A three part story about the end of the world due to a meme comes to its end on Christmas Eve, but is it good?
Memetic #3 (BOOM! Studios)
If you’re just joining us this story is about a meme, specifically an image on the internet, that makes people feel euphoric. Problem is, after a few hours they bleed from their eyes and attack anyone who hasn’t been infected yet. Last issue the protagonist, a college kid named Ryan who is partially color blind and deaf, lost his boyfriend to the madness of the meme. He’s on his own, and in a somewhat similar situation Marcus is too, a blind older man on a small team put together by the U.S. government to find the person behind the meme. Considering the team has been reduced to three things aren’t looking up for him either.
Writer James Tynion IV has got himself one compelling concept on his hands here. The first issue was made even stronger by an interesting concept of meme warfare, but the last issue reduced itself to getting characters from point A to B and letting the shit hit the fan. This issue offers some whopping answers though, but as with all finales I’m sure some readers won’t be too happy with the outcomes. Larry David recently said nobody liked the way Seinfeld ended because they had already written it in their heads. I think he might be right, because I wasn’t expecting the ending that graces this book by any means, nor how dark it gets, but that isn’t to say this isn’t an awesome H.P. Lovecraftian type of story.
Considering I wasn’t expecting the twist that does come at the end I’m left with feelings of good and bad. Bad because some of the occurrences don’t seem supported by what came before but good because it’s one wild twist ending. Some might cry foul on Ryan and Marcus’ choices, but considering the circumstances it makes a lot of sense. The conclusion is ultimately horrific but how the meme gets released is a bit underdeveloped. This is mostly because no details were given regarding the creator of the meme until this issue and it’s unfortunate considering the creator of the meme seems a throwaway character at best. Though it does make the entire concept all the more scary when you think about how many psychopaths there are in the world.
The pace of the issue is a bit wonky and I’m not sure why Ryan has a scene with a little girl. It seems to be there simply to wear down on Ryan, but it doesn’t resonate much in the way of fluff. Ultimately it seems to be there to give Ryan something to do. That isn’t to say this series didn’t need 3 issues to be told, but it feels to be lacking considering there are so many questions as to what is happening world wide.
I’ve continued to enjoy Eryk Donovan’s work on art. The cover is flat out reminiscent of Akira in a very horrific and creepy way and makes the book all the more compelling right from the get go. The town Marcus ends up in is quite fun and contrasting considering how bleak things get and his people towers, (that’s all I’ll say) are disgustingly good. The last page blows all of this out of the water though. There was no telling what that last page would bring, so when it comes it hits you right in the teeth. In a good way. It’s also set on a rather angelic sunset scene, which makes the horrific nature of it all the more freaky. If I were to criticize anything in this book it’d be one panel where a character pukes. It looks silly and lacks energy.
I love the sound of “Smash Smashy” in the morning.
Is It Good?
A good conclusion largely because it’s so damn horrific and surprising. Characters make hard choices which makes the reader take a hard and close look at themselves too.