Overview

Transhuman #2 (ADVANCE)

Review

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Transhuman #2 (ADVANCE)

Credits

  • Words: Jonathan Hickman
  • Art: JM Ringuet
  • Inks: JM Ringuet
  • Colors: JM Ringuet
  • Story Title: IPO
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: May 14, 2008

Monkeys, Midgets and Corporate Finance, OH MY!

The first comic mockumentary moves on from the onset of the transhuman pharmaceutical industry to the procurement of funds and that means Venture Capitalists, evidently a worse scum of the universe cannot be found.

For all of those following along at home, I have one very important piece of advice. Read your first issue again and pay very close attention to the human candidates for testing. If you especially note the last panel of that sequence, one of the best jokes of the series so far will be evident to you.

This is one of the hallmarks of what Jonathan Hickman does. Not only does he write revolutionary comics with huge ideas, they are smart and not just in a large vocabulary, philosophically profound way, but in the "if you pay close attention, it pays off" kind of way. There is so much here that works better if you were focused the first time around. This means that the series, much like Nightly News, will benefit from multiple readings, both while it is coming out and after it is all done. Like your favorite movie, you will notice things that you didn’t the first time.

Another special thing that Hickman does here is develop the character of the narrator. He is not just some stiff Dan Rather type running about interviewing all these people. He is a human, and maybe not a necessarily likeable one. He is leering at bikini clad babes on the beach, rude to waitresses (when was the last time you saw Tom Brokaw order a cocktail during a piece), and starting to get snippy with some of his subjects.

The humor of the first issue is present and builds on itself. Jokes are paid off in full in this issue. More characters join the cast and the biting satire is just as vicious as the first time around.

Ringuet’s art is perfect for the piece. I know it is off setting to some, but it perfectly matches the tone of the comic. Not only does it add a grimy feel to the story, it makes you realize that these rich people are just as slimy as your average drug dealer or crack addict. These aren’t pleasant people and his art is especially suited to emphasize this aspect of their character.

He is also a consummate storyteller. Much more is added to the tone by his art. There are looks on the faces of characters that say more than some of Hickman’s densest prose is capable. He is given a difficult task since so much of the "action" of the book is done by talking heads. Instead of static images, we have people that almost breathe. They give sly looks and he even manages to throw in a double take or two to match the quick wit of the script. I don’t think another artist could pull this thing off.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. We are seeing two future masters at work here. It is like watching Alan Moore and James Jean from the onset. Radical things are happening in independent minded comics and these two creators are on the cutting edge. Oh yeah, and I am pretty sure I would give up my hand for a "Can Hand".

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