After adjusting my expectations a bit with Devolution I think I enjoyed it a little more this time around. My main problem isn’t the overly simple plot, or the generic character types, it’s that Remender doesn’t really sound like himself here. Over the past few years I’ve become a fan of his character-driven sci-fi, but Devolution feels more like a weird Walking Dead side-plot than a Remender comic. If you can look past that, the comic can still be an enjoyable foray into post-apocalyptia. It’s not bad, it’s just nothing special. This issue focuses on Raja’s capture at the hands of some over-the-top neo-nazi soldiers. She attempts to explain to them that she can lead them to a cure to save mankind, but their crazed leader, Gil, doesn’t give a shit about that. He likes living as the alpha male of his newfound kingdom. Gil is very reminiscent of Negan from The Walking Dead, crazy, brutal, and vulgar, he gets what he wants through fear and force (he cuts off a guy’s balls with a pair of scissors). He’s the stereotypical alpha male in these types of stories, a crazed villain who represents the worst parts of the “old world”. Unsurprisingly Raja is to become his sex slave, until she is rescued by some dissenters amongst the group. In a bloody battle to reach a still-working helicopter (well drawn by Wayshak), the rebel group narrowly escapes death. Raja looks out upon the flaming mess that was once her prison and wonders, “What am I trying to save?”.
With this mini-series half way through you have to wonder where else can it go? Now instead -- # of the lone anti-hero we have a group of survivors struggling to find a cure. The tropes unfortunately keep flowing, but most of Devolution’s charm lies in its creative and dark world. Hopefully Remender and Wayshak will finally lead us into some batshit crazy dinosaur bloodbaths now that the angry alpha male human leader is out of the way. Come on, this may be a post-apocalyptic comic, but the premise of the entire thing should at least be showcased a little more. With very pulpy roots, and a ridiculously wacky science fiction plot there has got to be some more adventure in store for Raja. Issue two got pretty dark, in an attempt to showcase humanity’s weaknesses and stubbornness. This comic doesn’t really appear to be very lighthearted, but I really hope that things brighten up a little. Even after being slightly disappointed with this comic so far I still have faith in the premise, the synopsis alone had me intrigued before I even started reading (which says a lot about my taste). With three issues to go there’s still hope for mankind’s future as well as the readership of Devolution.
Devolution #2 Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Jonathan Wayshak Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/17/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital