Published on February 12th, 2018 | by Carrie Griffin
AMERICAN GODS VOLUME 1: SHADOWS REVIEW
Summary: An enjoyable experience that I highly recommend fans of Neil Gaiman's work to read.
One of a kind!
The first in a three-volume adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods. The story follows Shadow Moon who has spent the last three years in prison, only to get out and find out that his wife has died. Uncertain of what to do now, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who employs him as his bodyguard. Wednesday is a trickster and rouge, who seems to know much more about Shadow than Shadow even knows. Unknown to Shadow, Mr. Wednesday is an ancient god and he is now part of a war that is starting between the ancient and modern gods. Being Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy becomes far more dangerous and interesting than Shadow would have ever imagined. This volume collects the first nine issues of the American Gods comic series.
I have been reading Neil Gaiman’s works for some time but I have never picked up American Gods. Over the years, I have heard nothing but incredible things about the novel and from what I can see from this collection they were all correct. He is one of my favorite authors and this is another great example of why.
The narrative of these issues of the comics was quite interesting. We follow along with Shadow as he finds out about his wife and then as he meets Mr. Wednesday. Most of the plot focuses on Shadow’s storyline as he learns more and more about what is actually going on around him. Also, there are parts where the narrative will switch. There are many flashbacks to the gods coming to America. Then there would be scenes that are happening in other parts of America at the time period of Shadow’s plot, at least that is what I assume. There were times though that instead of a switch to someone else I would have liked to stay with Shadow and what was going on with him. His part of the story, especially with his new, found role was one of my favorite aspects.
From what I can see from this graphic novel, the story works so well in the visual medium. Shadow imagines and sees many incredible things throughout the course of the story. He sees ghosts that not only haunt him but also help him along the way and he also is meeting a lot of distinct gods. There was never a moment that I did not enjoy the illustrations in this piece. Every panel stood out from the one before it and went along perfectly with the supernatural fantasy tale that was being told. Some of my favorites were when the gods would take up the whole page literally breaking out of the panels that they were in. It was a stunning experience reading the entire time and I cannot wait for more.
Overall, this was an enjoyable experience for me that had me thinking a lot about this crazy world that Neil Gaiman has created, yet again. It never ceases to amaze me when I jump into another story and see how incredibly detailed and inventive the worlds he creates are. This world that Neil has created in this story is developed in such a way that really intrigues and creeps me out. I have always loved the way he will combine classic stories, characters, or other aspects of literature and create his own highly detailed world around it. This was a wonderful graphic novel. I can’t say if it’s a great adaptation because I have never read the novel. All I know is that I fully enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone that is a fan of Neil Gaiman’s adult novels. This was one of a kind.
CREATIVE TEAM: Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, Scott Hampton, Walt Simonson, Colleen Doran, Glen Fabry, Lovern Kindzierski, Laura Martin, Adam Brown
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PUBLICATION DATE: February 28, 2018
REVIEWER: Carrie Griffin