The Godyssey #1
April 25, 2011
Less any sort of odyssey, more a trip to the local Denny's.
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. There's... really nothing I can say in this introduction to prepare you for this comic, other than a fight between religious figures. More on that after the theme song.
(Theme song plays; title card has "Techno Syndrome" (from Mortal Kombat) by The Immortals playing in the background)
Linkara: Really, that's the reason why this comic has been requested so much: a ridiculous battle that's offensive on many, many levels. But don't take my word for it. Let's just dig into (holds up today's comic) "The Godyssey #1".
(Cut to a closeup of this comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): Well, to be accurate, it's "Avengelyne and Glory: The Godyssey #1".
(Cut to a shot of Avengelyne)
Linkara (v/o): Avengelyne, according to Wikipedia, is a former angel who evidently could summon her angelic powers by quoting the Bible. Believe it or not, this was not created by a church, but rather, Rob Liefeld himself and former Vampirella model Cathy Christian.
(Cut to a shot of Glory)
Linkara (v/o): Glory, in turn, is another Liefeld creation who's an Amazon and half-demon, and at least one person has told me she's a Wonder Woman ripoff. Since I try to avoid anything Liefeld creates unless I'm reviewing it for the show, I can't be certain if that's accurate or not. Anyway, back to this happy little crossover...
(Cut back to this comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): There are two things that this comic is known for. One is the aforementioned battle, but the other is the cover. While Liefeld is not the artist on this book, he is the artist for the cover. And what a cover it is! Take a good, long look at that spine, people! If you're wondering why I'm not screaming in horror at that thing, I should note that my higher brain functions have already retreated from the sight of it in order to preserve my sanity. What's especially bizarre about this cover is that there's...
Linkara (v/o): ...an alternate photo cover, featuring two real women next to each other. Clearly, people were available to show Liefeld how actual human beings work, and yet that wasn't enough for him! Amazing!
(Cut back to the comic as it begins)
Linkara (v/o): We open to Jesus on the cross.
Linkara: WOW! As if the cover wasn't enough to make us feel uncomfortable!
Linkara (v/o): This imagery may be understandably awkward for some people, so feel free to skip ahead if you wish. However, those of you who are sticking around, it's time for me to reiterate something.
(Cut to a shot of Linkara's review of "Uncanny X-Men #424")
Linkara (v/o): Way back in my "Uncanny X-Men #423" review, I pointed out that a crucifixion done in this manner, with the nails driven through the palms, is, well, kind of impossible.
(Cut back to the Godyssey comic, showing Jesus on the cross)
Linkara (v/o): I say "kind of", because from what I've read, it is actually possible to do so, depending on a few other factors, like the nails' angle or, more importantly, how the feet are affixed to the cross. Needless to say, shoving a nail through both feet is not the way to do it. And certainly not hanging from the angle he's at. I'd like to reiterate also that the Romans were experts at this and were not likely screw this up. Anyway, yeah, panels of him being crucified, along with Bible quotes about the crucifixion from the Gospels. And it is now that we arrive at the first thing that this comic is known for. A lightning bolt strikes from the sky, and this dialog is spoken...
Voice from on high: BEHOLD, MT. OLYMPUS! Let us gave upon this pathetic creature who calls himself a GOD!
Linkara: (smiling) Oh, my, yes! You are really about to see this!
Linkara (v/o): The Greek gods appear in front of Jesus. I must have missed that part when I was studying the New Testament in college.
Apollo: Almighty Zeus--if he is a god, why dost he allow himself to suffer at the whim of mankind?
Zeus: Because he is a fool, Apollo-- a fool who covets man as a father covets his children.
Linkara: (as Zeus) He should take the form of a swan and sleep around, like I do! I don't give a crap about my kids! No offense, Apollo. (as Apollo) None taken, Dad.
Linkara (v/o): Jesus' eyes suddenly open and... holy crap, he looks pissed! Then again, I'd be pissed, too, if I was a symbol of love and peace that some asshole comic writer decided to put in a comic book so I would fight the Greek gods.
Linkara: Oh, yeah, spoilers: that is seriously about to happen!
Linkara (v/o): He literally pulls his hands and feet through the nails! Ouch! That's gotta hurt even after the resurrection, I can just tell! He also seems to have quite a bit of muscle and strength on him for someone who's been dehydrated, tortured, starved, and, lest we forget, CRUCIFIED!
Linkara: And now, we're at the moment of truth, the moment everyone's been waiting for. As both a nerd and a Christian, though, I find this idea simultaneously awesome and extraordinarily offensive.
Linkara (v/o): Because this idea is so completely against Jesus' teachings and the way he lived his life, and just the sheer "what the hell" of this entire situation, we're going to assume that this is not actually Jesus, but some other guy who is crucified and the Greek gods just came on the wrong say. Say hello to Jesús (pronounced "Hey-SOOS" (that is, the Spanish pronunciation, which is a fairly common name) as is the case throughout the video), the Christian martial artist! Jesús opens with a backhand to... uh, whatever the heck that guy was [Hercules, evidently].
Apollo: He mocks us, Hercules-- 'tis time to unleash the fires of Olympus upon this so-called god!
Linkara: (throwing up his arms) MORTAL KOMBAT!!
(To "Techno Syndrome", a theme from the Mortal Kombat games, Jesus (or rather, Jesús) battles the Greek gods and winning against each and every one, until only Zeus now is left)
Jesús Wins. THEOLOGY.
Linkara (v/o): Zeus is impressed with Jesús' fighting, but lays in with the trash talk. And is it just me or does Zeus sound kind of like the Ultimate Warrior when he rambles like this?
Zeus: Thou hast proven thyself a worthy opponent, but can thee surmount true power? Does thee have the courage to combat the almighty Zeus?
(Cut to a clip of The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior)
Ultimate Warrior (Jim Hellwig): AHHHHHHH!!! YOU CAN FEEL IT, TOO! YOU CAN FEEL IT!
(Back to the comic again)
Zeus: SPEAK, I COMMAND THEE! Your silence angers the king of gods! THOU DOST DEFY ME?! Then thee who covets man shall be treated as man, a mere plaything to amuse me...
(Cut to another clip of the Ultimate Warrior)
Ultimate Warrior: NORMAL PEOPLE! THE PEOPLE THAT WALK THE STREETS EVERY DAY! WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND!
(Back to the comic again)
Zeus: ...and thou shall know suffering unlike any man has ever known. Thou shall know unending torment until thou speaks... AND PROCLAIMS MAN'S INSIGNIFICANCE!
(Cut to one more clip of the Ultimate Warrior)
Ultimate Warrior: NOW YOU MUST DEAL WITH THE CREATION OF ALL THE UNPLEASANTRIES IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE AS I FEEL THE ATTENTION FROM THE GODS ABOVE!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Jesús proclaims...
Linkara (v/o): ...and the two charge at each other to begin their epic fight. So, here's a stupid question: these are the Greek gods, right? But isn't this taking place at the height of the Roman Empire? You know, the guys who took the Greek gods and changed their names around? What the hell do the Greek gods care about all this? They're old hat; their civilization is kind of, you know, not really around anymore. But of course, this entire discussion is academic – figuratively, I mean. There is nothing academic about this moronic comic. For you see, this whole thing was a dream! Yes, I'm serious. The entire reason why people wanted me to review this comic is a LIE. Yes, it was the dream of the narrow-stomach Avengelyne. She wakes up to find Glory standing in a– Okay, really?! They're serious with that outfit, with the thong and the bra – which, by the way, I'm assuming is metal, given the design of it, yet her nipples are visible through it; real nice there – as her outfit?
Linkara: At this point, why even bother with the immense shoulder pads at all? Your shoulders are the part of your body you're most worried about protecting?
Linkara (v/o): Glory tells Avengelyne that the dream she had is a prophecy, and she had the same visions of the two forces going to war. Oh, and Avengelyne's outfit is just as ludicrous! For crying out loud, she had more clothes on when she was sleeping! Glory tells her that her mother instructed her to bring her back to Amazonia to learn the truth about the visions. Oh, and say hello to Glory's butt. That and Avengelyne's butt are gonna get as much panel time as them.
(Cut to a shot of the title character in "Athena #1")
Linkara (v/o): Suddenly, "Athena" makes perfect sense; it's just a remake of these characters.
(Back to this comic again)
Linkara (v/o): There's a portal to Amazonia in the closet – so many jokes I could make – and they travel through it. Welcome to Amazonia, which consists of that one column right there. Yeah, Ed Baines and Michael Chang, the pencilers, could have drawn the backgrounds and look of Amazonia, but then we wouldn't get this shot of the two's metal thong-clad rears. They meet Glory's mother, Lady Demeter... who apparently shops for capes at the same place Stryfe does – seriously, what the hell is making her cape stand up like that? ...who tells them that Heaven's war host has begun battling Ares. We get the backstory of this little squabble of deities: Zeus, unable to accept that humanity had outgrown the need for gods, became jealous of Jehovah. After Jesus' sacrifice, Zeus knew he'd never gain humanity's favor again, and now wishes to destroy Jehovah and, you guessed it, take over the world.
(Cut to the obligatory clip of the Street Fighter movie)
M. Bison (Raul Julia): OF COURSE!
Linkara: How exactly does Zeus plan to destroy something that, by its very definition, is all-powerful? Yeah, you could fight his angels, but that's like fighting off all the minor enemies in a video game, but not being able to take out the boss of a level.
Linkara (v/o): Glory says they must stop Zeus, and Avengelyne wonders why she's enthusiastic about that, since her people are supposed to serve the gods. Not Hippolyta says that they can't let this senseless aggression stand, even if they do serve the gods and– Oh, look, Glory's ass. Yeah, there was absolutely no other way they could have framed this shot. Also, why the hell is the entire panel crooked? They want Avengelyne with them since they don't know much about Jehovah or Christianity. Their first stop is to go to Mount Olympus and try to convince Athena to join them.
Linkara: One wonders why the goddess of wisdom isn't already on their side.
Linkara (v/o): On Mount Olympus, which is not so much a mountain as it is a big floating island in space, with futuristic buildings. You know, I'm gonna take a wild guess here and say that the writers and artists didn't know much about Greek or Christian mythology. Ares reports favorably that his attack at Heaven's Gate is going well. So, do all the other gods just sit around or stand next to the throne all day? You'd think Zeus would spring for some chairs or cushions or something. Avengelyne and Glory are nearby, hiding behind a modern-day brick wall... which, according to many people on Twitter that I asked, was not the same kind of material used by the ancient Greeks. So why is there a brick building in Olympus, just around the corner from Zeus' throne room? It's especially confusing, considering that the establishing shot showed a futuristic city. Make up your mind, comic! What the hell are they using? To get off that topic, but move into another bit of "makes no sense", take a look at Glory's outfit again, at least in this panel. What are her shoulder pads even attached to? Are they even shoulder pads? Are they actually part of her body? Anyway, Glory says there's no time to convince Athena and they have to try to convince Zeus directly. This brilliant plan goes about as well as you would expect, with Zeus ordering Ares and Hercules to deal with them. They fight and– Oh, for crying out loud, Hercules grabs a column to use as a bat, and it apparently becomes bamboo when he smashes it onto the ground.
Linkara: You know, I'm starting to think this might be kind of a dumb comic.
Linkara (v/o): Ares is punched into a fissure in the ground. That's another thing about the Greek pantheon: if they're so powerful, you'd think they'd summon up some wings or something so this kind of thing wouldn't happen. Hercules knocks out Avengelyne... or maybe she's just kind of stoned, given the expression on her face here: D'uhhhhhh... Glory manages to kick Hercules into the fissure. Zeus decides to intervene and says he'll condemn Glory to Hades for this, sending out a bolt of lightning at her. However, Avengelyne recovers and pushes her out of the way, taking the hit. And so, our comic ends with Glory proclaiming...
Glory: She's dead.
Linkara: (Batman narrator voice) Is Avengelyne dead? (a dramatic sting is heard) Will they stop Zeus' mad plan? (another dramatic sting) What will become of Jesús, Christian martial artist? (one more dramatic sting, as Linkara speaks normally again) Who knows? As far as I can tell, this is the only issue of "The Godyssey" ever published, (holds up comic) and it sucks.
Linkara (v/o): The story is ridiculous and the opening sequence more than a little offensive to me as a Christian. The artwork is lazy or just wants to remind the reader that the two heroines are wearing bikinis. Oh, and said heroines have no real distinguishing personalities. You could honestly swap all their dialogue, and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two.
(Cut to a shot of the cover of a Wonder Woman story, "War of the Gods")
Linkara (v/o): If you're really curious about the story potential of various pantheons waging war, Wonder Woman has actually done this twice: once in a crossover event called "War of the Gods"...
(Cut to a shot of the cover of a second Wonder Woman comic, "God War")
Linkara (v/o): ...and another one in 1999 called "God War". I haven't personally read either, but I've heard some good things about "God War" at the very least.
(Cut back to the "Godyssey" comic: the very back, showing some letters of Rob Liefeld's resignation from Image Comics)
Linkara (v/o): Oh, yeah, and in the back of the comic, there's also two entirely different letters about Rob Liefeld leaving Image Comics at the time, but I don't really care about that, and neither should any of you.
Linkara: Because, hey, Rob didn't have anything to do with this comic, other than the cover, and, well, I think that's all the evidence you need about why Rob should not be working for any company. (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
Jesús – Christian Martial Artist will return in "The Seven Deadly Pharisees".
Avengelyne would never regret her decision to replace her spine with that of a snake after she made a killing as a human contortionist.
(Stinger: Linkara is seated on his futon again, looking through an old book)
Newscaster (voiced by Doug Walker): Recently, across the United States, it seems that entire buildings and individuals have simply vanished into thin air. According to statements from local police forces, everything that has disappeared has apparently left no trace. Eyewitnesses to the events say it was as if the world flickered for a moment and then were just gone. While the occurrences have been taking place throughout the country, the most areas that have been hit are apparently central Minnesota. A military official that spoke with GNN said only it's as if a piece of the world is missing. This is Lori Prince, GNN. Now let's take another call.
Voice on phone: Hello, Lori...