Rat God #1 (Dark Horse)

CREDIT: Dark Horse

Rating: 3/5 – Richard Corben’s Art Makes up for a Weak Story.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

Richard Corben is a true master within the comic industry and his works over the years have been seen in a wide range of genres. Probably best known for his work in the Heavy Metal magazine, his stylistic art can also be found in the pages of the Warren magazines, his own imprint and even Marvel and DC on occasion. Now with Dark Horse, Corben has tapped into the horror genre once again with Rat God, and although the art is absolutely spectacular throughout, the story outside of a moody and atmospheric opening failed to captivate me in the same way.

The opening pages of Rat God follow a brother and sister who are on the run from an unseen danger taking place in an ancient “mayan-like” jungle. Corben draws a lush and eerie landscape that drew me in and got me excited for what was hopefully to come. Unfortunately that excitement faded quickly as Corben proceeded to include multiple timelines and narrators, along with heavy exposition that at times reminded me that I was reading a comic book instead of being lost within the world he was attempting to create. There are nods to Lovecraft throughout and fans of the author may get more enjoyment from this issue than I did.

That being said this is still Richard Corben and I would be tempted to buy a book of his even if it had no words in it at all. His style is so unique and original and it’s a treat to see his continued output, even after forty plus years in the industry. Although I would have loved to have seen some more time in the jungle, or more different locales, it’s still amazing artistic work. Corben has a heavy line that’s not afraid to exaggerate the human form, giving his characters a look and feel all their own. Overall this book left me a bit confused and questioning my purchase of future issues. Based on the art alone I’ll be back for one more and I’m hoping the writing can come together so I feel the same excitement for the story as I do for the visuals.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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