With a Kickstarter campaign currently running, we check out issue one of God Summoner. A story about the machinations of another world as its ruler seeks the fabled God Summoner to consolidate her power, as forces close to her try and stop her. But is this comic as heavenly as the title implies, or will it languish in Purgatory?
Publisher: Dionysis Zogaris
Writer: Dionysis Zogaris
Artist: Manos Lagouvardos
Price: Currently funding on Kickstarter
Set in an alternate dimension, God Summoner follows a power struggle within the kingdom of Zaros. Yram is the chief-summoner of Zaros, ruling over the kingdom with fear of her magicks and an army of inquisitors. However, when Yram discovers another whose power equals her own and may just be able to summon the Gods back, she and her followers seek out her greatest enemy, her brother Banthel, in order to find an their old friend Francis Belmont. However, locating him may not be as easy as Yram believes for he is very well hidden … on an alternate world within the United States of America!
Dionysis Zogaris has created an incredible story with God Summoner, one that is seriously compelling and engrossing from the moment it begins. With a story and a setting which imbues a real feel of Flash Gordon and John Carter, while its characters offer something more akin to Narnia or Labyrinth, Zogaris delivers a incredibly epic yet grounded tale, one that appears to centre around someone who is yet unaware of their importance. This first issue doesn’t offer up a tremendous amount of character development, save for Yram and Banthel’s familial relationship, but God Summoner’s opening strength comes from more what is not seen but rather implied Zogaris had built this issue as though it is the second part of a grand fantasy opera, leaving breadcrumbs to its past which keeps the reader wondering what may have happened before that first page. Things like Yram and Banthel’s journey to opposite side of the same coin, Francis’ connection to them and even Zaros’ connection to Earth were all chief in my mind by the final page and the hope of answers to these questions certainly entices me to return.
Meanwhile, Manos Lagouvardos’ artwork is absolutely stunning, giving God Summoner a very gritty look akin to Ben Dewey’s work in Autumnlands. This is particularly due to Yram’s henchman, whose look has a very Orc-like appearance (although whether this is simply a mask to intimidate is yet to be seen). Lagouvardos decision to use Black and White is also a good one, with it giving the world a real atmosphere in the same vein as Sam Bentley’s work on Cognition. However, this is a double-edged sword as, while stunning, the pencils do come across as a little light in places. This results in the visuals being slightly difficult to make out, causing me to wonder what it would have looked like on colour.
God Summoner is an absolutely gripping and gorgeous story. While is does come across as a bit heavy in tone, Dionysis Zogaris and Manos Lagouvardos have formed the beginnings of a compelling epic, one that already has me hooked and wanting back for issue 2.