Overview

Transhuman #1 (ADVANCE)

Review

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Transhuman #1 (ADVANCE)

Credits

  • Words: Jonathan Hickman
  • Art: JM Ringuet
  • Inks: JM Ringuet
  • Colors: JM Ringuet
  • Story Title: Discovery
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Mar 26, 2008

In the not so distant future, pharmaceutical companies fight over the next advancement in their field. Heinrich Dowidet is our narrator in this documentary of how Chimera Corp and Humonics, Incoporated took iPharm’s folly with a R&D project and fought to rule the world. What is this advancement? Quite simply, the means to create post humans.

Jonathan Hickman is the most exciting comic writer to come on the scene in some time. Coming out of nowhere, he hit us with the media terrorism of The Nightly News and has continued his thought provoking work in the phenomenal time traveling story of a Catholic Special Forces army in Pax Romana. Here, he takes on big themes once again. Transhuman is a scathing indictment of the pharmaceutical industry and the leeches of ailing people that it produces.

Hickman approaches this subject in a different manner then his previous projects. Here, he injects the script with biting satire and fierce humor. I dare you to read the pages about the Lab Monkeys and not laugh out loud. Especially with a particularly promiscuous primate named Chuck.

Fans of Jonathan’s previous work need not worry about the writing though. It is just as dense and intelligent as his other work. Hickman will leave you in the dust if you fail to keep up and he is not afraid to find ways to fill the pages with art and words.

JM Ringuet’s art was the wild card here. With Hickman’s past projects he has been the artist and scribe. Preview pages I saw early this year did much to assuage my fears that the art would be less than spectacular. However, creeping in the back of my mind was how could any artist deal with Hickman’s prose thick scripts and the genius he employs in designing his revolutionary comics?

Ringuet uses a variety of techniques. There are pages that could have come out of Hickman’s early works. There are also design elements that remind me of Hickman’s work. However, the thing that struck me the most was how he uses simple layouts to achieve the same feel to his work that Hickman accomplished mingling words and picture.

Ringuet has a loose line. Normally, this can cause problems in constancy. However, he uses the chunk style to make his characters achieve a higher level of realism. The line work creates a human quality to the drawings that allows them to show more emotion then any photorealistic artist is capable of obtaining. The grittiness in the coloring is a touch of genius adding to the documentary feel of the piece.

He also shows a variety of range. From the diagrams displayed on some more Hickman-like pages to the dark exteriors that grace the first few panels. There is even a touch of whimsy in some pictures. His ability to find humor helps things along, especially when he and Hickman ape a famous Big Two team.

Hickman has already gained must-read status with his high concept books. This one confirms my feeling that he is the most talented new writer of the decade by showing a breadth to his work that was not readily apparent in his earlier work. I hope that he has a long and storied career.

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