"Evolution #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics / Skybound
Written by James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela, and Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Joe Infurnari
Colored by Jordan Boyd
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 20th, 2017
People are changing, mutating into the next levels of human evolution. The changes are coming rapidly, although they're sporadic enough that it hasn't received international attention yet. Three people in different locations around the world are aware and they're starting to get more than a little freaked out. A doctor in Philadelphia looks to find proof to show his peers. A student in Santa Monica stumbles upon a monster as it's murdered by a neighbor. A nun in the Vatican witnesses a horribly deformed man kill himself.
The idea of evolving into new forms sounds exciting on the surface. It's how we got from tadpoles swimming in the primordial ooze to walking, talking human beings. We just don't know what's next and what our bodies would need in order to go there. Artist Joe Infurnari gives us a glimpse of what this might be and it is so very cringe-worthy. We're talking flesh pulled and ripped off a body and muscle and sinew rapidly growing outwardly creating ungodly masses. That's where it starts.
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Infurnari's style is perfectly suited for this subject matter. He keeps some elements in shadow, while showing others in gory, glorious detail. There are several moments in Evolution where I almost gagged. This is not a comic for the faint of heart.
The blood and gore is brought to life – or should I say death? – by colorist Jordan Boyd. Each segment has a hue to it, casting it in a unique light. For example, the scenes with the nun are darker with a reddish orange palette. This works with the secrets she's uncovering, as if she's pulling back the shadows to reveal the warm flesh underneath.
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Change is central to Evolution. I mean, that should be obvious given its title. What is most interesting is how it is met. Change is often challenged and resisted. Based on the events in this issue, it looks like there are others aware of what's going on with hints at a larger conspiracy. It opens the door for a number of possibilities as to where this story can go, all of which are exciting and intriguing.
It's saying something that there are times where the scariest thing in Evolution is not the hideous creatures created by this genetic mutation, but the normal people pulling strings around them. The lengths they'll go to keep a secret or to expose one are rather jarring. Each of the three threads work to move the story, revealing pieces of information as the characters begin to realize what they're in for. This is handled very well, with each character getting enough time to grow while also furthering the plot. Each one presents a different perspective too.
Evolution is next-level body horror. It's creepy and unsettling, which are two fantastic qualities for a horror comic. Instead of dwelling only on the gross-out moments, it ascends to a higher level of storytelling with relatable characters placed in horrific situations. It excels on all fronts.