Human by Diego Agrimbau, Lucas Varela – #eARC #GraphicNovelReview

Goodreads: Human
Publish date: 16 October 2019
Publisher: Europe Comics
Genre: Graphic Novel, Post-Apocalytpic, Science Fiction
Panda Rating:

Planet Earth: 500,000 years in the future. Humans have been extinct for millennia. Two scientists, Robert and June, have been orbiting the Earth, waiting for the planet to become habitable once more. With the help of a team of robots, they plan to start over from scratch: a new Adam and Eve who won’t make the same mistakes as their ancestors. But first Robert has to find June, who seems to have landed somewhere else in this vast jungle—their Eden—full of grotesque creatures and strange primates…

This was a pretty bizarre graphic novel that I’m not quite sure I loved. I was immediately drawn in by the cover and the synopsis, which presented a pretty interesting post apocalyptic tale about returning to earth 500,000 years post death (both humanity’s and Earth’s). The story was well illustrated, however, the illustration style wasn’t what I expected when I picked this up. I thought the color palette of reds, greys, black and white was an interesting choice though; in a way it made earth seem a little bit leached of life, although that clearly wasn’t the case as there was plenty of animals living in the jungle. While I wasn’t a big fan of the illustrations, I thought the overall message of the story was very thought-provoking and made reflect on our relationship with our surroundings.

After hundreds of thousands of years in cryo-sleep, Robert awakes to find his wife and fellow scientist, June, has died waiting for him as she landed on Earth before him. During her time on our newly revived planet, she reneges on their mission and decides that what they set out to do wasn’t actually for the greater good. Mired in grief over her loss and revelations left on video tapes, Robert’s mind quickly unravels. He becomes paranoid and hell bent on conquering the jungle and wildlife by bringing them into submission and is convinced that he will build a new society that’s populated by himself, calling the new era the time of the Robert Sapiens. I thought mother nature’s natural selection to evolve all animals and to kill off all the humans was an interesting angle. I also thought that it was interesting that Alpha, a highly intelligent cyborg whose role in the original mission is to be Robert’s counsel and psychiatrist, was the only morally aware and just character, instead of the only remaining human on earth. It seems that despite our good intentions, we are always the ones that are seeking to change our environment to fit what we think is best, rather than what’s actually best for everything around us. In doing so, we end up creating discord with nature and the creatures around us for what we think is essentially to our survival.

As depressing as it may be to think about, it makes me question whether we’re capable of learning from our giant mistakes, no matter how well-intentioned we always think we’re being. I did like how the story ended with justice and on a slightly more hopeful note though, and it certainly made me curious about what would happen next. It was an entertaining enough story about humans and human nature, but it just wasn’t one that I absolutely loved or would read again.

Thanks to NetGalley and Europe Comics for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This graphic novel is out now!
Have you read Human or is it on your TBR?

12 thoughts on “Human by Diego Agrimbau, Lucas Varela – #eARC #GraphicNovelReview

  1. OOOH I would 100% read a regular novel with this premise and theme because it sounds super fascinating. But I’m not much of a graphic novel reader…. If it shows up in my library I might give it a look. Great review Dini :))(

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it would make for an interesting regular novel, actually. The themes are thought-provoking and there’s room for a lot more exploration, especially with the world building and character development… But in a graphic novel it was just too short and I just didn’t like the illustration work haha 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Graphic novels can be so hit or miss! Glad this one had some good angles even if it wasn’t outstanding. and I guess I didn’t know (or I forgot) that Netgalley had GN’s. I should check ’em out!

    Liked by 1 person

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