Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Existence 2.0 #1 of 3
Spencer & Silas
On Sale July 1st
Every once in a while I receive something to review and I’ve never heard of it. Many times these comics are the best reads. Perhaps it is because I have no expectations. Or perhaps some of the best material is just done outside of the big two publishers and doesn’t have the advertising and loud backing. Whatever the case may be this comic book is outstanding. It’s a crime drama with a twist of science fiction done in some of the traditional pulp manner that the likes of Criminal has carried on with today. It has some gore, some emotion, some humor and a nice gimmick to keep you on your feet. This is a comic worth seeking out.
The very first page has a man getting stabbed violently through the chest. The narration explains how the man who was killed managed to leap his conscience into the killer’s mind. When I first read this I was thinking I must have missed Existence 1.0 and that’s why this seems bizarre. However, I quickly found out this was not the case at all.
As the main character makes his way through his new body’s life we learn about what happened with the man who was murdered and it’s an excellent story. Essentially, a scientist named Sly invented a device that allows the user to transfer his mind to another’s body on top of their mind.
However, Sly isn’t a great guy. Sure he has a wife and a little kid, but he’s deranged and people hate him. Marko is hired to kill him and succeeds, except Sly uses his invention to take over Marko’s body. Marko’s body is a honed killing machine, which is a significant upgrade for Sly. Now as Marko, Sly wants to figure out who put out the hit on him and why, so he begins to trace the steps. I’m leaving out a bunch of twists that make this plot even more interesting.
The comic delivers this complex plot with a ton of humor. Whether it’s a Sly getting stuck in the lab with a cat in heat, Sly creating Jessica Alba clones or Marko busting in on the guy “taking care of himself.” This comic is packed with some funny moments.
The comic also keeps some secrets in the plot. As you might imagine this device that allows switching your brain into someone else’s body might need some extra explaining, but this comic reveals only the essential elements, which leaves you wanting more. I found myself constantly second guessing Marko/Sly’s actions wondering how he would “know” that. This kept me paying extra close attention, which is typically a good thing.
Finally, the artwork was tremendous. I hate to keep bringing it up, but this reminded me very much like the style seen in Criminal. It has dark tones, tons of shadows on the face and a simplified but polarizing color palette. The artwork told a story that was just as strong as the narrative.
Some of the best crime stories are when all of the characters have elements that make them highly unlikable. I found this to be the case with this comic. I found myself rooting for people to get shot or die because I just disliked them. Even the Sly/Marko combo had me wanting him to succeed at times and wanting him to feel some pain at others. This comic has an excellent story, a cool gimmick and characters that stir emotions in the readers. What else can you possibly want in a story? I highly recommend this comic book.
5 out of 5 geek goggles