It looks as though Image Comics' Skybound imprint is having a little bit of fun, as several creators are coming together for the aptly titled Evolution, a brand new series by the publisher. In what looks to be a promising horror title, the opening issue of the series focuses on three stories, all about certain members of the public that seem to be going through millions of years of evolution, all at the same time. Huge changes in physiology and mental welfare, as well as the panic about public perception look to be a huge focus of this title, and this first issue does a great job of presenting a very interesting theme and world paired with what can be unsettling visuals.
As we follow Shadow on his journey through America, the lines between fantasy and reality continue to blur. A brilliant piece of modern-day mythology, American Gods takes the world that we know and lets gods, creatures, and magical beings in. Dreams become indistinct from reality, the dead don’t stay dead, and we never really know who or what to trust. Shadow is not really concerned but just rolls along with all of the weirdness and chaos happening around him. Sometimes, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, but I think that’s part of the Gaiman fun that P. Craig Russell and Scott Hampton have captured so well.
When the term Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is mentioned, one might immediately associate the mental disorder as an effect of combat. According to clinical studies, although the term came into use during the diagnosis of returning soldiers from the Vietnam War in the early 1970s, symptoms have been documented since ancient Greek times. It is not just a combat induced disorder, though; a person encountering a life-threatening event, such as sexual assault or accidents, can develop symptoms of PTSD, most often in adults. A National Institute of Health article from 2015 reports that “about 3% of the adult population has PTSD at any one time.” Therapy and medication are cited as treatment methods.
A little over a year ago (Wow, has it really been that long?), I reviewed the first issue in a new Star Trek comic called Star Trek: Waypoint. Released for Trek’s 50th anniversary, it was a collection of new, standalone short stories and adventures from each of the series: TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise. (No Discovery, sorry.) I loved that first issue and had nothing but great things to say about it. So, when the full collection of Waypoint comics came up for review, naturally, I jumped on it.
In general, I find that the adventures in The Rook are better when they feature more of stalwart protagonist Restin Dane and less of his grandfather, Bishop Dane. While this volume starts out with a very heavy dose of Bishop, mercifully, he becomes, for the most part, less important and less prominent as things progress.
Coyotes is a unique tale in how its narrative is designed and unfolds. Sean Lewis certainly has an idea for his Western tale that he spins. With the jarring opening, Lewis uses this to put the reader in the middle of the story. It causes us to ask questions about what exactly is happening and why the new officer on the force ended up in such a situation. And then, we are introduced to our main protagonist who seems to be the one responsible for exactly what was happening. The officer moves into the next situation and seeks to take the girl to be questioned.
Adamant, the world’s most indestructible superhero, has been displaced in time and now finds himself in a dark, dystopian future he can barely understand, full of deadly machines and talking frogs. When we last left our hero, he was having trouble wrapping his mind around the fact that his former arch-nemesis, Dr. Alpha, is now the leader of the underground resistance trying to keep people safe from the evil new regime. And as if that wasn’t enough, it turns out that the person responsible for this evil regime is none other than a future version of Adamant himself.
The third and newest mini-series in a thematic anthology of Cronenberg/Black Mirror-style stories by creators James Tynion IV (writer) and Eryk Donovan (artist) isn’t the story of one character, or even a few. It is the story of a civilization. Eugenic is ambitious, telling individual stories at different points in time as we follow the trajectory of our civilization after genetic tampering, which was originally supposed to save us from a terrible virus. Instead, it changed us, or at least most of us. Those that were changed became hideous, purple creatures without sexual identity, race, or physical symmetry. How could they be hated when there was nothing to tell them apart. Like some deformed Picasso painting, physical beauty no longer matters. I said most changed, as the ones unaffected by the genetic alteration have become, in a way, biological slaves to the superior beings.