A collection of fourteen short comic strips about different characters chronicling the demise of the world from the malady infection. The most important thing about these stories is not only do they function by themselves but they show the worsening situation of the Spectrals (creatures with powers) and eventually the world. There’s only a few weak stories in this collection and there’s a wide variety of genres- Sci-fi in ‘Karma Inc’ tragic in ‘Macabre’ horror in ‘Narrow’. I do have my favourites though including Blob Detective for its humour including the sex scene with a creature made mostly of legs and the classic downtrodden detective narrative. ‘Love in Stitches’ again for its humour this time with a Frankenstein like monster looking for love on a dating app but there’s plenty of romance in this piece too.
I really enjoyed the stories that shaped the universe more like ‘Prologue’, ‘Karma Inc’ and ‘Start the Universe’ as there’s plenty of intrigue with the 300 year old little girl Anima and the horrific things she’s capable of as she tries to get what she wants. The central storyline of the humans turning against the Spectrals more and the latter becoming ill, paranoid etc. would be intriguing in itself but focusing on ordinary Spectrals as they struggle with the changes is a different take. The main character in each story has their own powers and problems from Revenant- the spirit who can possess different bodies and ends up in a skeleton to Poltergeist- the gremlin that’s just wants a quiet life. The theme is obviously inspired by the X-Men but here I don’t think the main characters will band together to save both human and their own race. I’m interested enough to continue reading the series to find out though.
Onto the art and again there is a wide variety of styles including Lyndon White and her colourful art with no thick lines which she is famous for in books including Hexes. There’s anime style art in Animania by Edward Bentley which has Anima in 95% of the panels but always has her in a different pose, different facial expressions and like all anime the range of eyes is amazing. There is a few art styles I’m not keen on as they are more expressionist or messy/fuzzy in ‘Fractured’ and ‘Macarbe’ but these only had a small effect on how much I liked those stories. The Spectrals come in all shapes and sizes yet many of them look scary such as Sanbos (werewolf yet Deathnote like) in their own way. The designs are inspired by a wide range of existing characters like the chattering Cenobite but are still original.
To conclude, I enjoyed most of this collection. The stories worked well together and by themselves with ‘Love in Stitches’ and ‘Blob Detective’ being two of my favourites. The art styles are varied as are the characters and there’s only a few of the former I disliked. David Jenkins