October 4, 2019 Poppy – Genesis One: A Poppy Graphic Novel (Graphic Novel Review)
Stardom can be birthed from the strangest of places in an age commanded by technology, and on the internet, places like YouTube are a hiding spot for undiscovered talent. One such artist is Poppy, a singer popularized by the music video for her song “I’m Poppy,” which has garnered over nine-million views. Thanks to that one video, the petite, blonde-haired twenty-three-year-old has amassed an impressive following with her genre-crossing eccentricity.
Only growing in popularity over the years, the medium-crossing artist Poppy has explored the realms of videography, music, video games, and now books. Released on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 via Z2 Comics, her first graphic novel, Genesis One: A Poppy Graphic Novel, was written alongside Titanic Sinclair and Ryan Cady with illustration from Masa Minoura and Ian McGinty.
The story chronicles Poppy’s awakening and ascension in a concealed facility, The Factory, where she has spent the length of her existence. She shares a small, white room with her friend Plant, a potted plant she is quite smitten with, and the silent mannequin she initially inhabited. Here, she is watched over by dozens of scientists and ex-military operatives, most notably one dubbed Skeleton due to his intense facial and body tattoos that resemble a skeleton.
As Genesis One opens, the reader is introduced to Dr. Charlotte Hampton, a psychiatrist entrusted with scrutinizing Poppy’s newly emerging consciousness. Understandably, Poppy is intrigued by a new visitor, as she has never interacted with anyone outside of The Factory staff. In their initial conversation, she reveals that she has been accessing the internet, browsing and exploring much of what the web has to offer.
Following this encounter, an anonymous group known only as The Board meets with Charlotte. The entirety of the operation is blanketed in a veil of secrecy, a fact that is not lost upon Dr. Hampton or The Agency, another covert group that sees Poppy’s non-existent beliefs and identity as a threat. In the thick of her growing fanbase, a small group self-titled The Church of Poppy shares their beliefs of her connection to the Illuminati and so-called Reptilian Propaganda. However, a disillusioned member, Rami, sees more to the strange pop star, and the plot only continues to escalate with the looming date of Poppy’s final upgrade.
Genesis One plays with beautifully cohesive and bright pastel colors, brought on by Aladdin Collar, from its cover to its last, riveting page. Plot-wise, the taciturn groups behind all the ploys are equal parts mysterious and forthcoming with small pieces to bring the story together in just the manner that gives the reader the opportunity to discover answers. Like this, with the turn of each page the true desires of each character come to light, unraveling the web that was initially weaved. For this, the plot is patient and eloquent, riddled with inquiry into morals, beliefs, humanity, and much more, resulting in a truly stirring tale. For all of this, Cryptic Rock gives Genesis One: A Poppy Graphic Novel 4 of 5 stars.