Back in November I started a new segment called Image #1’s where I wrote a progress report on some of the new series Image had to offer that month. I plan on making this a monthly segment. When reviewing all the new Image series of December there was only one I wanted to write about. Instead of writing a December progress report on one book I put together a top ten list of the best #1 issues Image had to offer in 2013. This list is only based on issue #1 of the series. The unique aspect of #1 issues is that for the most part you do not know what to expect. You enter the book open minded and it either hooks you or it doesn’t. Image put out 54 #1 issues in 2013, more than one new series every week. This top ten list provides a wide range of books from comedies to horrors. I think Image’s slogan should be “Something for everyone” because that is exactly what they have to offer. Enjoy 2013’s top ten best beginnings from Image. If you are wondering what the December book was I deemed worthy to write about check out #9.
THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO DESCRIBE THIS WEEKS MOMENTS, THEY ARE AS…
There is something exciting about a #1 issue. A new beginning, a fresh story. You may not know what to expect going in but you quickly form an opinion between the pages . You don’t have to worry about any character baggage or prerequisite reading. You just have to buy it, read it and dig it. I love #1 issues for this reason and I try to buy at least one every week. Image has become a force in the #1 issue world. They are coming out with handfuls of #1 issues every month all with fresh and new ideas, stamped with a wide range of creators from big names to fresh meat. This segment highlights some of the Image #1’s I tried this month and whether they warrant a #2.
ALEX + ADA #1 This is the classic tale of depressed boy receives hot robot girl friend as a gift from raunchy grandma even though he claims he doesn’t want her/it. The ever so familiar sex robot love story. In all seriousness I really dug this book. I am a sucker for science fiction. Good sci-fi throws you into a world of the unfamiliar but adds enough familiar elements so you don’t feel too far from home. When a book opens on our main character turning on his shower and adjusting the temperature with his mind it does not matter what happens in the following pages… I’m in! I also really enjoyed our main character, the cookie cutter depressed cubical post breakup guy. For me the scene that really convinced me I loved this book was his surprise party. He obviously has people around him that care about him but here we see he doesn’t really care about them, he is still feeling heartbroken and alone. I like to keep my pull list diverse and this book fits in very nicely. I’m a sucker for a depressed guy love story and I’m a sucker for technology so write me a story about a depressed guy getting a sucker from technology and I’m sold. WARRANT SECOND ISSUE: DEFINITELY
AMAZING X-MEN #1: Battle of the Atom just about did me in on the X-Men. It took away all the charm for me and I had pretty much turned my back on the mutants and wished them well. But as you know im a sucker for first issues and really how could I not read a comic by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness? So with a certain amount of trepidation I read Amazing X-Men #1 and you know what? I’m back dudes! Back into the world of the the X-Men. This comic was great! No time traveling messes to try and figure out or any of that bullshit that Bendis has muddled things up with. Nothing but a solid story that singlehandly reinvigorates the X-Men universe after a mind numbing cross-over. Aaron seems like he is almost writing the very first X-Men story here – everything feels new and fresh and the characters are taken down to their core essence which at this moment in time is a stroke of brilliance. This allows new readers and old readers alike to enjoy this story as it should be. My Comic of the Week! WRITING: EXCELLENT / ART: EXCELLENT
by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
The story: Here we see what happens after the break-up, with Ada choosing to live her sentient life on her own. Alex ,mean, while regrets not being more open towards Ada and tries to get her back. Ada encounters dangers as a sentient android in a robophobic human society.
The art: My feelings on Vaughn’s artwork continue to change with this issue. The emotional expressions are there, the proportions are there, and perspective is fine; but some characters poses seem so stiff. Some people are just walking around with their arms just laying next to their waists. Its a small gripe and not too prevalent but I wish for an issue without some awkward artwork. However, considering the odd artistic choices the Big 2 make with their characters maybe I’m being biased and harsh.
There seem to be some allegories to the current Civil Rights Movement in this issue but always to an arms reach extent; as though it is just to add flavor. It is similar to the X-Men but without reliance on it to generate drama. Nonetheless the focus is on these characters in love and the quality of the execution is enough for me.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent.
by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
A very surprising issue, in the best way possible.
Last issue the Government vowed to hunt down the androids with free-will and their owners. There is some wonderful debate in this issue on the moral implications of freeing an android and if their owners are obligated to do so.
Alex and Ada are drawn closer together by the danger and seek comfort with friends and other like-minded people. The issue then shifts its focus to Ada and gives her room to grow. She is an android, she has free will; but what does she want?
Ada begins researching romance and the language there of, while Alex gets a call from a female friend that may or may not go somewhere. The real crux of the story is The Kiss.
This was the scene that made the book for me, it feels genuine (despite involving a guy and a robot). Like other great scenes in this series, this one strikes a chord for me because it gets real and reminds me of myself. Ada and Alex kiss, the sparks ignite, but as can happen sometimes Alex says the wrong thing and ruins it. The scene ends in a fight and the book on an exciting cliffhanger.
The art has improved, or maybe I thought it heightened the story; possibly both. There are less awkward repeated scenes and more panels with perspective. The only awkwardness is Alex and Ada interacting physically which makes sense for the characters, instead of odd art choices. Overall I’m pleased with the visual improvement and can’t find many faults that I’ve listed in previous issues.
This series is moving along in slow, steady beats but it makes the suspense even better. You don’t rush a romance, especially a romance story. However this series likes it throw curve-balls and here the ending seems even less predicable. I can’t wait for the next installment.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent.
I want to write that the pace of this book has slowed considerably. However when I think about each issue of this story it has not slowed down, it has always been at this pace. The slow pace is what I love about this book. Alex + Ada is definitely a like it or don’t type book. It is either for you or it is not. Issue #5 we get into the transformation of Ada becoming more human. I feel like I have seen this before in various different movies over the last decade so why does it feel fresh and new? In a time of my life where I am buying more comics than I ever have. A time where I wrap myself into cosmic battles, hero beginnings, world endings and adrenaline injected stories it is stress relieving to sit down and read a book about two individuals with a unique struggle to their relationship. The construction of this issue is beautiful. The emotional responses by both Alex and now Ada feel real and earned.
Ada begins by freaking out because of sense overload. She has fully developed sense receptors (eyes, ears, mouth) but has never experienced the senses before. She goes into a shutdown mode after her freak out. In this shutdown mode Alex attempts to talk to her. She is quite unresponsive until he uses his linked connection to call Ada with his mind. She answers and they begin to have a conversation. They have a connection building conversation which results in Ada ending the call and carrying on the conversation verbally. Sounds like a simple moment but the progression to this moment is so real it feels very earned and when it does happen feels very powerful. The conversation that follows is Ada deciding where she would like to go next, whether she would like to choose to stay with Alex or not. The whole issue is just a conversation between the two and I couldn’t be more into it. The issue ends brilliantly with a call back to issue #4 which again because of the journey pays off in a big way. A great issue of Alex + Ada. Looking forward to seeing issue #6 on the top of my stack soon.
by Johnathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
The story direction expands into I,Robot territory as Alex comes one step closer to his ideal synthetic girlfriend.
By Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
This is fast becoming one of my favorite series from Image and overall. It’s a story we have seen before about a boy falling in love with an android (Cyborg, Terminator:Sarah Connor Chronicles, etc) but never as the focus. What would happen if you had an android as a girlfriend? As it turns out, if you want a relationship it will just become creepy.
The first issue could be described as the “Meet Cute” while the second might be the Second Date/Calling the Girl back. In this issue, its introduce her to your friends and get used to each other. This will be familiar to many; after the newness of the relationship wears off you have to get used to each other. Cracks start to show and you may become bored with the other person. Continue reading Review of Alex+Ada #3