Review

Biomega, Vol. 1

by Tsutomu Nihei

3005 A.D.: the N5S Virus is turning people into the walking dead and the only ones who seem to be able to survive are the so-called Accomodators, those who can transmute the virus within their bodies. Zoichi Kanoe, an agent of Toa Heavy Industry, is sent to find one such Accomodator, a girl named Eon Green. But also looking for Eon are the agents of the Public Health Service’s Compulsory Execution Group, who are charged with wiping out anyone who gets in their way, by any means necessary.

Nihei’s series is everything that an apocalyptic sci-fi horror should be: dark, gritty, action-packed, and bloody. But all four elements are balanced perfectly and the pacing of the story is such that readers are instantly drawn in, unable to look away or blink for fear of missing a detail. The dialog is kept to a minimum, especially when it comes to Zoichi. Because he’s not much of a talker, readers will focus closely on his actions, giving the book the feel of watching an action movie. The robotic-like attitude of Zoichi, combined with the artificial intelligence assistant Fuyu (who is built into Zoichi’s motorcycle), help set the science fiction tone, while the hordes of zombies bring horror with them. Though the characters are only beginning to be developed in this first volume, Nihei gives readers enough information to make the characters seem real and drops clues about who and what the characters might be, setting the stage for volumes to come.
 
Fitting in with the writing’s blend of action, horror, and science fiction, the art is a blend as well. The settings are both futuristic and gothic, with a long highway surrounded by the cables of a city giving way to a castle-like building silhouetted against the moon. It is a rare panel that is not heavy with scratchy shading or dark screentones. The characters and backgrounds are drawn in great detail, so that readers can almost smell the air and feel the gunshots whizzing by. Nihei will draw out fast action scenes, like a gun battle, over several pages to allow Zoichi’s supernatural abilities to fully sink into the reader. This volume is a fantastic beginning to a not-too-long series (six volumes) sure to appeal to mature readers who like their science fiction dark, their action fast, and their horror to come with an apocalypse.

Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith on July 13, 2012

Biomega, Vol. 1
by Tsutomu Nihei

  • Publication Date: February 2, 2010
  • Genres: Graphic Novel
  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
  • ISBN-10: 1421531844
  • ISBN-13: 9781421531847