Is 'God Complex' Science Fiction Or A Frightening Documentary? Paul Jenkins Knows

We've got an early look at Top Cow's new series God Complex, and I got to talk with writer Paul Jenkins about the project. The series was created by Bryan Lie and drawn by Hendry Prasetya. Issue #1 will be in stores on October 11th and we have an eight-page preview along with the three covers and the New York Comic Con exclusive cover below.

Jenkins is known for his work on books including The Darkness, Tom Judge: The Rapture, Wolverine Origins, The Inhumans, Sentry, Spectacular Spider-Man — the list goes on.

DAN WICKLINE: Talk to me about the world of Delphi. How far into the future are we, and how different is the world from modern day? It doesn't seem to be that different politically or class-wise, but the technology seems to be more advanced. Is that the case?

PAUL JENKINS: I suppose we are working with metaphor and allegory. Delphi is a very advanced digitally dependent society — I think that is the way we are all headed now that mankind has entered the digital revolution. So, while Delphi has a clearly advanced technological foundation, it is essentially a parallel to the world of today. People depend on digital information to a rather alarming extent nowadays. I feel like my own grandfather when I worry that kids cannot use a map or find information without accessing the Internet. It means we are vulnerable, as are the citizens of Delphi.

DW: We seem to focus on Seneca and his dealing with Hermes. Seneca looks at Hermes as almost a god. Who are the Rulers and how do they differ from the regular humans like Seneca or the Acolytes?

PJ: We're not saying where the Rulers come from — it's enough to understand that they have been with this world for a long time, they remain faceless, and they control all of the data and metadata that drives human decisions. Are they good or bad for society? Nobody really knows. What do they want, and why? Again, none of the citizens of Delphi really know. Seneca sits in the center — he works with a Ruler named Hermes, who is at least the most accessible of the Rulers. But all motives remain enigmatic, usually by the choice of the Rulers themselves.

DW: The ashcan I've seen sets the tone of the story and introduces the players, but what type of story is God Complex? There appears to be a mystery, but I'm also seeing hints of an origin story going on.

PJ: Haha! You picked both… and that's pretty much the answer. We're going to show the origin of Seneca's rise, fall, and rise again. And of course, we frame that against a cool mystery: the deaths of three church acolytes, all of whom are found on the premises of Seneca's ultimate employer, Apollo. Seneca is initially charged with solving the murders but it all gets out of hand.

DW: Science fiction has been having a bit of a renaissance in comics of late. How much of that played into the creation of the story? Or is the timing just a happy accident?

PJ: A good story is a good story. We hope, of course, that we're telling a good story in the genre of science fiction. It could have easily been in the crime genre. Maybe it is a bit of a hybrid, like the original Blade Runner.

DW: In this world today, you get seconds to get someone's attention. What is the quick elevator pitch for the God Complex? Why should readers look for the God Complex this October?

PJ: Imagine if the world were a digital society, in which the elite 1% were literally Gods who controlled the world's data? On second thoughts, maybe we should describe God Complex as a documentary… :)

God Complex

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.