Story | Alejandro Jodorowsky
Art | Nicolas Fructus
Publisher | Titan Books
What’s absolutely fantastic about comic books is the unlimited potential creators have in crafting their fantastical tales within an universally appealing medium. Paradoxically, comics and graphic novels remain one of the forms of art the exchange of these unique stories are stifled due to cultural and language barriers. While many North Americans continue to prefer superhero books, comics have wholly evolved outside the States and have given many a means to scribe their singularly exotic mythologies.
One such creator, the legendary writer and director Alejandro Jodorowsky, has not only entertained but tested the limits of his reader’s senses for decades, introducing lofty subjects like metaphysics and cosmology with fringe elements of shamanism under the dark envelope of a spanning space opera.
Showman Killer: The Golden Child, the second chapter of his latest tale about the universe’s most lethal assassin, follows the titular anti-hero’s exploits across the cosmos. Framed by a corrupt legate in the deaths of royals and hunted by every opportunistic mercenary, Showman must protect a boy who will not only clear his name but potentially save all of existence from a growing evil.
The Golden Child immediately continues from Heartless Hero’s conclusion with the Omnimonarch mourning the loss of his wife and son. The religious order led by the Divine Superheirophant Nubia (gotta love these names) had been awaiting their opportunity to seize complete control of the universe and they struck to the heart of the . Unfortunately, the peaceful sect known as the Nihilos – as well as Showman – were blamed for the murders. Overcome by his grief and rage, the Omnimonarch gives Nubia full control over the systems, effectively sealing the fate of every life in this dimension.
Given that she’s a centuries-old technowitch with millions of police-monks at her disposal, it’s natural she has a sinister plan in store for the hapless citizens of the two hundred million metropolises in the cosmogalactic monarchy. But of course!
Alejandro Jodorowsky continues to guide his readers further into the depth of the ultra surreal with his indelicate, domineering shape-shifting assassin Showman. Now tasked in protecting the son the Omnimonarch believes is dead, Killer’s biomechanical enhancements and altered nervous system aren’t enough to resist the commands of the leader of the Nihilos, Ibis. At first glance, this shaman is the mirror opposite of the Divine Superheirophant in the most primal level: order and light forever combating the shadowy dominion of evil. Ironically, these two powerful women of opposing dichotomies subject Showman to their influence in an identical fashion.
As shown in the first few pages of Heartless Killer, Showman’s physiology and indoctrination was effectively excised of any emotions or feelings of compassion, empathy or love for any living being. Knowing this, the Omnimonarch and Divine Superheirophant were able to easily lure Showman Killer into service with riches beyond measure. Since he was programmed at birth to be susceptible to avarice and destructive behavior, Ibis must resort to direct control of his actions to ensure the son is protected. It’s an interesting though subtle subplot within The Golden Child as to the nature of our being. After years of training and in seeing humanity as nothing more than a means to a rather unsatisfactory end, Showman is only beginning to learn there is more than death.
In the meantime, Showman’s impatience with the newborn compels him to accelerate his development by nine years. The child – casually named No – is given the fighting abilities and tenacity of Showman by his serpentine valet Tigui. Like his “father”, No begins having dreams of Ibis and his true purpose amid the chaos of the universe. What follows for both characters is a surprising discovery of self, along with the reason why everything, from the citizenry to its monarchy, are rife with corruption in their hearts.
Showman Killer: The Golden Child was released on June 1.
For more information on the series and future releases, visit Titan Books!
Showman Killer: The Golden Child = 8.7/10