Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Eryk Donovan
Colorist: Dee Cunniffe
Letter: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Review by Frank Lanza
Sometimes, when I have a rough day at work, I try to remember this quote from the august Randal Graves of Clerks, “This job would be great if it weren’t for the f*&#ing customers.” And quite often, when I watch the news and take a hard look at events unfolding all around the world, I have a similar thought that the human race would be great if it weren’t for all the f*&#ing humans. And in its own way, the story that Eugenic #3 is trying tell strikes much the same chord.
Now that we have arrived at Issue #3, over 400 years have passed since Dr. Cyrus Crane effectively ended the human race with his cure for the Mississippi Delta Virus and gave rise to the new dominant species to inherit the planet: NuMans. NuMans have finally settled in and humanity is but a thing of the distant past, a scary story to frighten children with before bedtime. This issue does not advance the plot so much as it serves as an epilogue for this series and what has become of the world. NuManity culture and society has reached its peak and no longer remembers or acknowledges its bloody origins. A NuMan named Cyrus runs the Human Remembrance Projeckt, the only monument left to the NuMans ancestors and preserves the story of how they rose to prominence on the backs of the genetically inferior humans. Cyrus retells the forgotten and ugly history of his race and by the end of the issue we discover that all great empires must one day fall…
I was taken aback by this series when I first read it. Eugenic #3 continues a story that posits humanity’s tendency to destroy itself is based on superficial notions of race and nationality. It’s a highly intelligent look at the ills that plague our society to this day, and while this book presents itself as a mixture of sci-fi and horror the subject matter is highly relevant and topical. Just turn on the TV to see the parallels to the story. Tynion IV does a fantastic job of taking a complicated and controversial topic and adapting it to his story. He skillfully weaves the social and cultural issues that affect us today and exploding it into this fantastical and violent world without making it feel contrived or preachy.
Donovan’s art is equally up to the task of telling this unique story. Admittedly, when I read the first issue I initially found the NuMans appearance a little silly, but I was quickly turned around by Donovan’s ability to vary their looks and make their outlandish and grotesque features work very well within the confines of the story. Every character, whether human or NuMan, is highly expressive and emotive. His construction of the future after humanity falls is well done, it looks like a future that could evolve from our current state of being.
Buy it! If I’m being honest, while the first issue was an entertaining read, I wasn’t exactly sure where the series was headed and I probably would have recommended that you Wait and See at that point. However, with Eugenic #3 the series draws to a very satisfying and unforeseen conclusion, and based on this I wholeheartedly feel this is a book worth picking up. It’s also made me want to read the rest previous two series in Tynion IV’s Apocalyptic Trilogy. So mission accomplished I say!