Devolution graphic novel review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Dynamite - 978-1-52410-028-5
  • Release date: 2016
  • UPC: 9781524100285
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes

Devolution is a fantasy parable about present day global threats. Rick Remender suggests a world where it’s eventually decided that religion causes more problems than it solves, and so a brain treatment is devised to disconnect people from their religious beliefs. Not tested properly before use, the results are calamitous, devolving all but a few outposts of humanity into savage, feral creatures. Not that those within the protective  camps have life much better. However, Raja is scientist who believes there’s antidote able to restore humanity stockpiled in San Francisco. All she has to do is persuade the knuckleheads to let her get there.

Jonathan Wayshak illustrates this grim dystopian world where only might is right with a suitably exaggerated feel, not holding back on the atrocities, showing a society in effect consuming itself. There’s a nice lumpy quality to his people, some reminiscent of Sam Kieth, and he obviously revels in the massive mutated creatures that come after.

Remender is known for his complex science fiction scenarios, but the idea of a cure is just the maguffin needed to put the cast through the horrors. There’s no thinking hat screwed on here as he channels the trashy films he watched with his mates as a teenager, having told his mother he was doing homework. Were he British, the presumption would be he was emulating the late 1970s disaster strips that ran in 2000AD where giant ants or dinosaurs swamped the Earth, gleefully chomping up humans along the way. Remender ensures Devolution is predictable from start to finish, but that’s half the fun. Dive right in.