Guest Writer: Heidi Berthiaume
Writer: Paul Jenkins
Art: Hendry Prasetya
Colors Jessica Kholinne
“In the futuristic city of Delphi, a young digital-forensics investigator named Seneca finds himself embroiled in the bizarre murders of three church acolytes. Guided by his cryptic mentor, the Ruler named Hermes, Seneca uncovers a stunning conspiracy and a mystery that will turn his entire world upside down.” – cover text
This first issue of the God Complex: Dogma comic (created by Bryan Lie, written by Paul Jenkins, art by Hendry Prasetya, colors by Jessica Kholinne), provides an introduction to the main character, Detective Seneca, at a crime scene deluged in pouring rain. Another cop on the scene, Rodgers, is convinced the deaths are a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A voice in Seneca’s head says he’ll try to follow up, but won’t find anything useful, implying Seneca’s past decisions have created a current state of “floundering in a river of uncertainty.”
Seneca reports to Hermes, a human figure with a high-tech metal helmet, and the two discuss the possibility there is more to the murders than appears. Hermes stops the conversation short due to a security alert he receives. He projects a three-dimensional visual around himself to address the situation, allowing Seneca to see what Hermes sees: the Stream, a realm that runs parallel to their world. The ability to make their way within the Stream through the currents of “all human knowledge, imagination, and information” is what sets Rulers such as Hermes apart.
Hermes asks Seneca to come by the Substrata later, that he has something to show the Detective. While there, someone attacks the security programming. Hermes fights them off, though the construction of the virus leads to conjecture that this attack may be related to the three deaths in the alley.
The other half of this issue reveals a piece of Seneca’s back-story, his current relationship with a woman named Jess, and the fact Hermes has taken a personal interest in the Detective. The last page only has two word balloons and is an intriguing cliff-hanger.
I initially had trouble understanding what the voice in Seneca’s head was about – his internal thoughts? His conscience? It was nice to have an explanation delivered in this issue as I found it to be a distraction up to that point. Hermes, for all his power, is very polite, with “Please” and “Thank you” showing up throughout his speech, which is an interesting texture. The art style is clean with enough details to get across characterization, from Seneca’s partially untucked shirt to Hermes tailored vest.
There’s a lot of world-building info dropped along the way, and I had to read the comic a few times to get all of it, though it definitely generated enough interest for me to seek out the next one. There are also some impressive Sixth Vision 1/6th Scale Collectible Figures and Cillic Mini Figures available of select Rulers.
For more information on how this world came to be, and bios (and art!) on the Rulers, visit the God Complex website (http://www.godcomplexworld.com/) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/godcomplexworld/).