A bittersweet sci-fi romance, Alex + Ada #1 is a chilling, yet stylish vision of the near future. While being a cautionary tale about technology running amok, this is also a soul-searching journey to find closure. Though the story is off to a slow start, there are a lot of things to look forward to in the upcoming issues.
WRITTEN BY: Sara Vaughn and Jonathan Luna
ART BY: Jonathan Luna
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: Nov. 6, 2013
Unable to get back on his feet after his latest break-up, Alex is unable to move forward while everyone else is keeping up to date with the latest technology. While the rest of the world has uploaded themselves to Prime Wave, there is a war slowly brewing between the robots and humans. The corporation Nexaware is investigating a bloody massacre that occurred in one of their factories. Unable to control themselves, the warehouse robots suddenly felt the urge to attack the human workers. While everyone is wondering when the next Artificial Intelligence attack is going to happen, Alex wonders if he can truly forget about his ex with someone else, especially an android.
Through the sci-fi genre, writers Sara Vaughn and Jonathan Luna are able to depict human nature’s lifelong yearning to make a connection. Alex is a lonely character who sits by and watches the rest of the world move on without him. Though Alex is moping around, thank goodness he isn’t whiny about it. There is a vital scene where Alex has an honest, funny, and heartwarming conversation with his grandmother. Unhappy with the rut he’s in, Alex is willing to go to extreme measures to get his life back on track.
Though the subplot is in the background, Vaughn and Luna are hinting at a possible rebellion between the robots and humans. In this future, people are waiting for another Artificial Intelligence attack, as if it were a possible terrorist attack. The installment spends a lot of time exploring Alex and his futuristic world, we barely get anything about Ada. The last page doesn’t feel like a cliff-changer, just an abrupt conclusion.
Luna’s artwork brings a glossy and pleasing atmosphere to the sci-fi aspects. This is a future where a flying toaster brings you coffee in the morning and phone calls take place inside your head. Luna spends the first five opening pages illustrating this possible future where everything is done for you. Alex should be happy being in this world but he’s really miserable in just about every page.
The major highlight of Luna’s illustrations is the birthday party. Luna focuses on the facial expressions between Isabel and Alex during their conversation. By extenuating Isabel’s facial reactions, Luna hints to readers about a possible romantic interest. The romantic vibe is then ruined unexpectedly as Alex’s drunk best friend reminds him about his ex.
With an engaging protagonist and a smart sci-fi premise, “Alex + Ada” #1 tells a twisted romantic drama about missed chances and lost connections. With the themes established, I want to know more about Ada and how she will fit into the story.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis