Writer Richard Marazano
Artist Jean-Michel Ponzio
“What happens to Thomas Hale when the company he works for cracks his genetic code?
Genetiks is a pharmaceutical company on the cutting edge of biological science. Thomas Hale is one of thousands of employees in the Genetiks’ labs. Like his colleagues, he had agreed to give a drop of blood to his employers; a drop of blood that will allow the researchers at the company he works for to decode his entire genome. As the drop of blood is the property of Genetiks, Thomas will become, in effect, the first man to be privately owned by the corporation he works for.”
Archaia has yet another hit on it’s hands by tapping into it’s overseas market. This time they’ve taken a French work by Richard Marazano (Cuervos, Le Protocole Pélican) and Jean-Michel Ponzio (Tien Keou, Krybrilon).
With it’s roots in science fiction thrillers and a hyper realistic art style, Genetiks can best be described as a summer movie blockbuster in comics form. The story of Thomas Hale, an engineer whose DNA is the first to be fully sequenced by his company Genetiks, is full of twist, turns and surprises that manage to keep you hanging on the edge of your seat. Marazano has created a unique world that is as familiar as it is alien, a future that could just as easily happen tomorrow. His story is propelled with his characters; his protagonist Thomas comes across as a generally good person, but one who still has a lot of growing up to do, and it’s his immaturity that sends his world spiraling out of control.
Helping to move the story along, Ponzio has utilized a hyper realistic art style; think the film adaptation of A Scanner Darkly plastered onto comic pages and you’ve got a decent idea. It’s a gorgeous book, though sometimes the expressions from panel to panel fall too deeply into the uncanny valley, creating a disjointed sense (though honestly, this may be intentional).
Continuing the trend of dark sci-fi tales from the publisher, Genetiks is yet another book that we can’t recommend enough. Just be warned that this one does end on a cliffhanger; it’s unclear when Genetiks‘ second volume is going to come out, but we’ll be sure to update you. Genetiks, Volume 1 is available now from Archaia, and is intended for mature audiences.
Full Disclosure Dept: This is based off of a review copy, provided to us by Archaia Comics.