By Justin McCarty
Tynion and Donovan are together again on Eugenic. This will conclude his apocalyptic trilogy that started with Memetic. Eugenic imagines a future where prejudice is bred out, and a new kind of human race comes to exist. It’s a high-concept sci-fi horror. Tynion has come up with a very eerie version of the future that almost feels like it could happen. There’s also going to be crazy science and monsters. Eugenic will explore why do people need to feel that they are normal, that their children are normal. Eugenic, like the other stories in the apocalyptic trilogy, will be a three issue mini-series with each issue being about 40 pages long.
Tynion has said that each issue will be set hundreds of years in the future from previous issues. We start in the not too distant future of 2037 with young genius Dr. Cyrus Crane working for the medical firm Groning-Cole. There has been an outbreak of a super-bug that wipes out seven hundred million people. Creating widespread fear and prejudice toward the sick. Governments quarantine and commit genocide to protect their people. Dr. Crane develops a vaccine that stops the outbreak and saves hundreds of millions of lives, maybe billions of lives. Half the population gets the vaccine. However, the first people to have babies soon realize a horrible side effect of the vaccine. They are born mutants. The future of humanity as everyone knows it will change. A lot of the story and this is a good sign of sci-fi, mirrors modern society.
Dr. Crane believes he knows how to fix humanity. As the sole person with the skill to make the vaccine needed to stop the pandemic, he gets to work. The name of the book is Eugenic but what he comes up with is a sort of reverse eugenics. Instead of highly controlled selective breeding and gene editing he introduces randomization of features into the equation. He realizes he can make everyone the same by making each person perfectly unique. Dr. Crane is very arrogant in his ambition; it seems he knows that though and is willing to accept his place in history for what he’s done.
Eugenic is a book concerned with outcasts. The camps for the “poxies” are called pariahs. Dr. Crane is homosexual, and he decorates himself with tattoos and stretched earlobes, as well as being a one in a million genius. This gives him an insight into what it means to be different. Yet, he’s not, he’s white and male. We are all incredibly different, but the same. It’s also concerned with perfection. Society wants perfection. A tidy world where we can all relate to one another. In his own way, Dr. Crane wants perfection too. He does that by making what society, at least in the beginning, will see as imperfection.
Everything is rendered in such a way that we are asked to judge the actions of the characters for ourselves. No character is given to us as an explicit villain. Everyone is the villain. Everyone wants the best for themselves and those that they love. The story required a fair amount of dialogue, so the book is a bit text heavy, but the lettering is done so well that it never feels like too much. The dialogue could have held back the pacing of the story, especially during Dr. Crane’s interview where we get the needed exposition setting up the world and at the end where we learn what really is going on.
Tynion, Donovan, Cunnifee, and Campbell craft an enthralling apocalyptic event. The whole story builds to a wild final few pages that leave you needing to know what is next. Eugenic can’t be missed!