Wednesday, 24 October 2012

So I Read Transhuman

A 250 word (or less) review of the Transhuman graphic novel
By Jonathan Hickman and JM Ringuet, Image Comics.

Do not go into this book expecting a revolutionary and well researched treaties on genetic engineering and cybernetics. Transhuman is NOT the Nighty News II, and if you’re expecting it to be you're going to be disappointed by it. This isn't to say Transhuman isn't a good book; it's very good for what it is. And what it is, is a largely satirical portrayal of the business of innovation and invention. Transhuman’s crunchy intellectual centre isn't about the science of tomorrow but is instead about the crazy-assed way private research is financed and the insane, wildly loathsome people involved in monetizing ideas. It shows how the business end of things takes revolutionary ideas like improving the human condition and makes them subservient to creating a marketable commodity. This satirical core of Transhuman is then liberally coated with a farcical view of the path of synthetic human evolution including mutant monkeys, demented metahumans and ridiculous cybernetic enhancements that is played largely for laughs. This serves to make the book fairly entertaining, but also adds to the atmosphere of absurdity that makes the more satirical elements so biting. Transhuman, then, is really a solid criticism of the business of innovation and a comedy of inanity. When approached as a satire/comedy, Transhuman is a pretty enjoyable read that is unlikely to disappoint.

Word count: 219

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