Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Comic review: Alex + Ada #14

I hadn't realized this series was so close to the end, with the next issue, #15, being the end. No, it didn't have a very long run and it never gained huge traction, but it has been a really interesting comic unlike anything else I've been reading, and I'm sorry to see that it's going soon.

This series has never been a big, sprawling series, but there are a decent number of supporting characters, and before this issue, I went back to read the entire series, making sure I could keep track of everyone. That turned out to be unnecessary, as this story focuses tightly on Alex and Ada. The story has to end with them, and we are very close to the end, so bringing anyone else in at the end would have worked against the story.

In this issue, I really noticed the technology in a way that I hadn't before. Yes, the entire series has been heavy on technology, which is only logical when one of your main characters is an android, but it sticks out much more when it's used in the quiet moments, such as getting in a car and setting it to drive automatically or having a holographic menu at a normal looking restaurant. They just feel like part of the world here, something that I hadn't really thought about this way before in the story. 

As always, the artwork in this series is very simple, and I mean that in the best way possible. The characters are somewhere in between realistic and a "typical" comic book style, and the panel layouts are very straightforward, all of which serve to make the story as accessible as possible. The only flaw is that, at possibly the most important moment in the story so far, they try to tell it with the artwork, and it's unclear until later what happened. It might have been intentional, but if it is, it's just confusing until later, when it's much clearer, taking away the expected emotional reaction in the moment. It's not enough of a problem to break the story completely, but it's an unusual misstep for them.

So far, I have loved this series, and I'm sorry to see it go. I want people to read it, even though I complained a lot in the last paragraph, but that's a small thing in an otherwise great series. I've not spoiled what happens on purpose, for the spoilerphobic - just go and read the first issue, which you can get for $1 in comic book stores or on Comixology, and if you like it, know that it stays that good throughout.

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