“It’s like that verse in Genesis that says God regrets having made man in the first place. So that’s the part that fascinates me.”
At Image Expo last week, Jason Aaron (Thors, Weirdworld, Southern Bastards) introduced his latest series The Goddamned. Reteaming with Scalped artist R.M. Guera and colorist Giulia Brusco, Aaron is placing his unique take on the early days of humanity. Ever since Cain murdered Abel, life has been steadily squandered by Adam and Eve’s descendants. The Goddamned begins 1600 years after Cain changed the world. What was once an idyllic creation now resides only in the memories of the First Born. Mankind fully embraces the earth they’ve molded, now strewn with filth and violence. In corrupting this bountiful planet and outright rejecting The Creator, it won’t be long before a reckoning will come down upon them all.
Never one to shy away from spinning raw, violent tales of epic proportions, The Goddamned has been an idea Aaron has mulled over for years. The Goddamned has been in development since Aaron and Guera’s Scalped and had been pitched a few times but never came to fruition due to bad timing or lack of interest. Fortunately for all, Image approved and Aaron was able to collaborate with Guera and Brusco once more to fashion a heavy-handed chronicle with stark, brutal visuals. Unlike any of their previous work, The Goddamned has all the potential to be their darkest work yet, as it features a world on the edge of extinction, infertile and rife with dread.
In creating new tales deeply inspired by the Bible, The Goddamned could become a contentious book for readers or retailers, due to its graphic content let alone its title. For Aaron, it isn’t a mockery of religion or faith, but an alternate retelling of violent stories that are peppered throughout the Bible’s chapters. In fact, Aaron’s atheist views have further intrigued him on the concept of religion and the stories associated with them. “I grew up in the South. I grew up religious. I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church so I grew up with the stories of the Bible. As I’ve gotten older the faith part of the equation has disappeared but I remain fascinated with the story, still very fascinated with the stories that go with religion. So in particular, these stories. I’ve always wanted to do a book about that. Not a book thumbing my nose at religion, or Christianity in particular. If anything this is, in some way, a faithful straight take on that story.”
As for any other Old Testament characters potentially being featured in The Goddamned, Aaron hinted there will be a few references and appearances. “There will be other characters that will pop up. Some of them may be treated a little differently than you learned in Sunday School. It’s still about telling the story of that world. It’s humanity’s first major misstep. … We’re not trying to be coy, it’s a very in-your-face book.”
Ultimately, Aaron hopes to develop a complex tale among a harsh landscape filled with adventure, destruction, mayhem …and dinosaurs? As the bearded creator so jovially proclaimed during opening announcements, “Fuck science!”
The Goddamned will launch as an ongoing series at Image on November 2015.