"WAR - GREED - HATRED - INTOLERANCE These traits were a plague upon humanity, a stain on their existence that could not be removed. After centuries of constant conflict an assault known as, The Fall, brought the end of human civilization. The world now belongs to the genetic hybrids created to serve humanity, the Chimeras. Can these Remnants of Man rebuild the world free of the stains that once plagued it..... .... Or will they follow the same destructive path as their predecessors?"
This is the main question that evolves around Russel Oldhams comic "Remnants" as it takes us into a sci-fi story that at first glance seems to be just another overused "After the end of humanity" stories. And to be frank, this is one such story..... But written in a new and fresh way, making it stand out and become something of its own. Russel Oldham manages to do something very challenging with this comic, which is keeping my focus. As I've mentioned before it takes ALOT to keep me focused on a comic from start to finish and I usally get distracted while reading comics and jumps on and off from actually finishing it from start to finish as comics SHOULD be done. Only a handful of newer comics have been able to hold my focus..... this is one of them. What did it, you ask? To be honest I'd have a hard time giving you a direct answer, for when you look at this comic at a first glance, it really doesn't appear to offer anything out of the ordinary. The art is simple and straightforward. The paneling is comicbook panelling 101. There's no real chances being taken in this comic, when it comes to the art and the setup of story. But maybe that's what got my attention and grabbed my focus? In a time where comics -have- to be different, -have- to stand out in some wild way to get attention, Remnants does the exact OPPOSITE: It's being brave enough to follow the basic rules that the Golden Age of comic books put down as being rules to uphold. And it works! The simplicity and easy to follow panels and art, makes it so easy to follow and keep your attention towards, that the whole read is so pleasant and good, you would most likely end up sitting back in your chair at the end, really feel you enjoyed reading what you read.
And that's just the art and the flow of the art in itself. The writing is where the treasure TRULY is hiding. The comic starts of with a one-page background explanation of how humanity started using cloning and cross species genetics in order to create free workers to do their biddings for the humans. But as every sci-fi apocalyptic story goes, the Greed, Hatred and intolerance of the humans turns to become their downfall and after years of war humanity was all but erased. And that's where the story begins. 65 years after the fall of the humans and the rise of the Chimeras (The name the cross-species beings were given). We instantly get introduced to the priests of "The Fall" travelling towards a village of cross-breds seeking them out to attempt and regain control of what was once their creations (atleast that is what I got out of the read). How that goes I will leave up to you to find out, by buying the comic yourself (I don't want to spoil you from a great time, afterall.) The other main story of this first issue also introduces us to Kitai, who I believe is going to be the main protagonist of the story. Alongside her is an A.I seemingly working on a battery to help power up the base they are currently subsiding in, as they talk about the Taurens and the priests, the A.I seemingly keeping an eye on them. The small introduction to the two characters brings about many questions, making me eager to find out more, as I flip the pages (which I don't, as I read this digitally, but you know what I mean!). These two stories are the focus of this first issue and I love how both just continues to build up in the proper way during the issue, setting more and more things up for future story. As I wrote earlier, the writing is where the treasure is truly hidden and after reading this first issue through a few times, I still believe that to be true. The feel of Golden Age comic writing and art set-up makes this a very enjoyable read, that makes sure you aren't lost during the story. It's easy and smooth to follow and it doesn't demand anything from you, other than to sit back and enjoy. So if you're tired of modern comic book writing, that tends to confuse the crap out of you by every page and makes you feel lost more times than not, then I highly recommend "Remnants" #1 by Russel Oldham. I give it six Human Skulls out of Ten! -Ric Bülow