Five best Sci-Fi/fantasy comics I've recently read

January 22, 2018

 

5. Descender

 

Written by: Jeff Lemire

Drawn by: Dustin Nguyen

Publisher: Image Comics

 

I love robots. Hunter-killer robots, astromech droids, protocol units— old and rusty with missing parts or shiny, top-of-the-line new synthetic models—just bring them on. Robots inherently possess one of the main elements that makes great believable characters — a primary function they were programmed to do — from which all their actions are derived.

 

Have we ever questioned the unwavering dedication and purposefulness of the Terminators? Did we doubt C-3PO's constant neurotic dread that things will go sour or Bishop's willingness

to self-sacrifice for the well-being of humans? Well written robots

in fiction just work! Having said that about their primary function, sometimes they're even cooler when they go rouge

(as in K-2SO, Rogue one).

 

In Descender we get to meet TIM-21, an endearing boy robot who wakes up after a ten years sleep to a world where robots are almost extinct (thanks to their former human companions). Together with his dog-bot, Bandit, and Driller, a mining droid, TIM tries to escape the countless perils that now lurk at every corner for their kind. But this might prove impossible, since TIM may hold the key to a series of massive gigantic alien robot attacks that started the robot genocide.

 

Almost immediately TIM becomes the most wanted robot in the galaxy. The contrast between little naive TIM-21, who is designed to help people and giant Driller, who hates humans (sorry, Hurrrrmns) but has a big heart, makes the story very captivating. Also, the mystery around TIM's connection to the alien robots is truly intriguing. Descender has everything that makes a great Sci-Fi book. It definitely should be on your read list. 

 

4. Devolution

 

Written by:  Rick Remender

Drawn by: Jonathan Wayshak

Colored by: Jordan Boyd

Publisher: Dynamite

 

A rogue virus genetically rewinds the evolutionary clock and turns almost every human into a raging Neanderthal and every animal into a charging big-toothed monster. A determined woman is on her way to a lab in San Francisco to cure humanity. Is this just a typical Zombie story with a twist?

 

Hell no! Rick Remender, my favorite creator/generator, magnificently uses this exceptional setting to remind us we were cavemen long before the virus hit. And it's not just Gil, one of the nastiest, dirtiest antagonists to be found, who serves as this reminder—you can expect some great twists and turns that will lead you to the same bitter conclusion, that we are all violent beasts deep within.

 

Devolution has depth and character and is a ton of fun. This is what comics were invented for!

 

3. Seven to eternity

 

Written by: Rick Remender

Drawn by: Jerome Opeña

Colored by: Matt Hollingsworth

Publisher: Image Comics

 

What more can be told about a land of Fairies, Goblins and wizards? Apparently, A whole lot! Whether it's Stalin or Kim Jong Un, one thing every tyrant must have in order to hold onto his power is lots of eyes and ears on the streets.

 

But the God of Whispers, ruler of the land of Zhal, doesn't need a secret police force to do that — he can see directly through his subjects’ eyes and hear through their ears. Though he needs consent to gain access to his subjects’ senses, he has a knack for making offers that can’t be refused.

 

Adam Osidis has heard such an offer and it is far better than anything he could have imagined — the God of Whispers will cure him of his fatal illness and his family will be safe. But Adam is the eldest son of Zebadiah Osidis, the only man who dared oppose the God of Whispers (paying with it with his life).

 

Will Adam follow in his father’s footsteps, sentencing himself to death for a chance to finally put an end to the evil tyrant's reign or will he succumb to his own desires and save himself and his family? Or perhaps, there is there a third way? Seven to eternity is an extravaganza of character and world building. A true must read.

 

 

2. Mechanism

 

Written by: Raffaele Ienco

Drawn by: Raffaele Ienco

Colored by:  Raffaele Ienco

Publisher: Image Comics/Top cow

 

Back in my teens I read an old Sci-Fi novel by Czech author Karel Čapek, called: War with the Salamanders. The story is about the discovery of an intelligent underwater race in the Pacific, who are first enslaved by humanity and then rebel against it — and boy did the Salamanders find the cruelest way ever to take over the world! Don’t worry, I'm not saying any more… just find the book and read it — it's a classic. Right from the first page of Mechanism, when Ienco's "Geckos" crawl out of the ocean to claim the planet, Čapek's Salamanders came back to haunt me.

 

Now in Mechanism, the only one who can save a crumbling human civilization from the Geckos and their evil galactic masters
is Protos, an exemplary computer model with artificial intelligence. Only, as it sometimes goes with AI's, Protos doesn't automatically favor humanity just because it created him. Hell, I bet we can all recall a few AI's who claimed the world for themselves (damn you, Skynet, you will haunt me forever too). Just to be on the safe side, Protos builds himself a robot army. So, who is worthy of the planet? Us or the Geckos? Who knows, last time I checked Protos was still calculating the answer himself.  

 

 

1. The Goddamned: Before the flood

 

Written by: Jason Aaron  

Drawn by: R.M. Guéra

Colored by: Giulia Brusco

Publisher: Image Comics

 

I truly did not see this coming. Yes, the book of Genesis is filled with wonderful stories and great elements, from giants to angels and suggestively, even space travel. Still, after reading and watching a few mediocre takes on the bible, I didn't expect much from the story of Cain, son of Adam, the man who invented murder. Boy, was I wrong! Right from the start, as Cain wakes up symbolically face-down in a shit pond that represents life on Earth, I started feeling this growing longing for the lost paradise.

 

Every panel of R.M. Guéra's illustration magnificently depicts the wretchedness and hardship of life in biblical times. Cain, who was cursed by god for his crime, cannot die. He walks the Earth for decades, looking for someone or something that can put him out of his misery. Can he find some comfort and softness in a harsh cruel world? Ready yourselves for top-level storytelling, great character building and truly remarkable art. PS, I loved the ending.



 

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