Evolution #1 – Time To Draw The Curtain, Time To End The World

by Brendan M. Allen

Human evolution has taken millions of years to get to this  stage. But next week, we become something new. Around the world, humanity is undergoing rapid and unpredictable changes, and only three individuals seem to notice that their world is being reborn. But what can they do about it? Skybound unites writers JAMES ASMUS, JOSEPH KEATINGE, CHRISTOPHER SEBELA & JOSHUA WILLIAMSON and artists JOE INFURNARI & JORDAN BOYD to create a new global phenomenon in this oversized debut issue. 

Typically, when we’re talking about evolution, there’s a formula that takes millions of years to effect measurable changes in a species. Mutations occur in a species’ DNA and get passed to offspring. Mutations can be harmful, neutral, or beneficial. Beneficial mutations are most likely to get passed through multiple generations. The harmful mutations generally die out pretty quickly. Several beneficial mutations over hundreds of thousands of generations become new species.

What happens if we fast forward a few million years? What if individuals have the ability to adapt to their own specific circumstances within their own lifetimes? It could be amazing and wonderful, in the cases of beneficial mutation, and those neutral tweaks wouldn’t really matter much. But, the harmful mutations? The ones that would have normally died out over a few generations? Those would be a problem, for sure.

Skybound/Image Comics brings together an all-star creative team for Evolution #1. Christopher Sebela, Joshua Williamson, James Asmus, and Joseph Keatinge put together a script that is amazingly cohesive as it weaves seamlessly between three stories. There’s a Philadelphia doctor volunteering at a free clinic who makes a startling discovery while examining a young boy, a Roman nun who tries to intervene in a hysterical man’s crisis, and a woman in Los Angeles trying to deliver a rare film reel to a reclusive collector with strange tastes in film.

The three stories aren’t immediately obviously connected, but something is definitely up in all three cases. The binding that holds the stories together in this series opener is Joe Infurnari’s art. Infurnari’s gritty, scratchy lines work beautifully for Evolution. There’s a subtlety to the horror elements that doesn’t rely too heavily on shock gore, but effectively evokes a visceral reaction.

As much as Infurnari’s art keeps Evolution together, Jordan Boyd’s color talents give each setting their own unique identity. The clinic has a greenish yellow tinge that sells cheap fluorescent lighting and ancient, stained VCT floor. The altar in Rome glows with red and orange, filtered through stained glass.

Evolution is an ominous concept, brilliantly executed by an amazingly talented creative panel. Every once in a while, a story comes along that you know people will be talking about for a long, long time. Everything hits on multiple levels. This is one of those stories.

Evolution #1, published by Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment, releases today, the 15th of November 2017. Written by Christopher Sebela, Joshua Williamson, James Asmus, and Joseph Keatinge, art by Joe Infurnari, color by Jordan Boyd. Rated Mature, $3.99.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.