It’s day two of the apocalypse, and the meme has evolved. In the first issue, the only way to become infected was for someone to look at the image of the Good Times Sloth. Then, twelve hours later, they would turn into a “screamer,” so named because they started screaming uncontrollably while attacking everyone around them (they also bleed from the eyes). However, as more and more screamers swarm the streets, it becomes apparent that there’s a new way for the meme to worm its way into the brain – via the sound of the screaming itself.
Memetic #2 sees Aaron and Ryan trying to find safe haven amongst all the chaos. They flee to the campus medical center, since it was built to withstand riots, and Aaron knows the codes to get inside. However, it soon becomes clear that going there was a terrible, terrible idea.
Meanwhile, Marcus meets up with the government team that’s been trying to figure out who created the meme. The good news is that they managed to track the IP address of the person who first posted the image. The bad news is that it’s going to take a plane trip to get there. And the airport is crawling with screamers.
James Tynion IV does a great job of keeping up the momentum of the first issue while simultaneously raising the stakes. There are lots of good character moments throughout, especially between Aaron and Ryan. We also get some new characters, notably Dr. Peter Klein, who provides both important information on how the meme works as well as a touch of comic relief (nothing over the top or out of place, though – just cracking jokes of the sort that many people might make under pressure).
While the subject matter for this comic is pretty heavy, the Eryk Donovan’s art is never gratuitously gory. Oh, sure, there are a few disturbing panels as people are torn apart, but they’re actually fairly restrained and not overly detailed. As someone who’s not a fan of disgusting imagery used for shock value, it was refreshing.
There’s only one issue left of this miniseries, and I’m already chomping at the bit to find out how it all ends. Obviously, things are looking pretty grim. But there’s more to life than a happy ending – like finally finding out who sent out the meme and why, and how it can even have such an effect on people (I actually have my own theory on that last bit, but I think I’ll save that for the next issue).
How much do I like this comic? I like it so much that even though I get review copies for free, I’ve made a point of buying the actual issues in-store as they come out. Seriously, if you like end-of-the-world stories and intriguing mysteries, definitely check out Memetic.