Genetiks is a pharmaceutical company on the cutting edge of biological science. Thomas Hale is one of thousands of employees in the Genetiks’ labs. Like his colleagues, he had agreed to give a drop of blood to his employers; a drop of blood that will allow the researchers at the company he works for to decode his entire genome. As the drop of blood is the property of Genetiks, Thomas will become, in effect, the first man to be privately owned by the corporation he works for.
This is a story that toys with morality – the morality of corporations to play with lives as they choose. The morality of science to play with natural laws in an attempt to master them. The morality of men and women in daily life and the struggling choices that they make.
Thomas Hale felt like he had little to lose and little to control in his own life when he gave up his independence to the large corporation, Genetiks. He happened to have the first genetic code that has ever been unraveled in completeness. Due to the pressure of hoards of protestors against the work of Genetiks, the corporation knew that they need to manipulate this news in a way that will gain public support instead of causing scandal. The way to accomplish this is to literally and legally own Hale, having him sign his rights away out of his own free will – therefore showing his support for the company’s accomplishments.
Genetiks got to Hale at a hard time. He’s single and hating it. He’s frustrated with his own genetic research. Worst of all, he has a stressful, volatile relationship with his paralyzed father. He was feeling out of control and needed to feel like he could make a big decision. And so he makes the decision to have no control at all.
To a genetics novice such as myself, the comic was interesting, if not a little dry in its basis in science. But through this basis, it also felt extremely realistic.
Adding to this sense of realism was the art. The art by Jean-Michel Ponzio was modern and edgy – perfect for the feel of a story that was modern about a scientific premise that was edgy. Ponzio worked with Richard Marazano’s dialogue and scene-setting, mixing art with science into an integrated experience.
This is not a story for people who like action. You will be board. This is a story for people who like science with drama and plot. This is a story that uses a scientific basis to ask “what if.”