June 10, 2015

Review: CYBER REALM by Wren McDonald is Animus, Retribution and Vengeance

As one of my last reviews of comics for the next couple of weeks (going on a much needed vacation), Comics Bulletin Editor-in-Chief Jason Sacks and I dig into the underpinnings of Wren McDonald's new book from Nobrow Press, part of their 17x23 series.

While Sacks wants to talk happiness, I want to talk Will to Power:

"I could easily draw parallels between Cyber Realm and the state of race relations in our country, or even use it as a soapbox to examine the Israeli/Palestinian situation, but I think McDonald would rather us keep our discussion on a more intimate, human level.
I think his art demands that as much as his story does too. There is, like you said Sacks, a depth to the main character here. Sure his motivations are painted in bright neon colors on his sleeve, and we don’t get a lot of inner turmoil or philosophical musings on his part, but his singular focus is familiar insomuch as it broadly reflects so much of the subtle frustrations we all feel on a daily basis. The frustrations we feel at work, in our day-to-day, and even, sometimes, in our own homes.
It was Nietzsche who posited that the “world is the will to power – and nothing besides!” Humans have a drive to control their lives as much as they do the world around them. When that is denied, they lose identity. In Cyber Realm, that loss of identity is physically manifested in the main character’s physical transformation and the fact that McDonald never gives him a name.
Perhaps Cyber Realm is, in its way, the prophecy of the Übermensch, but more likely, it’s just a damn fine comic book that’s fun to read and leaves you wanting to read more."

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