The Mycelium Complex, written and illustrated by Daniel Reed, is an uncanny work of time travel fiction that is at first bizarre in how it sets the mood in the first issue’s initial pages, yet great in how it leaves you in a state of suspense as you become more engrossed in its plot.
The first narrative timeline takes place in the future and centers around three central characters: the young and curious Gary, the demented scientist Philip, and team’s medical surgeon Polly. From what we can tell in the first issue’s panels, the team has an immediate desire to escape their unfortunate, post-apocalyptic situation for a better one through the means of time-travel.
However, when you attempt to manipulate the forces of nature to your favor, especially one as primal as time, then you are inevitably bound to face some form of misfortune in your path – as we can tell from the side character Evelyn’s ominous condition from the shadows in the background.
Near the middle portion of the comic, Reed introduces the story’s second timeline, which focuses on the downward-sloping life of Pat and his futile attempts to be affable with other people at a social gathering. From what we can tell in the following panels, Pat isn’t your easily-lovable-everyday-type of guy due to his apparent inability to keep his anger issues in check which, at times, causes him to have brief lapses of poor judgement. Obviously, we as readers can see that Pat is in a dire need of a scene-of-life change since his life isn’t really going all that well for him. Here is where the quote on the second page (“the BEGINNING & the END of EVERYTHING”) comes into play: Pat’s life as he knows it changes the moment when his timeline and Gary’s converge, in other words, beginning the latter and ending the former. Phenomenal work of storytelling on Reed’s end, I must say.
Another aspect that easily caught my attention within seconds are the beautiful and well-drawn illustrations that go perfectly alongside the plot’s setting and the overall mood of the story. Dark, eerie and uncanny characters fill the panels of the comic – including mobs of masked mowers with chainsaws, enormous bugs crawling the walls, and I would even go so far as to include the wife-seducer Benny. The way the comic is illustrated reminds me of earlier sci-fi comics of the same kind so if you are a long-time fan of the genre, then this is the perfect comic for you. As a trigger warning though, there are graphic scenes throughout the progression of the comic’s story so be on the lookout for that if you’re the squeamish type. And all the same if you’re not!
Make sure to be on the lookout for the next issue of the series as we find out what happens to Gary’s team and Pat as a result from the merging timelines. Who will end up being the hero? The villain? Will the characters have what it takes to change their fates? Oh, the suspense is killing me!