REVIEW: 'Godfell' #1 by Christopher Sebela, Ben Hennessy, and Triona Farrell




Writer: Christopher Sebela

Artist: Ben Hennessy, Triona Farrell

Letters: Jim Campbell

Publisher: Vault Comics

Release Date: February 22, 2023

Cover Price: $4.99

One sunny day in the land of Kerethim, God falls dead from the sky. The impact sends out shockwaves that draw in royal families at war, shadowy creatures of the dark, and armies of the dispossessed, all coming to lay claim to parts of God's body. Into this power struggle wanders Zanzi Vuiline, a soldier and berserker trying to get home from a years-long war. Forced to fight her way through the strange landscapes in and on God's corpse, from the soles of its feet through the top of its head, Zanzi will acquire a mysterious traveling companion on her own pilgrimage.


★★★★★ (5/5)

'Godfell' #1 by Christopher Sebela, Ben Hennessy, and Triona Farrell is a wonderfully familiar fantasy with some genre-invigorating choices that elevate this new series with near-poetic prose, brilliant artwork, and a captivating lead character. A giant God falls from the sky forever altering the landscape of Kerethim and drawing the interest of parties far and wide. As for a powerful veteran soldier, Zanzi Vuiline, who just wants to return home after years of war, the enormous body of the God stands in her way. Reluctantly takes on a fellow traveler and must go through the excavated body of the God to find her way home. 

Sebela has done exceptional work from 'Crowded,' Heartthrob,' to 'Dirtbag Rapture,' and many other fantastic books and perhaps it's that experience as a seasoned storyteller that has culminated into possibly his finest work yet in 'Godfell.' Narration in fantasy can be all over the place sometimes. It can be stodgy and intentionally flowery in prose trying to dramatically set the tone and place of the story. Or sometimes it's told with a snarky wink using modern vernacular to add an edgy coolness to appease a certain reader. Here, Sebela uses precise urgent phrasing that's confident and commanding displaying a knowledge of this fantasy world that's convincing and informative. Even without the beautiful art from Hennessy and Farrell, Sebela's prose stands on its own, enveloping the reader with every caption. It could be transposed in a novel and I'd read every word again. Sebela is telling you the who, the what, and the why and you won't question a thing. You'll believe it's gospel and just hang on every word as you're transported to Kerethim. 

The trope of the stoic warrior who's a single-minded weapon of war retiring to their homeland and taking on a young companion begrudgingly is the hook of 'Godfell' but Sebela offers us something new. Feared and respected, Zanzi is a tall muscular woman of color who's shown to be a gifted warrior, mercilessly dispatching enemies with bloody ease. She's a magnetic figure on the page as designed by Hennessy. The young woman she agrees to help isn't intimidated and is as resourceful as Zanzi. They squabble but find common ground. It's a familiar pairing but characters we haven't seen before and the chemistry works. 

Hennessy focuses on the characters to be the center of attention and mostly leaves backgrounds to be bare or none at all. The focal point is usually on Zanzi and with good reason, she's the star. The panel designs are efficient and creative, the fight choreography is quick and lethal, and Farrell's colors are bold, rich, and moody. There's a symbiotic relationship between the art and the script. Whatever words in the script are fully realized on the page because it could not look any better. 

'Godfell' ushers in an exciting new fantasy comic that is electrifying and dynamic with a magnetic woman warrior on a mysterious journey. Sebela takes  well-worn genre beats and makes it his own. Wonderfully illustrated and eloquently written, 'Godfell' is a godsend.