Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter #2 Review

Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Kano

I skipped the first issue expecting more mistreatment of one of my favourite characters ever, Beta Ray Bill. I then heard the first issue was amazing. Finally, I saw scans from the first issue and instantly put the order in at the shop for issue one and had the rest of the miniseries put on my pull list. Issue one did not disappoint and, after reading issue two, I'm seriously considering this miniseries for some kind of end of the year award for series that are mini.

Since I didn't review the first issue, here's a breakdown of what this miniseries is about. Beta Ray Bill, the greatest horse faced, hammer wielding hero you'll ever know, recently learned of his homeworld's destruction at the hands of Galactus. His people, ever the warrior's, refused to leave and fought to the bitter end, but, ultimately, all died, leaving Bill the last survivor of his race. Bill, being more man than any horse faced person has any right to be, decides the only course of action is to kill Galactus. His plan? Starve him to death by destroying any planet Galactus tries to feed on. That takes a huge pair to even contemplate and even bigger to actually do and do it Bill does.

After destroying one planet last issue, Bill was confronted by the Silver Surfer, who asks him to stop. Bill tells him he can just try and stop him, which leads to the brief fight this time around. In fact, the fight between Bill and the Surfer is the only disappointment I have with this issue and it wasn't because it was bad, but because the fight was too short. Surfer had a slight advantage, but Bill and his sentient ship, Skuttlebutt, decided their mission was more important than a fight with the Surfer and fled to the next planet on Galactus's menu.

There he found a race that many believed to be peaceful. However, they had actually had significant defenses and refused to leave their world when Bill tried to explain to them his plan to deny Galactus his meals. Bill, being Bill, doesn't take no for an answer and promptly poisons the entire planet, blackmailing them with the cure. They cede to his demands and leave their planet, but tell him they will forever curse his name among their people. Bill then destroys the planet.

However, each victory has its price to pay and, back aboard Skuttlebutt, Bill tries to lift his hammer, which has the same 'worthy' enchantment that Thor's has, and fails. It's an great end to a great issue and Bill, sitting in his chair knowing full well that his vendetta against Galactus and actions he's taken has caused him to be unworthy of his own hammer, can do nothing but soldier on to the next planet, hammer or no hammer. Just a great moment in my eyes and this makes two top notch issues of this miniseries. Can't wait for the next issue.

Verdict - Must Read. If you're only experience with Beta Ray Bill has been the lackluster appearances in Omega Flight and what not, you owe it to yourself to see why this character is beloved by so many people. The miniseries even has backups of the first appearance of Bill, showing you some of his best stories. As of right now, this is an early front runner for my Best Miniseries award and this could be compared to the Thor: Ages of Thunder series from last year.

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