When it comes to excellent comics that are slowly paced with an impeccable focus on loneliness and isolation, Jonathan Luna always excels. His work on Girls, The Sword and Ultra are testaments to a different type of storytelling that people can relate to. He’s got a new series debuting today about a 27-year-old man gifted a robotic lover. Is it good?
Alex + Ada #1 (Image Comics)
This book opens with Alex, a young man who lives on his own now that his girlfriend has left him. The only company he has is a few robots in his house and the ability to command machines with his mind. It’s the future, and only one year ago to the day an advanced artificial intelligence attempted to kill humanity. It was contained, but the fact that it could happen has put people on edge. Alex lives a simple life, an isolated life, and seems to dream-walk through it thanks to these advanced technologies that allow him to stay inside his own shell.
Now that’s a nice way to get a cup of joe.
Luna’s art is accompanied by co-writing duties from Sarah Vaughn. The events of the book follow Alex during a typical day, then on his birthday. We get to see him interact with friends, coworkers and a rambunctiously sexual grandmother. She’s sexually active thanks to a robot companion that cost a cool $.8 million. The pace and flow of the story is quite good, and while it feels like you’re dreamwalking along with Alex, there’s always something to think about or investigate.
Thinking to activate machines must make life extra lonely.
The art only enhances these moments of investigation. Luna’s art style allows for the simplest of facial expressions to express what is going on internally for the character. Add in the science fiction element and you’ve got yourself a compelling panel after panel. He also allows a panel here or there to exist with no dialogue to let things sink in. The fact that the hook of this series—a young man obtaining a female companion bot—doesn’t even register to the final page tells me we’ve got something special on our hands. The characters are strong and balanced, the story is clear and there’s enough stuff going on to complicate things nicely.
- Well written and paced
- The art strengthens the mood and character
- Can we have all the issues now please?
Is It Good?
What an exceptional comic this is, particularly because it’s so well balanced. The art tells so much in the simplest expression, the concept behind this book is compelling and the characters are extremely strong. If you’re interested in psychological drama there won’t be a better book on the shelf for you than this.