Surgeon X from Image Comics is notable for several reasons, a big one being it marks the return of Karen Berger, founder and long time editor of DC’s Vertigo imprint, to comics after leaving DC several years ago. Another is that it’s probably the most meticulously researched comic to ever hit the shelves with a list of assorted medical professionals, scientists and learned types being thanked for their assistance in the credits.
Surgeon X is written by veteran TV producer/director Sara Kenney making her comics debut, a near future sci-fi horror about a Britain (and world) wracked by a medical crisis and in a state of political turmoil. Kenney’s comics debut came about after striking up a rapport with Berger via LinkedIn and in the process demonstrating that LinkedIn is responsible for at least one good thing in its existence.
London, 2036, and Antibiotics are largely ineffective due to humanity’s developed resistance and now rationed and reserved for the lucky few causing millions of deaths every year. Jim Powell of The Lionheart Party, a far right political party, is up for election as Mayor of London. Rosa Scott is a renegade surgeon and with the help of her brother Lewis, her sister Martha and Martha’s husband Jacob , sets out to help those in need utilising her medical skills and blackmarket medicine.
Surgeon X is something that suffers from trying to explain what it’s about in a few sentences, it’s a story that features myriad elements besides the unfolding and engrossing human drama featuring the Scott family. There’s social commentary, political commentary and a history of Antibiotics and why they’re so vital to humanity making up the landscape of Kenney’s impressive debut. A debut made all the more impressive by art team John Watkiss and James Devlin who conjure up a future Britain that’s recognisable and relatable but also nightmarishly different, that’s not forgetting letterer Jared K Fletcher.
More than that though the nightmarish scenario that’s depicted in Surgeon X isn’t some far fetched sci-fi concept it’s informed by very real science, which is why there’s so many learned types featuring in the credits. The most disturbing thing is when Kenney says when working on the story for Surgeon X medical professionals told her “You’re not being extreme enough in your vision at all”.
Surgeon X also has its own app which features “animations, documentaries and other exclusive content” to quote writer Kenney.
For more on Surgeon X check out the official website.