Review: Inhuman


A mere two reviews ago, I spent a little time discussing the philosophy of transhumanism and the dilemma it presents: would the casting off of human frailty, through the use of technology, be worth the loss of the strange sense of beauty that comes from this frailty? This, however, brings up another question entirely: what does it mean to be human in the first place? Is it guided more by the shape of the body, or by the shape of the soul?

This is one of the issues that haunt the characters of Inhuman, a science fiction comic by “Icarus”*. And trust me, the characters have plenty to haunt them. There’s Soshika Lypha (or Lyika), whose parents met a gruesome end before the comic even started. There’s Ashido Tsukiyo (or Ash), who lost his siblings in a terrorist attack by his own business partner and medic. There’s Grey, who is plagued by mental illness, memories of past atrocities, and ceaseless Alice in Wonderland references.

And then there’s Icarus himself, who is tormented by a misaimed fandom. Much of the commentary under his comics (when he’s not offering excuses for why his artwork isn’t even better than it already is) rails against the people who misinterpret Lyika’s explicit anti-human racism—which the other characters occasionally condemn—as something honorable that they completely agree with.**

Icarus is also left with the difficulty of explaining that his comic, in spite of rough appearances, is not a furry comic. Apparently sick of people making this mistake on a regular basis, he’s attached a page of explanation to the commentary on the first comic, stating that his comic is meant as a rather violent commentary on how humanity is more than a matter of mere species. The fact that many of the characters have wings, big ears, tails, or fluffy fur is purely incidental.***

I’ll admit that this comic is difficult to read. Some of the violent scenes had my stomach in a clench, many pages use incoherency to reveal subtle details about characters, and while Icarus’ artwork improves greatly over the span of several years, he could still stand to brush up on the spelling of a few common words.**** I admire his willingness to take on such complex subject matter and put together such an intricate plot, but the details get in the way.

Comic Rating: Five limbs, on average, per character.

* It’s either that or “Sebastian T. Awesome.” Somehow “Icarus” seems like the lesser of two evils.
** The difficulty with hating one’s own species is that as long as you continue to breathe, eat processed food, and post on the Internet, you remain part of the problem.
*** Also incidental is Icarus’ link to his gallery on FurAffinity, where he also buys ad space. I can understand a modestly cynical viewpoint in which pageviews are pageviews at any cost, but . . . if you don’t want to be called a prostitute, don’t put on the bustier and high-heeled boots.
**** A reminder for all of my readers: the past tense of “to lead” is spelled L-E-D. The word spelled L-E-A-D and pronounced “lehd” is not a verb. It is a toxic metal.

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