War is Coming in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Shadows #1
Neil Gaiman has given us many memorable stories and characters. His works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals.
He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book. In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.
Gaiman’s American Gods is being developed as a Starz TV series. The series is set in a time where a war brewing between the old and new gods. The traditional gods of mythology are losing believers to the new generation of gods. The new gods reflect society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity, and drugs.
The story focuses on Shadow Moon, an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday. Mr Wednesday is a con-man who is really one of the older gods. They embark on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new gods.
Neil’s novel is also being published as a comic book for the first time, American Gods: Shadows. In the comic book Shadow Moon just got out of jail to discover his wife is dead. Defeated, broke, and uncertain as to where to go, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday. Mr. Wednesday employs him to serve as his bodyguard thrusting Shadow into a deadly world of the supernatural. In this world the ghosts of the past come back from the dead and the war between old and new gods hits a boiling point.
The TV series and comic book both have identical plots. It is not clear whether they will follow the same path. Many TV adaptions of popular comics/novels deviate from the published material to keep viewers on their toes (Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, etc). This is mostly due to the TV series being based on source material that has been well established for quite some time. It will be interesting to see how they approach this situation when both the comic book and TV series are being developed at the same time.