Big, Bad Biomega

Cover image for Biomega volume 1 by Tsutomu NiheiI keep meaning to at least post a few little thoughts at a time here, if not taking the time to write full reviews, just to keep this thing alive… so I’m going to talk about Biomega, as I’ve just caught up with the series.

Biomega is awesome. Crazy, exploding, future bike, super soldier, talking bear, zombie killing awesome.

Now some people just aren’t going to get it. You could read one volume in about sixty seconds there are so few words, but it’s all about the pictures. Usually I would shy away from metaphors that seem unfitting for a medium, but Biomega is widescreen SF. It’s the book equivalent of the mega-budget, high octane, special effects blockbuster, and then some. It’s an exciting thing to look at, and the sense of action captured in the still images is just outstanding.

Previously Tsutomu Nihei worked on a mini series for Marvel called Snikt, something that was very minimal on speech and big on visuals again from what I remember. It was a while ago, so beyond those scant details, and that i liked the series I don’t remember it that much. My comics collection is shamefully hard to get to at the moment so I can’t go re-read it. Really quite fancy doing just that though. (Looks like it hasn’t been collected either, which is a great shame)Cover Image for Snikt issue 3 (Wolverine) by Tsutomu Nihei

Biomega’s greatest flaw is that it can be difficult to keep a firm grasp of the plot, such as it is. A lot of the characters look very similar (especially the bad guys), and while there has clearly been effort put into varying character design it isn’t always easy to follow just whose side they’re on. And when you’re talking multiple corporations and multiple factions it gets a bit confusing at times…

It also delves into some pretty heavy, high concept SF stuff. But didn’t I say there were hardly any words? Well, that’s still true, which, again, can make some of it difficult to keep a firm grasp of. Biomega delves into mass control, ethics, post-humanity concepts, matter mutagenics, synthetic humanity and human/ post-human symbiosis… heavy stuff, huh? Not really, it’s all just backdrop. Biomega’s about the visuals, the mind-blowing, gut-punching action. The other stuff is in there, but it doesn’t get in the way.

For me it’s about seeing some awesome action scene unfold in front of me, then turning the page and seeing it taken to whole new levels, again and again and again. It keeps getting bigger and better and I can’t wait to see what Tsutomu does with it next. Highly recommended.

Biomega so far (vols 1-4): 9/10

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