Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Supergod [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Warren Ellis, Garrie Gastonny, & al., book 1 of the Supergod series. See also Supergod, Vol 1.
In Supergod Warren Ellis has updated most of the pieces of the Cold War superhero fable The One by Rick Veitch, and put it in the multilateral world of 21st-century geopolitics. So, it’s not really so very novel, although it pokes bloody, singed fingers at the usual holes in modern superhero narratives: Wouldn’t people worship superhumans? Wouldn’t superhumans find that their due? Would they really serve the status quo?
Garrie Gastonny’s art is up to the task: there are a number of full-page and dual-page panels that look like proper devotional art. The depiction of Dajjal (an Antichrist engineered by Western military contractors in Iraq) is particularly inventive and effective.
Ellis has a considerably bleaker view of the outcome than Veitch did, but to be fair, the planet has gotten a lot more screwed up since the end of the Cold War. In Supergod, Ellis dispenses with the rosy deus ex machina elements from The One, and tells the reader from page one that civilization has gone completely belly-up as a consequence of superhuman-powered catastrophes. The retrospective framing of the story allows for some sardonic humor as well. The whole storyline has a sense of grudging inevitability that can make you wonder whether a scenario like this — if perhaps a little less colorful — isn’t actually in the cards.