2016 is turning out to be a Sci-fi horror year for me. I rewatched The Thing, Event Horizon and Alien, read Parasyte vol 1 for Comics Bulletin, and now I get to review Biomega?! This is awesome.
Biomega is, as the name implies, a sci-fi horror manga from Tsutomu Nihei, the man who brought the world Blame!, NoiSE, Snikt!, and Knights of Sidonia. Currently being published by VIZ under their VIZ Signature line, this Matrix-plus-zombies title is much faster paced than Nihei’s earlier works. In the first manga alone the reader is introduced to the alien plague ripping through the towering ziggurat cities of Earth, its origins, the protagonist and main cast members, as well as a brief history of the feud between the government’s Public Health Services and the corporation Toa Heavy Industry.
According to the Wikipedia entry on Biomega, this series isn’t linked to the rest of Nihei’s works. I’m sorry Wikipedia, but I challenge your nerd knowledge. Like Pixar geeks I believe in an all encompassing series of events that links the titles together. Nihei has proven that he can create an expansive world with many different populations and sub species. Blame!, being the epicenter, has all of these divisions of humanity running around and interacting with Killy, the traveling loner protagonist of the series. Before Blame! was NoiSE, a prequel to Blame! which gave hints as to the origins of the Megastructure and silicon life. These origins, by the way, are certainly up for interpretation as the manga is largely silent and instead relies on a visual story that makes about as much cohesive sense as FLCL. Even Knights of Sidonia has a wink and a nod to Blame! via a television playing in the background displaying images from the aforementioned series. Maybe I’m wrong and Nihei is just having a laugh at his fans and online comic book critics. But Toa Heavy Industry’s presence and the shared species of Nihei’s works seem a little too interlinked to me to just be some kind of heavy metal Easter egg.
Biomega is worth picking up for many reasons, namely the art and the fact that it’s still being published in the US. As American manga readers know, English editions never last forever and the sooner you travel to your local comic book shop and pick up your copy, the sooner you can avoid the inevitable sky high out-of-print prices.