Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Eryk Donovan
Published by: Boom!
Coming off the back of Memetic, James Tynion IV and Eryk Donovan reunite for another three part mini-series at Boom, Cognetic. The new series involves a Terror of the Bodysnatchers type contagion which is spreading throughout New York City, invading the minds of its citizens. FBI agent Annie gets caught up in the middle of this as the department she works for try to get to the bottom of the mystery amongst the rising chaos.
There’s a great sense of intrigue and pacing to this comic, the rising tension as the infection spreads is handled to great affect and keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. The way it spreads is also clever, with the infected character’s text changing colour. It’s very subtle and seems so creepy as there’s no real other visual tell that they’ve changed, meaning anyone could be next. What’s handled less well however are the characters themselves, an early conversation between Annie and her wife feels like it should be charming but feels so filled with exposition it felt rather awkward. There’s too much discussion of her role in the story and the FBI for it to feel like a natural conversation (and I still ended up being a little unclear on her role). There’s a good twist at the end which throws her character into a new light and should drastically affect the other issues, but for now the characters mostly get lost in the mix among the far more interesting main story.
The art however is an absolutely perfect fit for the story, capturing the character’s individual looks well as well as laying out the story with such finesse and skill as to capture perfectly the tension of the script. There are a lot of really inventive and cool moments in the book, such as a two page spread of the empire state building that captures all the shock and terror of the scene taking places. The art also manages to be shocking and violent when it needs to be, but never suffers from feeling gratuitous and or juvenile. It’s impactful and shocking while remaining tasteful. By the end of the story the imagery even gets really creepy and surreal. If it’s a taster of what’s to come then this could end up being a really beautiful book.
Cognetic is a great thriller book that presents a great mystery and really runs with it. While the character work isn’t too stand-out, the fantastic art and intriguing story more than make up for it. If you’re in the mood for an intriguing mystery story that won’t have you waiting too long for a conclusion, then look no further.