The Origin of Nihilism
I enjoyed Butch Guice's artwork on Resurrection Man, but it hasn't advanced so much since the 90's. But honestly his art isn't bad, it's just.... it has the unfortunate task of following Esad Ribic, and Esad Ribic has spent 5 issues detailing us on why he is the perfect artist for this series, and he achieved that completely once each and every damn page. Guice's art just looks a little generic and simplistic by comparison. It's still good art, just.... yeah.
As his butcher mission wrapped up last issue, we found out the basic reasoning behind his larger mission, the ultimate expression of nihilism. This issue bridges the gap between the basic butcher mission and his grander Godbomb, using his motivations as building materials.
Last issue we understood that his anger with the gods came from proof of their existence after so many unanswered prayers nearly proved his nihilistic beliefs, but I had no idea deeply tragic a life these unanswered prayers accompanied and created. Gorr was part of a race that was slowly dying on a world that was on the verge of death. It's actually no surprise whatsoever that one in that situation would lose faith in the concept of a deity, but the rest of his race is so deeply rooted in their traditional ways that they couldn't see it. Gorr is the unfortunate logical, intelligent, forward thinker stuck in a backwards society. He honestly is a superior to the rest of his entire race, but he's ostracized and treated as a step back. And when he's at the lowest point in his life, there is a divine intervention. But for a man like Gorr, a divine intervention at this point is the worst thing conceivable. He was so firm in the evidence for nihilism, that the appearance of a god makes his entire life a lie. The gods DO exist. But if the gods exist in such a way that it was easy to almost prove they didn't exist.... that's a crushing blow to ones psyche, and fully explains Gorr's soul-crushing loathing.
As his tale fades out, we get a glimpse of what's coming next, as we see what he's been up to more recently in the future. He has not killed all the gods as I had thought, but he's still done with his traditional butchering mission, and has the gods enslaved to build his tool of dei-genocide, the Godbomb.
This issue gives us a full look at Gorr's psychology and motivations, but only a glimpse at the source of his powers. Up until now I thought he was definitely perhaps some sort of lesser god himself, but the truth is something far stranger, and something that clearly has much more sinister ramifications that even Gorr is not aware of. I feel like this might be explained after the Godbomb arc, and perhaps create a trilogy when the currently unknown evils of Gorr's darkness come to light. On top of that, there's one more big emotional twist in Gorr's side when Volstagg poses to him truly brilliant question. One that I had wondered before, but Gorr has chosen to ignore.
In Conclusion: 4.5/5
This issue feels a little short, and the art's just not Ribic, but overall it's almost exactly as good as the series has been from the start. Gorr is an amazing foe, someone on such a grand multi-cosmic scale for reasons completely different than the usual. I've seen a pretty negative response to it, but I for one LOVE the notion of Gorr's story continuing right into a second arc with 'The God Butcher' ending.