Rating: 4/5 – The Rick Remender Comic Remender Fans may have missed.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
Rick Remender 1st hit my radar with a series of great creator-owned series like Sea of Red, Strange Girl, and Fear Agent. He hit a lot of people’s radar with his work at Marvel that included runs on Punisher, Uncanny X-Force, Venom, Uncanny Avengers, and Captain America (among others). Once he had a fan base, he moved back focusing on creator-owned projects, drawing fans along from his Marvel books to more creator-owned projects at Image like Black Science, Deadly Class, Low, and Tokyo Ghost. Remender’s latest creation is Devolution over at Dynamite, and it may not have registered with a lot of his fans since Dynamite has a smaller market share than Image and doesn’t get quite the same level of indie comic-fan “buzz”.
Devolution is well worth checking out. The premise is full of some interesting political hot-button concepts. It spins out of the oft-stated “religion has been a root cause of more war and suffering than any other single thing in human history” and runs with it. A biological agent is created to target and devolve the part of the human brain that allows for belief in God. Things go horribly awry, as they often do in these kinds of stories, and there is a general devolution of people and animals across the globe.
We actually start the story in the thick of the action, with the premise above covered a few pages into the story. We’re introduced to a kick-ass protagonist, Raja, one of the few homo sapiens left, as she runs afoul of a group of neanderthal looking brutes. Remender does a great job, as usual, in building up characters that I care about. He fleshes out Raja and sets up an intriguing situation that retreads standard “post-apocalyptic roving bands of survivors trying to eke out an existence” tropes, but does so while holding my attention and interest throughout the issue. The art by Jonathan Wayshak really hit me right with just the right mix of detail and fuzzy-around-the-edges charm. Gritty, dirty, somewhat sketchy in places, and an absolutely perfect match for the story. Wayshak is new to the scene, at least I couldn’t find other comics he’s done, and I’m looking forward to following his career. This guys is on my radar now as someone to watch.
If you’re a fan of Rick Remender in particular or post-apocalyptic tales with a slightly off-beat twist and a soupcon of humor in general, Devolution is a book to check out. You may need to ask your shop to get you a copy if they don’t normally stock Dynamite, but you could be glad you did. Check out Jonathan Wayshak’s art for the series on Nerdist.com and see if you like it as much as I do. This was a book where I wanted to check out the 1st issue before committing to the series, it has earned a spot on my pull list, I’m looking forward to seeing where Remender and Wayshak take me form here.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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