With Raja in the clutches of the maniacal warlord Gil, will anyone ever be able to obtain the “re-evolution” cure and set humanity back on the fast track to Homo sapiens? How would that even work, considering evolution is inherently unreproducible, since mutations are random and the exact same environmental conditions, over thousands or millions of years, can never be recreated? Is it good?
Devolution #2 (Dynamite Comics)
Gil’s on a serious rampage this issue, and he ain’t exactly inclined to listen to no woman-type (to put it much more nicely than he does). He doesn’t like to to listen to anyone, really, but he still shows a flicker of that sapiens intellect when he comes to his senses and stops beating the doctor just before he kills him. If the doc can keep it in his pants (or, um, elsewhere), it would probably be a good thing to keep him around.
While Gil remains unpersuaded, some others in the camp realize Raja may be on to something. Or maybe they just want a new start and to get the hell away from the jacked-up psycho. But is the risk worth it, for them or for humanity in general?
Is It Good?
Gil’s foul mouth is a little more delightful in issue #2 of Devolution, in that the profanity feels less forced and more like a fun expression of his nastiness. It also stands in stark contrast to the narration later in the book, which is kind of a jarring transition.
We still see so little of Raja that it’s hard to feel anything about her, and writer Rick Remender’s pacing feels a little off. There’s no more talk of religion and the cavemen, animals and astronauts are all missing—things that seemed important in the first issue and therefore probably shouldn’t disappear with only three more to go. There is, however, a bit of a twist at the (somewhat abrupt) end that could actually differentiate this book from other apocalyptic fare. Here’s hoping it gets more follow-up than those lost bits from the debut.
Penciller Jonathan Wayshak and colorist Jordan Boyd up their already impressive game in Devolution #2. The color flashes and distorted faces still add great emphasis, but there are also some superb uses of perspective by Wayshack. Whether it’s a character reaching toward us for a dropped firearm or looking down the barrel behind them, the tension felt is palpable thanks to the in-panel placement.
Devolution #2 could probably use another pass across the editor’s desk to address things like pace, and to make sure certain plot threads don’t get neglected, but it might be easy to overlook that when the art team is turning in such stylistically pleasing work. The very last panel promises a different turn from the typical dystopian tale, but the loss of several elements from issue #1 could make the reader nervous that the implied follow-up might not actually come.
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