It’s been quite a while since we last looked at Alex + Ada, but not a whole lot has actually happened between then and now honestly. We’ve mostly focused on how Alex and Ada have dealt with her becoming sentient and a new change in the law. It’s really been slow going, but still rather engaging in its own right. With the new issue out, let’s take a look at it. Is it good?
Alex + Ada #8 (Image Comics)
The US government has started up Operation Avalanche in response to the growing concern about people making their AI’s sentient. This new operation will punish these people very severely if they are ever caught. This has really shocked both Alex and Ada, and they’re not sure what to do. As such, they return to the Degrees of Freedom Forum (I’m not sure how she heard about them since she was never told about this place) and the find the whole place in full panic mode.
Yeah, your robot acting skills needs work.
Back when I reviewed the fourth issue, I called the comic a very slow-burn series. It really is a story that takes its time getting somewhere, with often little progression happening. The comic is often highly decompressed and on occasions even feels padded out. It’s the kind of comic that is much better suited for someone to read in trades or every issue back to back. Having done so, reading all 8 issues almost at once, the story here does feel much better and comes together rather well. However, individually, the comic can really test one’s patience and feel almost directionless.
What does work here with the comic, regardless if you read it issue by issue or wait for the trade, are the characters. Alex and Ada feel incredibly real and human here. Their motivations, their concerns, their goals, their emotions, and what they believe feel so genuine. With simple talks or expressions, you feel like you almost understand and relate to them. The big scene towards the end is incredibly effective due to how well they are characterized and is really effective in making you understand both of their views. While the story is slow and barely moves a muscle at points, the characters themselves make the experience worth it on an issue to issue basis.
The writing and artwork for the comic remain fairly strong in their own ways. The dialogue is solid which helps make the characters feel so great. The pacing is slow, but the storytelling and drama of it sucks you in and makes the comic feel much fuller than it is. The ending is quite surprising (unless you read the solicitations for next issue, which ruined this ending) but makes sense. The artwork has an appealing minimalism to it that goes a long way. The simple looks and expressions characters have, the way the story unfolds in the layouts, and the subdued colors really bring the book to life. However, again, the artwork and layouts do add to the decompression of the comic, so it’s not all perfect.
Is It Good?
Alex + Ada #8 is a solid, but slow issue of the series. It remains a comic that’s really does not work well following it issue to issue due to its snail pace and decompression, but the character and subtle writing is almost strong enough to overcome this problem. Recommended, but I do recommend waiting for the trade to check the entire story out.