Friday, May 8, 2009

New Age Overviews: Jersey Gods

Welcome to a new series here at New Age Comics, keeping with the theme, we’ve got New Age Observations. It’s basically me talking about a comic, putting it under my microscope and picking at the details of it. The things I’ll be covering are: the plot, the places, the characters and my overall thoughts on the series.

I wasn’t quite sure where a good place to start would be…Batman seemed to obvious, Spider-man just…no, Spawn, maybe…Witchblade I’ll do another time and maybe Invincible next time. But then I remembered a certain new book that hit the stands just about 4 months ago that’s really stolen my attention, Jersey Gods.

Now before I get into this, I’ll le it be known that if you have any requests or ideas for future New Age Observations feel free to let me know.

Jersey Gods is written by Glen Brunswick with art by Dan McDaid and published by Image Comics.

Plot Overview

The plot is fairly simple…at first, Zoe is a high maintenance Jersey Girl. She lives near her parents and is just looking for a shot at true love. Meanwhile there is a planet of Gods, yes Gods. Barock is one of those Gods who lives in Walker City and when patrolling near earth, fights Minog, an old foe who is terrorizing a local New Jersey Mall where Zoe just happened to get dumped a little bit before Minog’s attack. Barock comes in, after a long fight defeats the bad guy and meets with Zoe outside the mall. From there a relationship is formed and as we are told later on she will come to marry Barock very soon. Barock will move to Jersey and…well we’re not quite there yet even. Up to this point Barock has been on Neborn after his short meeting with Zoe, trying to stop a Civil War with Deltus and his city Cumulus. Deltus has a grudge against Barock since during a great war thousands of years ago Deltus’ son was killed by Barock in battle and he wants revenge. So he has been torturing Barock, but with a meteor heading at Neborn the Gods put their differences aside and are currently trying to stop it…trying being the key word here. Meanwhile Zoe has been having her own problems. Her best friend has picked up her most recent Ex and her parents are growing more concerned about her man troubles. While her boss stole her idea and pitched it to upper management, the bright side is she gets a new job of shopping all day…but not surprisingly with the poor girl, that goes wrong too. Overall the plot has a good mix of action and comedy, and never do the 2 elements feel like their ruining the other.

Characters Overview


He reminds me of one of those substitute teachers that tries to appear really tough and hard when really he’s a nice guy. But he doesn’t want to show that, because that would be a sign of weakness in his mind and that would have all the students (replace that word with Gods I suppose) not respect him. Despite this he seems to be a really nice guy, never really coming off as full of himself or stupid about what he does. He is definitely more straight forward and simplistic compared to his friend Helius. He’s far more quiet and doesn’t seem to have much to say really. We know he’s closed off when it comes to love, as Helius hinted at in the first issue there was a time when he believed in love but now that doesn’t seem so. Speculations are pretty simple, maybe his wife died in the great war or simply he got scorned by an ex lover. Something to make him more serious. Still he’s a great guy even for how quiet and simple he is. He’s certainly nice from the way things look and not afraid to vouch for his friends, also it seems his interactions with Zoe have opened him up a little more. So far a nice main character but I hope in later issues he opens up more.


High Maintenance only scratches the surface of describing Zoe. From the very first issue it’s made apparent that this is a girl who has had some very bad luck when it comes to love. That’s obviously not her only trait but it’s certainly one of the most obvious as she seems to just strike out no matter what. That alone makes her more sympathizing but I don’t think that is what Brunswick was going for with her character. She has had trouble getting away from the nest of mother and father and that’s affected her negatively no doubt and crippled her self esteem a bit. Her boss his about as bad as it can get and pushy as can be, always keeping Zoe down and then she finally meets a great guy like Barock and this whole Civil War thing gets in the way. Though despite all her problems Zoe is a pretty appealing character, her inner narration never floods the pages or if there is a lot to read, more then often it’s funny as all hell and worth reading. She’s obviously got her issues but she doesn’t let that keep her down in the mud and she seems to be more positive than one would think her to be. She’s a great main character alongside with Barock and one of the few “hero romantic characters” that doesn’t need the main hero to be an interesting character on her own.


For a God, Helius is surprisingly human compared to his comrades. He’s basically everything Barock isn’t as far as him being much less serious and often not even worried about the future. He’s as casual as it gets and as smooth as can be when it comes to the ladies. He’s the kind of guy you just can’t trust in a room full of single women and it’s hard not to like him for it. He’s so casual and cool about everything that it’s hilarious in it’s own way. His major flaw is that because he’s always so casual, his father never takes him seriously whenever he tries to be serious. It’s not that I can blame his father, Helius rarely treats his duties with respect and is too busy with his latest infatuation. But it’s a quality like this that makes Helius so human and it’s hard not to like him even more for that.


Barock’s nemesis from the looks of it, Deltus is a powerful god and the ruler of Cumulus. One would wonder why he would have a problem with Barock in the first place since Barock lives all the way in Walker City. Turns out during the Great War, Barock killed Deltus’ beloved son who was born of his now dead wife. Like most villains he is driven by revenge and seeing how close he was to his son, and that his son’s birth was the source of his wife’s death, makes sense that he’d want some form of revenge. God’s are not above such desires. I actually like Deltus as a villain and a character, he’s got a strong reason to show why he so badly wants revenge and that he’s more grief stricken over the loss of his son. We see that he was very proud of his son’s accomplishments after surviving a near fatal fall and that adds to it. As a villain in general he’s also smart in using a decoy to distract Barock to blast him. Still, even as villainous as he is it seems he is not above saving his home world and puts his vengeance aside.


The typical starter villain is the best way I’d describe Minog, still a credible threat for Barock to face off with. We know there is some bad blood between them (this is starting to look like a trend for Barock) where he defeated Minog during the Great War so he agrees to attack earth on Deltus’ orders. Really, I hate to say it but I could see Minog 60 issues from now as a low level 2 page fight villain. It’s a trend for opening villains to eventually lose that strength as our heroes grow stronger or adapt. Still he was a great opening villain and hopefully he won’t be forgotten or tossed aside.

I know there are other characters I could talk about but I felt these where the most essential right now.

Overall Thoughts on the Series

Overall I’ve come to love this new series and it’s really become something special that I simply didn’t see coming. It looked good from the previews, a cool new unique story with equally cool and unique art. McDaid’s art took a little time to grow on me but I’ve gotten used to it and I enjoy it more, I’m also seeing it fit even more well with the series as it’s progressed. Let’s hope Marvel or DC don’t try to steal him away from it anytime soon. The plot has been exciting and a lot of fun to read each month and the characters have been very nicely developed to where even the villains are, to an extent at least, likable. My overall view on Jersey Gods is that it’s an incredible new comic that shouldn’t be missed.


Marc said...

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll definitely take a look at the trade when it comes out!

Andrenn said...

I believe the first trade is slated for August. Glad you'll be giving it a try, it's an awesome new series.