Everything to expect from Dark Horse's upcoming American Gods comics

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Mar 4, 2017

While legions of Neil Gaiman fans reverently wait to behold Brian Fuller's TV adaptation of American Gods on Starz, Dark Horse will soon be giving devotees something more to worship with its upcoming comic adaptation of the iconic neo-fantasia. The fact that Gaiman himself is over the (Shadow) moon about this series means you must add it to your shrine the moment it descends — and here's everything we see in our crystal ball.

Inside Vol. 1 of Dark Horse Comics' adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

The comic is utterly devoted to the book.

There won't be any blasphemy here. Even the story arcs mirror those of the book, dawning in a jail cell with Shadows, getting caught in a tangle of strange happenings in My Ainsel and charges into the ultimate supernatural showdown in The Moment of the Storm. American Gods in comic will see Shadow Moon languishing in prison until an unexpected early release has him mourning his wife's death in a dive bar where an encounter with the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday catapults him into a world where the dead walk, the worshipped live and even gods can die. Bonus: a graphic novel will later be released for each arc if you're paranoid about any of the 27 individual issues getting dented.

Thunderbird variant cover by David Mack.

Idols will rise again.

Not only does Dark Horse have a history of adapting Gaiman's endless imagination in full color (think Forbidden Brides, How to Talk to Girls at Parties and Troll Bridge, among others), but the series was adapted and co-written by P. Craig Russell. Russell also worked his magic on Sandman: The Dream Hunters and the graphic novel adaptations of Coraline and The Graveyard Book. If you're unfamiliar with these sacred texts, imagine getting lost in a twisted fairy tale that winds down a visual labyrinth of dark alleys and dream visions. Batman's Scott Hampton brought with his haunting illustrations alongside interior art by Russell, Sandman alum Colleen Doran and luminaries like Thor's Walt Simpson and Fables' Mark Buckingham. That basically means it's the Holy Grail of Gaiman comics.

Nunyunnini variant cover by Dave McKean.

Nunyunnini and the Buffalo Man appear in the flesh.

You also get to see them right now — along with the Thunderbird. If you've ever drifted off into a nightmare imagining these divine entities in flesh and bone, they appear on the first issue's exclusive trio of variant covers. Rendered by Preacher's Glenn Fabbry and Adam Brown of Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens along with guest artist David Mack and Dave McKean of Kabuki, Fight Club 2, Black Dog and Cages, the eerie images will leave tattoos on your memory as vivid as those on the torso of the imposing buffalo-headed specter that Shadow keeps encountering in the dreamworld. There is something undeniably savage about the ancient horned figure as it stands with its back against a city of steel with an axe in its grip. The silhouette of the Thunderbird reveals a phantom reflection of Shadow's face, but the bleached mammoth skull that is Nunyunnini might never let me sleep again.

Closeup of the intricate tattoos on the Buffalo Man variant cover illustrated by Glenn Fabbry and Adam Brown.

Who else will materialize?

While Gaiman conjures tantalizing details of the ancient army that follows Wednesday to their possible demise, depicting every supernatural warrior in detail would have eaten up an entire chapter. Illustration can cast that spell in a page or two without deviating from the plot. So we can only wonder which mythological characters who may have dwelled in the shadows of the book will storm the pages of the comic in a last stand against modern idolatry — a menacing Minotaur? Grimacing fanged ghouls? Antediluvian deities so ancient that their likenesses have all but eroded from crumbling cave walls?

Dark Horse will open the gates of Valhalla and allow American Gods' divine secrets to emerge on March 15.

(via Dread Central)