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Written by Mark William Pawziuk on Thursday, August 06 2015 and posted in Reviews


Catch this 10-issue monkey-series while you can.

Source: Image Comics

Written by Keenan Marshall Keller

Drawn by Tom Neely

Color by Kristina Collantes and Tom Neely | Art-monkey assistance by Carmen Monoxide

Back Cover Pin-Up by Jim Rugg

Take Planet of the Apes, mix in some Sons of Anarchy, ride back to Vietnam War-era California and you'll have an idea of what the world of The Humans is like. As the title of this review suggests, this book is only for full-grown primates, as it includes enough graphic sex, language, narcotics and violence to give a gorilla a heart attack!


The story so far has introduced the biker gang known as The Humans. The leader's younger brother, Johnny, has come back from Vietnam a changed ape just in time to help them with some key business ventures. First, he picked the right man to win their underground human-fight, then was key in defending a drug motorcade they provided protection to. After that freeway battle - reminiscent of The Road Warrior - in issue five, things settled down a bit in the last issue. The Humans #7, however, sees things flaring up again, as Johnny reunites with his old girlfriend in a motel while the rest of The Humans come under attack at their favorite bar.

Keenan Marshall Keller pulls no punches with his script, injecting high-octane drama, action and dialogue into this unique comic. Each of the primates are given a distinct personality and motivation. I also like how rivalries set up in the zero issue of The Humans were allowed to lay dormant before their pay-off here in issue 7. There are also plenty of details laced into this comic to evoke Altamont-era California: there is an angry, anti-authoritarian attitude to many characters, while others are hippies trying to get by with a peaceful buzz.

Co-creator and artist Tom Neely puts just as much passion on the page as Keller does. He reflects each character's personality in their designs and helps distinguish the individuals in what could easily be a crowd of animals in lesser hands. With the rest of the art team, co-colorist Kristina Collantes and art assistant Carmen Monoxide, Neely brings this world-gone-ape to life. From the bleak open rode to richly detailed bikes and bars, every panel rings true. The multi-page sequence where panels alternate between the assault on the bar and Johnny getting nasty with his girlfriend, Peg, is the most memorable of this series so far. Along with The Auteur, The Humans is the most audacious current comic book I've read.

So, if you haven't already picked up this monkey-Fer of a book, make sure your path is clear of bananas and swing into your local shop. The next issue will be out in October, so you have plenty of time to catch up if you're behind. Digital copies don't do it justice. Pick up The Humans in print and hang on for a wild ride. Humans for life. Humans till death.



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