REVIEW Boy #1

Publisher: IDW
Writer: H.S. Tak
Artist: Amancay Nahuelpan
Colourist: Sebastian Cheng
Release date: OUT NOW!
Price: $3.99

BOY #1  IDW

BOY #1
IDW

Boy #1’s Dr. Jadas Riezner of the Genomyne Bioworks Epigenetics Lab has an Achilles’ Heel: severe daddy issues. The depressed, pop-culture-reference-spouting, over-medicated and meaning-seeking scientist lives in the shadow of his great company-building father, missing for twenty-five years. Jadas can meet the over-whelming need to emerge from his father’s cover, but it may cost him his soul and create a real problem for the rest of mankind.

Jadas has pioneered “gene breach manipulation” and cloned chimpanzees with highly advanced physical and cognitive capabilities. Ethical and moral issues arise, as recognized by associate Wendell who refuses to help clone humans: “Now Genomyne owns his DNA and you will play God to his progeny.” And it’s too bad Wendell leaves because emotionally stunted Jadas needs human guidance, and instead is helped by an artificial intelligence named Victor. Jadas is no match for the machine’s own manipulations.

In Boy #1 Jadas is so desperate for moral guidance he seeks advice from an amoral machine. To be fair Jadas asks the right questions: “Are we really trying to make a human with a permanent steroid needle stuck in his ass?” To no one’s surprise: the machine thinks Jadas should go ahead. The end justifies the means, Victor implies, and besides if you don’t do it somebody else will. Also manipulating in Jadas in Boy #1 is Genomyne’s stereotypical heavy guy is Dr. Kiln. “You guys are building Planet of the Apes when we need you to be building a Planet Krypton,” he says, laying on the guilt: “We’re all ready for you to step in and lead [us] into the future.”

Amancay Nahuelpan’s panels are beautifully drafted and expressive, and the painting-like quality of Cheng’s colouring enhances the artistic experience.

Although in Boy #1, the lead character Jadas comes off as a whiny, foolish child, there is scope for Jadas to man up and grow a pair. Literally!

 

Reviewer: Joe Lovece
Reviews Editor: Steve Hooker

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