Goddess Mode has been a small hiatus, and with issue six, it picks up right in the action where it left off. Published by DC Vertigo, Goddess Mode #6 is written by Zoë Quinn, with art from Robbi Rodriguez, colors by Rico Renzi, and letters from Simon Bowland. In the issue, we see what the Tall Poppies will do with the truth about Azoth in the final issue of the arc.
Last issue, we learned the astonishing secret of Azoth: it was built on love. It was built for a princess and a popper and then exploited for gain by Hermeticorp, keeping the two women separate. But this news, the reveal that the evil Antimony is really just a woman in love and tormented by the loss of it and not the monster they believed her to be, causes problems. As the Tall Poppies fight over which is the best of very bad options.
Even though Cassandra’s miraculous return from the dead is a welcomed sight, Mary is unable to reconcile what she has always known with the truth, lashing out and unable to keep her cool. Quinn makes this hate personal and instead of the reader being moved to scold Mary for refusing work with Antimony, we see why. We see the death she believes that Antimony is responsible for. Mary is still deep in her grief, action, her unreasonable heroics, and self-sacrifice. All of which she has to work through.
The Analog world and Azoth are both in danger and Psyche only grows more dangerous, conjuring daemons to attack their Oracles. While the truth rips the Tall Poppies apart, their loved ones pull them back together, fighting with them, including a roommate with the best Tuxedo Mask callout I’ve seen in a Western comic.
Goddess Mode #6, like the issues before it, is built on emotion and in the battle against Psyche and her daemons, each Oracle is given a moment to show what makes them who they are. Farah fights alongside her wife and child, being strengthened by their love and presence. Tati uses her spite to cut through the daemon who had the nerve to tell her to smile, as she pushes back against what is expected, aiding those around her. Antimony is reunited with Galena, her princess, the woman she created Azoth for, as she comes to grips with its impending destruction. Mary is a tragic hero, one who is confused by the fight, by her losses, consistently needing to push, to put her life on the line, and sacrifice herself for something.
Finally, the Oracle of Garbage, Cassandra realizes that she is more than the name. As Psyche forces all language of doubt and fear, that we’ve seen Cassandra use towards herself, the strength of her new family flows through her. She is worthy. She is loved. She is the reason they win.
While I have an intense need to write about the power in the ending of Goddess Mode #6, I would rather have you read it, unspoiled. Rodriguez’s art beautifully and dynamically brings the final fight to life. With one of the ending pages showing Cassandra’s fight and descent while highlighting the support from the other Oracles. Renzi’s colors are a vibrant cyberpunk dream that enhances the art and script.
That being said, it’s Quinn’s message in Goddess Mode #6 that resonates with me. We are not our roles. We are not the boxes that a system places us in. Like Antimony, when we accept what others see us as, when we accept the roles they assign us, we lose ourselves. We become consumed by their assumptions and are restricted by them.
As I read Goddess Mode #6 I thought of all the boxes I check as a woman of color, as a Latina who doesn’t speak Spanish and from a family that hasn’t been to Mexico in at least six generations. I thought of all the ways that I had let what others expect and think of those boxes define me and as the issue finished, I felt a need to break out of them. This is a testament to Quinn’s ability to write moving dialogue. It is also because through these six issues, I have grown close to every character.
Overall, Goddess Mode #6 is a phenomenal end to this arc. With the future of the series dependent on sales from this point, I hope to all the Oracles we get to see more of this world, especially considering the ramifications of the final fight. But, this issue closed out so well, that if the door remains closed, this issue completes the story well, even with some threads that can be picked up in the future. Ultimately Goddess Mode #1 – #6 is one of my favorite arcs in comics, not just for 2019 but ever.
Goddess Mode #6 is available everywhere comics are sold now.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.