Review – Come Into Me #3 (Black Mask)

Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Writers: Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler
Artwork: Piotr Kowalski
Colours: Niko Guardia
Letters: Ryan Ferrier
Release Date: 5th September 2018

Entrepreneur Sebastian Quinn has developed a technology that allows people to experience the ultimate in intimacy – the ability to share their consciousness with another in one body. However, the system hasn’t quite been perfected yet, and the setbacks caused by some rather too public and fatal failures have scared off his backers. So, with his personal fortune rapidly dwindling, Sebastian is forced to take some drastic steps to push human trials forward.

Issue three sees further complications arising from Sebastian’s rash decision to become a guinea pig in the trials with the unknown quantity that is Becky as his partner. As Becky’s consciousness starts to take more of a hold on Sebastian’s body, he and Doctor Ainsley begin to see horrifying changes to his physiology. Is it possible that long-term exposure to the process can alter the host’s genetic make-up? For his sake, Sebastian had better hope it can’t.

For those of you that haven’t already been following Come Into Me, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you pick this up. The best and most accurate description I’ve read is that it’s the insane lovechild of The Fly and Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, and from what I’ve read so far that doesn’t even scratch the surface. Zac Thompson (Relay, The Dregs, Her Infernal Descent) and Lonnie Nadler (Her Infernal Descent, Ray Queens, The Dregs), are writing what is making a very strong case for the top spot in my “Best of 2018” list.

The story Thompson and Nadler have crafted is a fascinating and genuinely disturbing commentary on our digital, always online, always connected, always seeking approval, existences. I spent a productive afternoon after finishing the first issue looking into how much of my life is on-line and public and it’s truly terrifying. I spent a further week trying to reduce my online footprint (and I don’t just mean deleting my browser history) and it’s insanely difficult.

Piotr Kowalski (Sex, Nightbreed, 30 Days Of Night) is clearly already in a symbiotic relationship with Thompson and Nadler as his artwork perfectly brings to life the blurring of realities and personalities as the story progresses.  He also really does produce some disturbing art which I’m sure David Cronenberg himself would be proud to have adorning one of his films. The machine itself that controls the process is horrifyingly reminiscent of something you’d see in Cronenberg’s Existenz or Videodrome, it’s terrifyingly organic and almost sentient, and so very obviously phallic that it’s a statement on the way social media is forced on us all on its own. Kowalski’s depictions of each personality watching the other in control of the body is terrifying, the use of screens to simulate the remote, helpless state of the subordinate psyche at that time is very effective and the surreal aspects of the struggle for control are superb.

The colouring that Niko Guardia provides is just the icing on the cake and accentuates the blurring effects and gross-out moments beautifully. I’m not sure that’s the way a sane, normal person would describe some of the horrific images and themes in the pages of this book but for me, they’re just beautifully rendered. As Sebastian gets progressively sicker from exposure to the process the skin tone alone is something that every aspiring artist (and I’d kill to be able to colour like this) should take notes from. I felt like I wanted to back away from him and could almost smell the sickness seeping out of his pores.

When I picked up the first issue I completely misunderstood what I now realise is a really clever device in the art. There are panels that visibly blur and stretch and deform and I honestly thought I had a dodgy print until I recognised the pattern as showing the switch over of personalities. If you’re old like me and had a TV you tuned with a dial as a kid, then you may remember when changing TV channels you could get a stretching of the image as you dialled in the next channel and this is exactly what you see on these panels, as one signal/ consciousness gets stronger it displaces/ warps the image you’re seeing.

This is one of those rare comics that never misses a beat, managing to get more disturbing and gripping with every page, and I’m predicting that this will take top spot in my Top Horror Comic list of 2018 – if not the top spot out of all the comics I’ve read this year.

Rating: 5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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