Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Alex + Ada #1 by Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn

Robots that come to life is a story that's been around since Asimov wrote about them in the '30s, and before that too, probably, I'm no historian. That doesn't mean that every once in a while a story about androids and their human masters can't come along and take you on a really cool ride. Enter Alex + Ada, a story that demands your attention and keeps it to the very last page.

It's the near future, flying robots make your breakfast and you do all of your shopping, net browsing and socializing via a chip that you have implanted into the side of your head. It's like having Amazon.com as your sub-conscious, fun!


Our titular character Alex is depressed, he's still not over the girl that left him and he's not satisfied in his job. His grandmother wants to cheer him up by purchasing an android for him.

Now, when I say android, I'm not talking about something that looks like Johnny Five, these things are the real deal. They look just like you or I, the only way to tell them apart from humans is the logo they have tattooed on their wrist which they are legally obligated to keep exposed at all times.

Alex refuses his grandmother's offer, and she buys him one anyway. This is where things start to get really interesting.
At first, Alex decides to return her, eventually he caves and keeps her. The problem is, Alex doesn't want an android that only likes the things that he likes and agrees with everything he does. He wants one that will speak her mind and make decisions for herself.

Alex decides to try to "Awaken" Ada, a highly illegal activity that overrides the company hardware, making her a sentiment being.

What follows is an interesting journey into seedy online chat rooms, motels and FBI surveillance as Alex & Ada get caught up in the world of those that have been "Awakened."

I liked both how the story flowed and how sparse and crisp the artwork was. I also liked how this series did not start with any kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare where androids wake up and crush their human overlords. There are hints of this, yes, but the overall thread is one of romance and just trying to survive the information overload that exists in the modern age. There is also a lot of humour yet a lot of serious issues taking place in this series and I can't wait for the next one.

-Lucas


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