Our Bones Dust #1
A feral child equal parts predator and prey, navigates a nightmare landscape of brutality and blood inhabited by scattered cannibal tribes. An interesting place to poke around for a curious Artificial Intelligence.A four issue mini-series by long time Mike Mignola collaborator Ben Stenbeck (Baltimore, Frankenstein Underground, Koshchei)
When it comes to depictions of what Earth and humanity’s future may look like, multiple speculations often overdo it. However, Ben Stenbeck’s comic makes me think of one of Einstein’s famous quotes, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” Stenbeck’s mind sees his world as a wasteland and what’s left of humanity fighting for scraps of a world once prosperous, almost as if somebody pressed a big red button with the word “reset” painted on it.
What drives the narrative in this daring dystopia is a thief being confronted by what looks like a caveman-like clan leader for stealing water. When the thief, a young boy who appears no older than fifteen, comes out of hiding to look at the leader in the face, he throws a bottle of water down, and the caveman is furious as water, like many other resources on Earth, have become scarce. Before the caveman can punish the thief for what he’s done, the thief hacks him down with his ax and runs off with the bottle he threw containing a lot less water.
Given how oddly void Stenbeck’s new world is, it’s safe to say he developed this comic with the exasperation of certain social issues heavily in mind, climate change first and foremost. The Earth, as seen so far, is nothing but a vast desert filled that serves as a wide open junk yard. This leaves room for questions as to what caused this state. The irresponsible usage of Earth’s natural resources? Heightened nuclear power? What makes the world such a barbaric place in which men are forced to eat their own?
While the questions of social issues is posed in the first comic of the series, so is the idea that artificial intelligence will become greater than it’s very creator; humanity. There’s this human-squid like robot named Attis that has taken a fascination to the way the last humans live, between cannibalistic tribes who know how to bargain but with gritted teeth. He ends up finding the boy who committed such a heinous crime against one of the tribes, and takes a liking to him. When Attis hears screams in a different direction, he floats over to the scene where he is met with a rotting fortress and multiple skinned carcasses of lost humans.
This also leaves room for speculation as to whether or not it’s A.I. that destroys humanity, restores it, or even both.
Should a nuclear weapon ever be set off, we all think it's going to be the end for humanity. We never bother to think what comes after the supposed end, but Stenbeck does, which ultimately makes for a strong narrative that runs a long as a river in a unique, barbaric world that we can all hope doesn't come into existence during our lifetimes.
Our Bones Dust #1: What the Humans Do
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 6/106/10
- Color - 6/106/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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