By Zak Edwards
December 8, 2008 - 13:44
Publisher(s): Image Comics
Writer(s): Jonathan Hickman
Penciller(s): JM Ringuet
I think Transhuman stands as a testament to the relevance the science fiction can have on the world. While often dismissed in more in more ‘sophisticated’ circles of the study of literature, science fiction has a chance to discus the future in ways other forms cannot. This is where Transhuman comes in, Jonathan Hickman and JM Ringuet’s story of the future of humanity and what it may entail. Mind you, this is probably preaching to the choir, but Hickman and Ringuet’s Transhuman shows what science fiction can be.
One thing refreshing about the final issue of Transhuman is its depiction of the apocalypse of humanity without being too post-apocalyptic or 1984-esque. So many books fall into the 1984 trap, and while some succeed within it, like Alan Moore’s “V for Vendetta,” others fail completely. But Hickman does something different, staying away from both pitfalls. The story takes the form of a documentary, looking back on the single most important shift in humanity; the development of technology to advance humanity beyond its natural capabilities. While the past three issues focused on the business and technical aspects of the competition between genetics and cyber-enhancement, this last issue deals with after the ‘war’ has been one. Fitting with the way our global consumer world works, the revolution is not televised, but involves the corporate take-over of destitute countries and the subsequent effects the genetic enhancement has on the world as a whole. The documentary style plays out great as key people, both those who benefitted and those who were used and abandoned, weigh in their stories and biases. Conflicting reports and skewed responses add another level of depth to Hickman’s story, which I wish lasted longer. But thankfully, Hickman has some other stories going right now and even an ongoing series at Marvel lined up for February, so he isn’t going anywhere but up.
JM Ringuet’s art has been getting better as the series moved along. With basically only aged talking heads to draw, Ringuet has come up with some inventive ways to keep the reader involved. His camera angles have become less static, with variation keeping things interesting. His backgrounds and landscapes are more interesting as well, with his two-page spread of a cityscape rat the beginning of the issue filled with a surprising amount of detail. The backgrounds behind many of those interviewed work well as reflections of the characters involved, a dark, moody background of evil looking rats for one very bitter employee standing out in particular.
8.5/10 Get this series, wait for the trade or find the singles, but it’s amazing.
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