By Brendan Hodgdon. Just a few days ago I wrote in our Staff Picks column about my excitement for Evolution, and how the the combination of intriguing premise, intense art and a stunning collaboration of writers promised a truly special comic book. Now, having had the opportunity to read the book for myself, I can say with certainty that Evolution #1 is exactly as good as expected. It’s the first chapter of what looks to be a terrific series.
The book follows three very disparate plots, each of which has enough identity to support a series of its own; the fact that the three are woven together as one gives the issue some real heft and keeps the reader guessing. One wonders how the story will eventually draw its disparate characters together — the paranoid, disgraced doctor, the empathetic yet mysterious nun, and the curious film nerd — but for now there is a unifying theme at play. Everyone is searching for answers (both personal and existential) that makes it clear to see why they’ve been blended together into one series.
The talents of Christopher Sebela, Joshua Williamson, James Asmus and Joseph Keatinge also meld seamlessly. The book has such a consistent voice and tone that it’s almost as if the four scribes had formed a hive mind to produce this book, to great result.
As good as the writing is, the art by Joe Infurnari and Jordan Boyd is pitch-perfect. Indeed, the unsettling tone owes as much to the art as anything else, and Infurnari’s style allows him to depict both grounded reality and grotesque body horror mutations with equal skill. Boyd’s colors are essential to this, giving the whole book a sickly, desaturated look befitting the subject matter. And during the most overtly horrific scene, there’s an almost dreamlike haze to the imagery that grants it a bizarre beauty. The art team handles big, still splash pages and dramatic bursts of violence with equal flair and care, and their careful staging of each sequence really brings the big moments of the script home with gusto.
There’s no doubt that the creative team of Evolution is in for the long haul here, and I hope they get the chance to tell their complete story. It’d be hard not to be intrigued by what they’ve shown us so far… and perhaps just as importantly, what they have to show us yet. Evolution #1 is a rich piece of epic horror. Everyone should find out for themselves how great it is.
Written by James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela, and Joshua Williamson.
Art by Joe Infurnari.
Colors by Jordan Boyd.
Letters by Pat Brousseau.
8.5 out of 10