In my review of the end of the "New World" story arc, the end of times seemed to be near for the world of B.P.R.D.. The first issue of "Gods," would appear to indicate that the apocalypse is a rolling affliction, as pockets of the American Southwest have been struck in turn by fireballs, volcanoes, and vicious, toothy creatures. Here we see refugees in our own borders, attempting to stay ahead of the end of times, beset by threats both supernatural and all-too-human.
The focus of the story is Fenix, who appears to be a Texas native and de facto leader of this drifting homeless group. Although she's only a teenager, and clearly ill in some as of yet undefined way, the group follows her because she sees things--premonitions that have up to this point kept most of them alive and away from the troubled hot spots that are appearing more frequently around them.
Arcudi and Mignola conceives of this band as the walking wounded, familiar to any who've seen bands of escapees fleeing real-world catastrophes. It's not a huge point, but it's significant that these refugees are at one point confronted by belligerent border guards, confusing one of them for Mexican. At one point, one of the refugees ends up with a gun and it's unlikely that this development will end up in anything but tragedy. Even as the world goes to hell, Arcudi and Mignola seem to be saying, there's always room for a little extra devil in the everyman.
Back to the plot though: it's mostly about catching readers new and old up with the score (humanity: 0, apocalypse: a lot) while introducing Fenix. There's a desperation to the introduction of the character and her circumstances--this isn't meant as a dig though. These characters--brief though most of their introductions are--are clearly living hardscrabble lives. They're dirty, scared, and looking to a young psychic for safety and hope, and it's clear that there's something wrong with her.
It's not much in the way of a spoiler to say that she'll cross paths with Abe Sapien and the rest of the B.P.R.D., but it remains to be seen what side she'll be on. Likewise, it's unclear as of yet what this arc's title means, but it's perhaps a bit too early to be asking for all of the answers upfront.
Guy Davis continues the good work of previous B.P.R.D. series along with colors by Dave Stewart. I'm not sure how many more ways I can speak effusively about their combined effort, but I'll try here. In one of the best panels of the book, Davis goes in close on Fenix's face. Take it in for a second: she's really young, with pink dyed hair and piercings, and wide, tired green eyes. Her face isn't yet gaunt from illness and being on the road, but it's on its way. In that one panel, Davis captures what this character is about and reflects what most of the refugees are probably going through in one way or another with the added bonus of unexpected and likely unwanted leadership. Yes, it's very good work.
Moreso than other first B.P.R.D. issues, this one is a fine jumping-on point, not only because it's the beginning of a new arc, but it also eases new readers in with a gradual learning curve. Most importantly, for fans for the series, it's proof-positive that things are only going to get worse in the world for these characters before they get better. And typical of Mignola and Arcudi, that means they'll only get more interesting.