The Humans are back, and they’re still much more badass than any of us can hope to be! Plus, we finally get a road heavy issue that sees the gang of primates riding their bikes the way their primate Lord dictates ought to happen. With no pretense at being the sort of high-minded comic that scores Eisners or fluff that lands on New York Times Bestsellers lists, writer Keenan Marshall Keeler and artist Tom Neely have created one of the most energetic, rambunctious series I’ve ever read. Period. When we last left the Humans a few months ago, they had scored the opportunity to guard Flex’s drug convoy to LA. This gives the gang and the reader the opportunity to see The Humans at work for the first time, getting savage once a rival gang who claim dominion over the canyons attacks them. The majority of the issue revolves around this extended fight, and since I’m in vehicular carnage withdrawal after watching Mad Max: Fury Road, it couldn’t have come at a better time in my life, and probably yours as well. Beyond that, little else goes on other than the hint at betrayal by a member of the gang, and Johnny leaving at issue’s end to find his ex-girlfriend who’s now a stripper.
This is a loud comic, probably the loudest you’ll read this week. Neely does a great job of using extensive onomatopoeia to show the noisiness of the assault on the convoy, capturing shotgun blasts, vehicle engines, and shooting with the grace of a tightrope walker on acid. I love how unafraid Neely is about making the sounds’ lettering take up large sections of a page since it helps the reader never get the impression that things are serenely occurring. He steadily escalates the sounds of wreckage to a deafening ‘Ka-Fuckin Boom!’ that’s paired with one of the issue’s most violent images.
And even though this issue is light on Marshall’s stellar dialogue, he and Neely do a great job ensuring each of the Humans’ personalities is conveyed by the way they handle the assault. For instance, Nada the most hippie Human stays out of the conflict for the most part other than to catch a bag of drugs that comes flying out of one of the trucks, stashing it in his jacket, and Clyde the dumb one has one of the most badass moments in the issue, revealing that while he’s not the most articulate Human, he’s definitely got some steady aim to go along with some fantastic dexterity. Course Johnny ends up doing something insane near the issue’s end that almost cost him his life, but that’s expected.
Thinking about this series, I’m a little disappointed that I have yet to get a tattoo emblazoned on my forehead urging comic fans to check this series out. The team clearly loves making this comic, and I have had some of the most fun reading it and sharing it with friends. If you’re looking for something to blast through a fifteen-minute bus ride, this is it. It’ll be the most excitement you’ve had on a bus since you found that quarter on the seat next to you ten years ago.
The Humans #5 Writer: Keenan Marshall Keller Artist: Tom Neely Colorist: Krisitina Collantes Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 6/3/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital