What I like most about Joe Casey & Tom Scioli’s Godland is just how unbelievably happy it is to be a comic book. I remember reading the first trade years ago and not really getting it. The Kirby influence put me off, I think, and I wasn’t quite a full-fledged member of the Joe Casey Fanclub yet. I read the series front to back recently, though, and greatly enjoyed it.
A big part of the reason why Godland is so delightful is stuff like this from issue 18:
Casey’s dialogue pretty much never stops being straight out of the modern comics industry. The inconsistent censorship makes me think of that first wave of Image books back in the day. For the most part, he’s putting a 21st century spin on concepts that have their roots in things like Stan Lee’s verbose and tortured Silver Surfer or Kirby’s remarkably petty Darkseid.
The captions keep drawing my attention, though. Sometimes, he plays it straight Stan Lee, with a lovable huckster nudging you in the ribs and pointing out how genius he is. At other points, he goes straight Jim Starlin, throwing cosmic language at you and expecting you to keep up.
And then, right here, he splits the difference between the two and comes up with something sublime.