Vol 1: Shadows, illustrated by Scott Hampton, P. Craig Russell, Walter Simonson, Coleen Doran, and Glenn Fabry
When we first meet Shadow, he is at the end of a three year prison sentence for armed robbery. He's just about to get out when his wife is killed in a car accident, along with his best friend, who was going to give Shadow a job when he got out. Lifeless, penniless, and jobless, Shadow is reluctantly recruited by Mr. Wednesday, a peculiar man with one eye and a penchant for some supernatural business. Mr. Wednesday and Shadow encounter several larger-than-life beings who claim to be from various pantheons from around the world, brought to America by immigrants for centuries. Shadow is abducted a few times by some other powerful beings working against Mr. Wednesday, but he always manages to escape or be set free with only a few bruises. After one of these occasions, Shadow comes to work at a mortuary in Cairo, Illinois, for Mr. Ibis and Mr. Jacquel. This volume concludes just as Shadow and Mr. Wednesday reconnect, and the real work is about to begin.
American Gods is one of those Gaiman books that has built up a cult following, like Good Omens, and people either love it or hate it. This story moves at a very slow, deliberate pace, and isn't super forthcoming on who some of the deities are that Shadow is interacting with. By the end of this volume, the reader has a decent understanding who some of the deities are and what they're battling against. So far, this adaptation is extremely faithful to the original novel, so this might be a good way for readers to get into this classic Gaiman fantasy.
This title is very adult. It is explicit and has plenty of cussing. The second chapter is a fairly graphic sex scene as the goddess Bilquis pretty much devours a man into her lady bits.
Hampton's illustrations are pretty etherial - characters don't have a lot of details about themselves, but each one is unique enough to be recognizable, even if they come back many chapters later. The flashback sequences are illustrated by other folks, and some of those sequences are extremely beautiful. Employing other illustrators for these narrative shifts was really interesting and definitely helped distinguish those sections from the rest of the story.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Adult
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: Adult, Comicbooks, Adaptations, Mythology
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