When I first heard about The Humans, I thought it was going to be a parody of Planet of the Apes. I was wrong, The Humans has turned out to be one of the best and most original comics that I’ve read this year. Keenan Marshall Keller is a writer I’m not familiar with, but he has done a wonderful job in merging a world of ape bikers with some great biker movies I remember watching as a kid. Like Keller, I’m not familiar with Tom Neely’s previous work, but I like his style. It’s simple and clean. His splash pages are some of the best I’ve seen recently, they add greatly to the psychedelic trips that tend to happen in this book. See out preview here.
In this issue, we see the return of Johnny, brother of the Humans’ leader Bobby , to the gang. Johnny fought in Vietnam and was thought to be killed during the war. He returns home and in a scene that’s very much straight out of Rambo, briefly gets reacquainted with Bakersfield’s law enforcement. Johnny makes his way back to the Humans’ compound and his reunion with the other members is a bit heart-warming. We learn that Johnny’s dealing with PTSD and this adds depth to his character that we’ll get to explore in some future.
This was a great issue for character development. The Humans has so many characters in it, we learn a little about each one during the reunion with Johnny. Speaking of Johnny, how he’s dealing with “coming back from the dead” and being labeled a war hero. Having been around the biker culture, I’m reminded that family isn’t necessarily determined by blood, this issue made me remember that… minus the ape sex.
Also, check out the Ape Shit newsletter at the end of the issue. It’s a nice touch that Keller and Neely added.
Honestly, I can’t say anything bad about this issue.. except maybe the ape sex.
The Humans #2 is worth picking up if you want to read something a little different. It’s a good mix of story, art and character development that makes you forget you’re reading a comic about a biker gang of talking apes. Keller and Neely have created one of the most interesting and original series I’ve read this year, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s coming up next.