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‘Rat God’ #1 takes notes from Lovecraft and Native American legends

‘Rat God’ #1 takes notes from Lovecraft and Native American legends

rat god #1 cover

Rat God #1
Story and Art by Richard Corben
Colors by Richard Corben and Beth Corben Reed
Published by Dark Horse Comics

Master of comics Richard Corben channels H.P. Lovecraft’s knack for horror and combines it with elements from Native American legends in Rat God #1, creating an unnerving tale that has readers gripping pages with all their might.

There is a lot going on in the first issue of Rat God that is meant to throw readers for a loop as they are initially introduced to the terrifying plight of Kito and her brother Achak, who run for their lives from dark entities lurking in the woods. Corben want readers to feel as though they have a handle on the situation.

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Mag the Hag, takes time out of his narrative duties to intervene with the characters, allowing Kito a chance to escape death. A scene which is immediately followed by a sudden timeslip that takes us to a different point in history. We leave Kito and are met with an arrogant city slicker named Clark Elwood who is looking for information on an old college acquaintance who also happens to be named Kito. Clark can’t explain why is he is obsessed with this quest, but he’s determined to find Kito’s hometown, Lame Dog.

A series of racist remarks lands Clark in heap of trouble. He’s carjacked, attacked by a black panther (a big cat normally found in South America), and left in the middle of a snow covered mountain to die.

Colorful caricatures, timeslips, and narrative intervention fuel Corben’s work, while a rigid panel structure creates a boxed in feeling, locking readers into the story. There is no wiggle room whatsoever. Even when Clark gets beaten to a pulp, the sound effects “thak! punch! whunk!” are jammed in between two panels. The only release readers receive is when Clark recalls his time with Kito at the university. Panels featuring Kito and Clark are rounded and almost playful compared to the rest of the comic.

Lovecraftian’s and horror fans everywhere are sure to find Rat God a pleasantly terrifying ride through the backwoods of America. Corben has long been considered the gold standard in horror comics, and Rat God is poised to continue his dark legacy.


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