-This article was possible due to the gift of a review copy, QWERTY, and rolling natural 20s.
Guest Writer: Heidi Berthiaume
The fourth issue of God Complex: Dogma reveals what happens to our main character, digital-forensics investigator Seneca, after the explosive last page of the previous issue. In a dream-like place that isn’t a dream, Seneca has a conversation with a huge figure who works intently on a figurine, alternating between swinging a hammer like a blacksmith and plugging in delicate circuitry as if building an android.
He is Hephaestus, a Ruler, one of those gods who can access the virtual Stream of all human knowledge and existence. While the trauma surgeon and nurses do their best to save Seneca in the real world, Hephaestus, at the bequest of Apollo, labors to save Seneca within a digital construct inside the Stream. Apollo is adamant that Seneca not die. The Fates foretell that Seneca will find the Trinity, an entity trying to destroy the Rules. Thus, no matter what the ramifications from other Rulers may come, Apollo ordered Hephaestus to “gift” Seneca.
Seneca awakens in the real world, in a medical lab with the trauma team, Apollo, Hermes, and Hephaestus. Athena, who observed the surgery, is absent. Seemingly more machine than man now, Seneca wants to reject his new body. Apollo reminds him that body, that life, is a boon from the gods. Seneca is “stronger … faster. Better.” Apollo says the pain may never fully fade. Doctors and nurses check out Seneca, while he focuses on finding the people who did this to him: the Resistance. Apollo is adamant it was not the Resistance but the Trinity who is responsible for the explosion that dismembered Seneca. Feeling they are keeping something from him, Seneca demands to know what happened. Apollo then tells Hermes to show Seneca the photos, their proof that the Resistance was not involved; images that strike at Seneca’s heart.
As slow as the previous issue felt, this one flipped by quickly and made me excited about the series again. The rough reds, and glowing yellows and oranges of the digital construct where Hephaestus works to save Seneca contrast sharply with the metal blues and grays of the operating room and the Rulers’ observation deck. This is the first issue where the voice Seneca hears in his head does not make an appearance. It will be interesting to see if his … improvements … have an affect on that relationship.
While previous issues told the reader the Rulers felt they were under attack by the Trinity and they were using Seneca to find that entity, the conversation between Apollo and Hephaestus brings home how far they are willing to go. Not only have they created something that did not existed before, they have created something Hephaestus has a concern of what would happen “if he were to turn against us?” Bryan Lie created and designed God Complex: Dogma. Paul Jenkins is the writer, with art by Hendry Prasetya. This issue has colors by Sunny Gho (who is also the producer) and a cover by Isuardi Therianto. You can find out more about the world of God Complex on their website and Facebook page.