Written by: Keenan Keller
Art by: Tom Neely
Published by: Image Comics
Despite the popularity of TV’s Sons of Anarchy there is a noticeable lack of biker fiction circling the popular media right now. “The Humans #1” fills a void in Image’s line-up which is very science-fiction and horror heavy at the moment. As a debut issue “The Humans #1” manages to reveal an interesting mirror image of our world where the rest of the great apes have managed to gain human-level intelligence. While this setting is an interesting backdrop for a comic book, and Tom Neely asserts himself as an impressive artistic talent, the script doesn’t give us enough reasons to care about the story.
Building empathy with readers is the most pivotal task any new series must face. This can be done in several ways, but most commonly a protagonist who has a likable disposition or is at the very least relatable to readers. “The Humans #1” is noticeably lacking in the character department which may give readers pause, especially considering the immense number of quality titles available in the current market. It’s hard out there for a new series and I find it difficult to argue that The Humans offers enough incentive to put another three bucks down next month.
The script didn’t do too much for me, other than the killer rap verse that was pretty unique, but the art is very solid. Neely’s character designs were entertaining and consistent. His framing and panel design is exemplary, always giving the reader the maximum amount of context and visual story-telling possible. From building the setting and atmosphere of this story to producing impressive and expressive characters and action, Neely has got to be credited with giving you the biggest incentive to come back next month that this debut has to offer. The visuals are unique and creative and never look rushed. The composed beat-down between the Humans and their rival gang was frenetic.
I’m not convinced that The Humans has everything a successful indie comics needs, but, there is reason to hope that it might. The final page of this issue teases that the next installment is dedicated to a past member of the gang long thought lost and perhaps this character can become the driving force for this narrative. Of course, if you weren’t totally convinced by this issue but not completely turned off by it either then you might want to check out “The Humans #2” to see how the story develops, I know I will be.
“The Humans #1” is missing some crucial pieces necessary to make a stellar debut. It is possible that the book could improve and deliver those things in the months to come but as of right now this series is unremarkable amidst a sea of great comics. Neely’s art and Keller’s rap were definite highlights for this issue. My expectations are admittedly high for new Image series and I couldn’t help but feel a little bit let down when this installment didn’t wow me. I wouldn’t fault any reader for sticking with or dropping this series, both make perfect sense to me.
“The Humans #1” earns 7.1/10