Boom! Studios 2017
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Eryk Donovan
Coloured by Dee Cunniffe
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Is history bound to repeat itself? At this stage in the story Numanity has completely taken over and humanity wiped out, the last human died 80 years ago, and one man strives to get people to recognise and remember what humans had and were and how the Eugenics programme is not something to celebrate like the upcoming Eugenesis Day. Only one man, Cyrus, longs for his human roots, listens to human music and is the museum head for Human Remembrance Pjojeckt.
I really liked this a lot more than I thought I would. Cyrus is an interesting character and the way that James takes us through the last two issues and into this one is amazing well done. There is a great sense of sadness that comes from the writing too and you feel it from Cyrus in ways that I thought I’d never experience. The way James is able to write him, his characterisation and then to see Eryk bring that to life, in a face that isn’t “normal” has a profound effect upon the reader.
I like that Cyrus runs that museum too because it not only has the story of humans but it also has the real story behind Eugenics. How one man wanted to change the world and his creations grew to dominate the landscape and eventually killed off the species of their creator. There really is something bloody well brilliant about the whole thing which goes beyond the idea which lingers in the readers mind and the thoughts, the realisations and the idea of natural selection all come into play. So yeah as usual James is able to make this the kind of story that engages the reader in multiple ways.
I do like Eryk’s eye for storytelling. He is able to utilise page layouts and the way we see angles and perspective in the panels extremely well. I kind of like the fact that these Numan’s are more cartoon like in appearance while the human visages we see are well more in line with reality I don’t know if that makes sense but the difference is interesting to me. I think the difference kind of illustrates that numanity is less diversified and can be seen in a less threatening way even if the human DNA at their core leads them to conquer the planet so only their kind remain.
So a little girl wanders into Cyrus’ museum and has no idea what humans are. We begin to see that her visit and what she knows of humanity breaks his heart. Numan has completely eradicated the presence and importance of the race that ruled the planet before them, that gave birth to their race and whose DNA they still hold inside them. So I ask again is history doomed to repeat itself? How can it not when they have no true knowledge of how they came to be and then can’t see how they share that trait of conquer and the desire to be the only race on the planet.
James brings some interesting points of view to light here. They aren’t however in the spotlight directly but almost lurking beneath the surface and can be seen as the story goes onward. The young lady, Mary Beth, made me sad and reminds me of the importance of education. It has to be complete and not pick and choose, which is pretty American way of teaching, or you can’t get the whole accurate picture. She has no idea how her people came to be except what she’s been told to blindly accept and yes I find that incredibly sad.
James and Eryk created a fascinating new lifeform here and like a virus, or humanity, it grew and spread exponentially until there was nothing left but them. I wouldn’t mind seeing more and learning more about the time in-between issues. Fascination is a double edged sword you want to experience it and then you don’t want it to end because there’s always more to see and learn. This was an extremely well done story.