Goddess Mode #1

Writer: Zoë Quinn
Artist: Robbie Rodriguez
Publisher: DC’s Vertigo

Review by Anelise Farris

Goddess Mode #1 introduces readers to a futuristic world that is run by an A.I. system named Azoth that acts pretty much like a god. Unlike the spiritual gods, however, this one requires tech support, and that’s where Cassandra Price comes in. It’s her job to manage the system — which has something to do with an apocalyptic wipeout, a cure, and sustainability (as so much cyberpunk does).

Although Cassandra loathes her job, fortune is in her favor when the system crashes. Said crash sends her on a mission to ensure that everything is okay. As she’s checking on the systems, she comes across a secret virtual world that is home to a group of women with superpowers and serious coding skills. This could be just the break that Cassandra’s been longing for.

Concept-wise, I really like this story. I’m a huge fan of cyberpunk (heck, I wrote a dissertation about it), and Goddess Mode certainly fits the tradition. The word disruption is thrown around quite a bit; questions are raised about whether virtual skills are translatable to the “real” world; and the series teases out concerns about humanzing A.I. and dehumanizing non-A.I. Similarly, the art screams cyberpunk. It is busy, brightly colored, and filled with lots of different textures and layers. It has this 90s cartoon vibe too, which kinda works.

Unfortunately, however, it is very exposition heavy, and the more the story progressed, the more familiar it felt. I’m not sure what this series is going to do that hasn’t already been done. 

Verdict: Wait and See.

One issue in is quick to deem a series unoriginal, so I might check out the second issue. At this point though, I have my doubts that Cassandra’s virtual journey will have much to offer readers.

Anelise Farris
farranel@isu.edu
I'm a doctor that specializes in folklore and mythology, speculative fiction, and disability studies. Basically, I'm a professional geek. When not researching or teaching, I read; I write; I yoga; I travel; I play with my fur babies; and, I watch way too many (if that's a thing) horror movies.

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