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Evolution 13 Main

"Evolution #13" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics / Skybound Entertainment

Evolution 13 Large

Written by James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, and Christopher Sebela
Illustrated by Joe Infurnari
Colored by Jordan Boyd
Lettered by Pat Brosseau
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 19th, 2019

Review:

The three narratives of Evolution are starting to come together as the characters' journeys take them to Los Angeles. It's tough to tell which one is more terrifying. Is it Abe, the doctor moving to expose the evolutionary epidemic that's infested countless people, while he literally murders people with his young son in the next room? Or maybe it's Sister Hannah, who has become a messiah of sorts for the infected, praying over their deformed bodies to provide some semblance of healing? Or is it Rochelle, who comes face-to-face with a cult that's trying to usher in the end of the world? Needless to say, there's a lot going on in Evolution and it's all super creepy.

Let's start with Abe. While all of the stories can get under your skin, Abe's feels the most disturbing. If taken on its own, you'd think he was a lunatic. He's whisked his son across the country in an effort to keep him safe, all the while working to research and find a cure for this mysterious and horrifying disease.

At times, Abe comes across as a criminal mastermind, staying a few steps ahead of the authorities that are searching for him while also trying to give them information. He'll put on a happy face for his kid, but the moment the boy looks away, he's cold and calculating. There are some pages that, if taken out of context, could look like an average father / son trip to the park. When you look at them with the rest of this issue, it casts an eerie light on the entire book.

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We get a glimpse into Abe's journal, talking about his moves with the authorities. Letterer Pat Brosseau presents this like something off a computer screen. If you were just glancing at it, you might think it was an everyday journal and not the ramblings of a possible mad man.

Sister Hannah is traveling with a clandestine military organization and one of the soldiers becomes infected. Artist Joe Infurnari presents this chilling scene as this man coughs up internal organs his body deems unnecessary. There's this look of abject fear on his face and he holds up this bloody mass of tissue and asks for help to put it back inside him. He's in denial about what's happening to him. Just recounting it here is sending a shiver up my spine.

Infurnari's designs for the infected are like this mutated abomination of flesh, muscle, and teeth. These are creatures that should not exist on our world. If this is the next stage of human evolution, you have to wonder what we're evolving to prepare for. There's some hint of that in Rochelle's story as she receives some context as to what might be going on.

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Click images to enlarge

There's a gritty quality to the art in Evolution that works well with the overall narrative. Shadow is used to help set a foreboding tone and it's used sparingly, mostly in Rochelle's segment. The scenes with Abe and Sister Hannah are brighter, washed out by the harsh Los Angeles sun. Colorist Jordan Boyd creates a nice contrast between these scenes, to the point where the light feels almost unnatural, given the terrifying creatures at play that should stick to the darkness.

I'm cautious to trust some of the things we're told. I don't know if it's just because of how bizarre the story is as a whole or how some of the characters interact with one another, but I'm always second guessing what's coming through. Writers James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, and Christopher Sebela are crafting a story that is as unpredictable as it is unsettling.

This uneasy feeling is what makes Evolution such a great read. I found myself shifting uncomfortably in my chair as I was going through this issue, turning the pages with equal parts anticipation and trepidation. I'm terrified by what might come next and that's what makes a truly fantastic horror comic.

Grades:

Story: Fourandahalfstars Evolution 13 Small
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Evolution 13 Small
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Art: Fourandahalfstars
Overall: Fourandahalfstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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