Review: Biowars: The Battle Rages Within

2014-06-23_1445Today we have a guest review from Greg Rowland covering the comic series Biowars: The Battle Rages Within

Most of us open up a comic book expecting to be entertained – not subjected to a lesson we’d have to sit through in a high school Bio class! But with the new digital title Biowars, that’s essentially what you get: an adventure where the biological components of the immune system are the heroes and the inner realms of the body, an alien universe where a battle for life and death is waged. Fortunately, it’s way more exciting than science class!

Biowars, created by Gabriel Shaoolian, is a free digital comic which challenges readers to consider the battles that take place every day within their own immune systems. Our protagonist, Alexander Hawking, is your average-Joe college student who’s thrust into a sinister world of intrigue when a mysterious cabal go on a manhunt for him after infecting and killing his father with the virus.

While Alexander’s immune system battles against the powerful virus in the “inner world”, Alexander races the clock, in the “outer world”, to find out who killed his father, infected him with the virus and what their ultimate plans are.

What’s fascinating about this comic is its incredible ability to weave together both the educational and fantastical elements in such a cohesive and entertaining manner. It sounds strange to say, but the inclusion of endocrine system factoids in the plotline always seem relevant – rather than forced – and serve to enhance the reader’s understanding of cellular conflict rather than to interrupt the story

In addition to those interested in biology, readers who enjoy high quality visuals will also be drawn to the series – the electric blue matrix of the bio-cosmos, the intricately armored B-cell warriors, and the detailed, carcass-strewn battlefield of the trachea each serve to enhance the reader’s experience and heighten the reader’s sense of wonder surrounding the body’s virus defense system.

In addition to boasting outstanding illustrations and a unique plotline, Biowars explores some interesting themes: relationship dynamics, morality, eugenics and other social issues. Within Alex’s body alone, concepts such as the corruptibility of mankind in the desire for power, and the internal clash between the call of responsibility and the temptation of desire are explored through the interactions of the cells and viruses. In the outer world, Alex’s is a riveting coming of age tale, a story of coming to terms with a father’s mistakes and of forging his own destiny.

Biowars is free to read online or download (as .pdfs) at www.biowars.com. The site itself is a comprehensive counterpart to the comic – with tons of background material and behind the scenes features. There’s even talk of forthcoming Biowars gaming modules, so if you’ve ever wanted to be a white blood cell duking it out with the common cold, here’s your chance!

Overall, Biowars is a truly immersive experience which provides comic book fans searching for a new series with the entire package: great visuals, depth, unique subject matter, and outstanding resources, and promises to provide readers from a variety of backgrounds with a satisfying experience.

I guess for now I will stick with just Biowars and see how it goes from here. Thanks for your time!

Story: 8 Art: 10 Overall: 9