"Come Into Me #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Black Mask Studios
Written by Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler
Illustrated by Piotr Kowalski
Colored by Niko Guardia
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on March 7th, 2018
My day job is in digital advertising. One of the key factors in online advertising today is data. Everything we do online is tracked and cataloged so machines can learn from it to show us ads. Think for a minute about everything you voluntarily tell a site like Facebook, such as where you're from, where you live, who you're related to, and what you're watching. It's a treasure trove of information. What if you could share even more? What if you could share your actual thoughts? Is that crossing a line? Or is that the next phase of social media? That's the grey area that Come Into Me plays with and it's some pretty unsettling stuff.
The comic follows Sebastian, an entrepreneur who has created a new technology that allows people to literally share minds. You basically take a ride in someone else's body. It's a bit like that movie Surrogates with Bruce Willis and the ill-fitting hairpiece, but it takes it several steps further. Imagine every twisted thought that goes through your mind on a daily basis. So many of them are incredibly private and you'd never share them with the world. This technology exposes that to another person which can be very open and exhilarating, but also rather terrifying.
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The apparatus that makes this all happen is a horrifying blend of man and machine. It looks like a computer made of meat, complete with needle-tipped tendrils to make the injection into the body. You can practically feel the material squishing and sloshing around as the procedure begins.
The mind-meld is represented with some interesting blurring effects. Artist Piotr Kowalski gives these memories a smudged look, almost like you're seeing a VHS tape with tracking issues. The images get a little hazy, flowing from one to the next in an information overload. Everything that makes each person unique and all of their individual experiences are laid out like a huge mural for the other to sift through.
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This is undoubtedly a deep, personal connection. We see how this affects Sebastian and a thrill-seeking volunteer as the two are drawn to each other. There are a number of panels that present a mirror image, with the two characters feeling closer than they are in reality. It shows how this procedure has affected them and changed the way they view the world.
Colorist Niko Guardia's set the tone for Come Into Me. Reality looks a little faded and washed out, while the world within the machine is brighter with more color, reinforcing the feeling that this is a big deal for the parties involved. You can see how it could become addictive.
Come Into Me is a disturbing read, blending body horror with technology in a way we haven't seen since The Fly. Everyone seems to agree that we're spending too much time with social media. This might just be the push you need to stay off of Facebook for a little while, as it presents a dark and scary possible future. Writers Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler have made some really creepy stuff here.