based off of this I probably won’t go out of my way to search the app store for it.