Golgotha Motor Mountain #1

Writer: Lonnie Nadler & Matthew Erman
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez
Backup Artist:Nikola Čižmešija
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher: IDW
On sale date: 3/6/24
Preorder deadline: 1/29/24

Two meth-making brothers, Vern and Elwood, find their lives entirely turned around and probably very upside-down when an asteroid crashes into their barn/meth-making facility in Golgotha Motor Mountain, the newest series from IDW Originals. Their batch of drugs is ruined and one decides that they can sell the asteroid instead so they take it to an outpost of a fictional white supremacist group in Golgotha Knob, their lawless area of Kentucky. Unbeknownst to them and the buyers, the asteroid carries a parasite and smoking part of the rock leads to the smoker’s body being infested and transformed.

This first volume is a solid start for a series. The brothers are outsiders from the get-go, not really connected to many except an implied wife, and it’s very clear that they’re not great people, but they’re also not necessarily bad. They may not be white supremacists themselves, they do care about each other, and they have a dream – to live in the comparative paradise that is Cincinnati. We may not be entirely on board with rooting for them just yet, but we’re definitely not rooting for the parasite.

What stands out the most to me in this comic is the colorwork. It of course makes heavy use of sepia as is pretty stereotypical when dealing with places generally seen as lower-income or less-developed, but there are deep purples and vivid pinks that really flesh it out, and when we’re in the racist enclave the color tones turn swampy and murky. It’s atmospheric and really helps establish senses of who and where the characters are.

If I have any complaint, it would be the use of a shortened form of a slur. The r-slur has disappointingly returned to frequent use and there are so many other evocative words that can be used as insults that aren’t ableist or slurs. The fact that it’s used against our main characters doesn’t really change matters.

But that’s a very small complaint. The story flows well and there’s enough details to start sketching out the deeper backstory of the brothers’ lives. What info dumping we get on the asteroid and its parasite is done well, in a suitable character voice that makes the lies and digressions fit into the story. I also can’t get enough of how well the colors are done. Colorist Marissa Louise did exquisite work here.

Golgotha Motor Mountain combines believable backwater characters, tense storytelling, and brilliant colorwork to create an engaging, folksy-horror sci-fi story and I’m looking forward to volume two.