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‘Rat God #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

One thing I’ve been noticing about comic books lately is that, within each issue, less and less story is being told, so story arcs can last over the course of many more issues. It’s not a complaint, just an observation. That isn’t a problem with Rat God from Dark Horse Comics. Writer and artist Richard Corben (Heavy Metal, Den, Hellblazer, 2012 Eisner Hall of Fame Inductee) fills every page with twists and turns, drama, and humor. It’s a real ride.

Corben is a master who is praised by masters. He is the comic book creator that comic book creators love, and for good reason. His art is profound, and his storytelling is fantastical without becoming fantasy.

Here, he swings from the prehistoric, following a native brother and sister as they are chased by unknown hunters to what appears to be the WWII era in which we are introduced to an Aryan driving through the same land and interacting with the same native people (conflict is written on the wind), while flashing back to a woman he has come to know well and like. It’s a very dreamlike experience. Corben never lets our feet become fully planted, but we’re also never lost.

Corben tells this tale with humanity, humor, a true sense of time and place, mystery, and stakes.

Did I say how beautiful the artwork is? A lot of that also can be contributed to the coloring by Corben and Beth Corben Reed. The way they use shadows, the way Corben draws each character's eyes, and the way their faces are long and imposing, almost mythical, is engrossing. You’re drawn into this world.

I highly suggest picking this up. I look forward to reading the next issue.

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