"Evolution #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics / Skybound
Written by James Asmus, Joe Keatinge, Christopher Sebela, and Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Joe Infurnari
Colored by Jordan Boyd
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 15th, 2017
What if humanity went through millions of years of evolution in a single week? That's the question Evolution poses and the answers are pretty unsettling. This new comic from a superstar creative team presents body horror at its best, as unwitting people around the world suddenly go through bizarre changes, twisting their bodies into unnatural growths.
Evolution picks up with three key players, each discovering these changes in different places. We as readers have the benefit of seeing them altogether, but they're still working things out. Each is terrifying on its own. Put together, they're pretty friggin' creepy.
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The pacing in this book is perfect. The tension builds slowly over the course of the issue, starting small with a doctor discovering a child with gills and quietly understanding what that means. This works hand-in-hand with Joe Infurnari's artwork, as it seems to get more violent and horrifying with each page turn. The scene with the doctor looks completely normal at first with the harsh florescent light pouring down on the patient. If you didn't know any better, you'd think this was just a weird case and maybe it would show up on a medical drama on TV. Then you keep going and things get darker. There's a man with strange growths all over his arm, not unlike those seen in Spread. It's all muscle and sinew, bulging in all directions like a vine searching for something to cling onto.
Infurnari's pencils coupled with Jordan Boyd's colors create a moody atmosphere, like a dark cloud hanging over every character. The shadows lurk around every corner, waiting for the moment to engulf everyone. And the gore! Oh, the gore. You can probably put away your biology textbook and use select pages from Evolution as a guide to the insides of the human body, as it's on full display here.
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This terror is such a stark contrast to the characters themselves, especially Claire and Rochelle, two young girls that are full of life. There are panels that appear ripped from a photograph. They're real people and they're about to be thrown in horrible situations.
Evolution is Cronenberg-level horror. It's creepy and disturbing and I can't wait to see where it's going. When it was first announced, I said that it was my most anticipated comic of the year. I'm happy to say that it paid off in spades. Do yourself a favor and read this book.