After Kratos turned the entire Greek pantheon into meat stew, the team at Santa Monica Studios decided it was time for change in the God of War universe. For the latest entry in the series, the developer ended up completely renewing the series’ gameplay systems and even moved Kratos to a new playground: Norse mythology. But what God of War (2018) doesn’t show us, is how Kratos actually got to the homebase of Odin and co. and what he had to deal with during his travels. God of War: Fallen God, the newest comic in the series, promises to change this.
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God of Destiny
Unfortunately, that is a promise the comic doesn’t keep. Not by a long shot. The back of God of War: Fallen God proudly claims that this new story will fill the gap between God of War III and God of War (2018), but Fallen God does everything but that. The story shows us just a flash of Kratos’ life and doesn’t even include the Greek or Norse mythologies.
Instead, we get a story about a Kratos who must make peace with what he has done and a Kratos that gets pushed to “just accept” his destiny. Seeing Kratos struggle with his past is something that always does well for this God of War fan, but Fallen God mostly goes all in when it comes to Kratos’ destiny. The writer is so determined to make this destiny a thing, that Fallen God ends up having zero character development. The Kratos we see at the start, is the Kratos we see at the end, which makes you wonder what the point of the story was in the first place.
To the Desert
Another issue is the location where the story takes place. As said before, the Greek and Norse worlds don’t make an appearance. This means that the story must take place somewhere else. Those who played the last God of War will know what’s going on when a desert shows up early in the comic. Yes, Kratos has indeed barged his way into Egyptian mythology. It’s a cool moment to see its existence confirmed but Fallen God does very little with this revelation.
Walking into a new mythology doesn’t have to be a spectacle every time, but if you introduce the world of the Pharaohs, it’s usually a good idea to include something that is unique to it. There’s definitely some Egypt hiding within the comic’s panels, but nothing that would affect the story if it had taken place somewhere else. Even Kratos’ lost wandering through the desert could have easily taken place in a destroyed and completely unrecognizable Greece or the for Kratos completely unknown Norse world.
What is fun though, is the return of classic Kratos. Our bald Adonis is angry at everyone and everything during the entire Fallen God run. The last time we saw this Kratos, was during God of War: Ascension. You can definitely say that the Kratos we know today is a much better character but seeing Kratos just go nuts for an entire story is oddly nostalgic. The only thing that really pulls you out of this nostalgic trip is the fact that Kratos seems to repeat himself, a lot. After a while, you get the feeling that Kratos yells “damn” about once every three sentences. Not that Kratos is known for showing his inner Shakespeare all the time, but it’s noticeable when you’re just reading dialog.
Another positive part of the comics is the drawings. Especially drawings that show us the blue skies and those that use flames to light up a scene are done very well. There are some drawing that miss detail – specifically drawings that show us Kratos from a distance, where he is only recognizable thanks to his red tattoo – but overall, the art is solid. They even went out of their way to do something different with the panels; almost all of them look like they’ve been torn from a different page and glued to a new page. You won’t find simple squares and rectangles in God of War: Fallen God.
Funnily enough, the best drawings in the comic are not a part of the story. The best art are the covers of the loose issues of Fallen God spread throughout this compilation. There’s four of them in total and each of them could easily be put on the wall as a poster or piece of artwork. They’re that good.
God of War: Fallen God had a lot of potential but doesn’t live up to it. Promising to bridge the gap between two pivotal games in the series and not doing that isn’t that big of a deal if the story that we do get is good. That is not the case unfortunately, because the story we get adds absolutely nothing to the existing God of War lore. And that’s a shame. There are tons of existing mysteries that could still be explored, but instead of that, Fallen God goes for a swan dive into Egyptian mythology and forgets to do anything meaningful with it. In the end, all Fallen God offers us is solid art and the return of a very angry Kratos. Some nice drawing and a little nostalgia are fun, but not something a 100-page comic should be leaning on.
God of War: Fallen God is part of the God of War Timeline.