Come Into Me — the provocatively titled comic from Black Mask Studios — is back with some payoff to its first issue’s Cronenberg-Does-An-Episode-Of-Black-Mirror concept.
Quick Catch-Up: Sebastian Quinn, an inventor, creates technology to allow people to share link their minds, calling this new tech InBeing (true shame LinkedIn was taken). A mysterious woman named Becky strolls into the InBeing offices one day demanding to be given the opportunity to try this new tech, offering $50,000 to do so. The only problem? The tech requires two people. After a disastrous demonstration of his tech to investors, Quinn is desperate and agrees to Becky’s offer, using himself as a guinea pig in his own in this trial of mind-sharing, in which Becky’s consciousness is uploaded to Quinn’s body.
Ok, cool, you’re caught up!: While in Quinn’s head, Becky’s now-revealed cancer-ridden body dies– but Becky’s consciousness still resides within Quinn’s body.
Quinn isn’t taking the news particularly well, as shown in the panels below.
Becky takes baby steps in trying on her Sebastian Quinn skin, first asking him to change certain behaviors of his, then overriding his body completely for moments at a time to do what she sees fit. Mind you, she’s not doing awful things — improving Sebastian’s flailing pitch of InBeing to investors, being kind to Sebastian’s nephew — but being a backseat passenger to his own body, losing control, is not something Sebastian appreciates and tells Becky as much.
Meanwhile, Quinn’s associate, Dr. Gillis’s, attempts at finding solutions to separate the psyche-sharing duo are as dead as Becky’s body, receiving answers she’s not looking for and grappling with responsibilities she may not be ready to handle.
The issue culminates with quite the cliffhanger; while Quinn is in his sunken place, has Becky’s cancer found a new home in Sebastian’s body?
Come Into Me (seriously, absolutely wild title name) is a thrilling-to-read body horror story that will burrow into your brain. The characters are complex (Quinn is a bit of a dick, but generally just seems like a sad person; Emily…well the jury’s still out, but what would you do with a second lease on life like she has?), the story and its subtext are scary and transfixing, and the haunting artwork by Kowalski and Guardia is incredible; the grotesque flesh-prison of Quinn’s mind colored in a hard-to-forget pink hue, while Quinn’s traumatic memories are burrowed behind a veneer of what looks like a VCR tracking screen, an impressive visual motif.
While the issue is notable in its own right, I found myself most affected by the end-of-issue essays. While not explicitly related to the story, the essays thematically fit within the context of the horror one’s own body can bring.
One essay uses John Carpenter’s The Thing as a vehicle to vulnerably discuss gender dysphoria, another examines the terror of puberty as “a race to shed one skin for another.” It’s not often a comic will sink its terror-filled talons into your skin and then proceed to ask you to stick around for an enlightening conversation.
Terrifying as the comic portion may be, the cumulative thesis the authors/Image wants audiences to grasp is seeing life through eyes of the other (I think), a powerful notion I hope Come Into Me continues to explore, in both its horror and thoughtful essays.
Come Into Me #2 is currently available in shops from Black Mask Studios.
Written by Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler
Pencils & Inks by Piotr Kowalski
Colors by Niko Guardia
Letters by Ryan Ferrier