Alex + Ada Volume #1,#2,#3 (Jonathan Luna, Sarah Vaughn)

Volume 1:

Alex receives a female AI as a gift from his grandma who thinks if he can’t get over his ex, might as well get him someone as company. Alex is unappreciative but the extreme realism of Ada makes him unable to return her. Will he come to like her company?

First and foremost, if you are not okay with the illustration, you won’t like this graphic novel. I, for one, bought this graphic novel exactly because of it. There was something very captivating about the static, rigid, robotic feel of the illustrations. It seemed to me that it worked well for the topic. And I just love that feelings aren’t mentioned in this book.

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I totally adore that last panel. Just a silence that’s heavy with unease, with a sense that this isn’t right. Alex dislikes how robotic Ada is when she looks so real. So he wonders if he can make her less robotic and sentient < which is illegal because of a robot which went on a killing rampage after becoming sentient.

I did find the first volume fast-paced. The plot kept moving which I really appreciate because of the static illustration.

Ooh and I totally love the future of how humans Google things. That was such an interesting concept.

Off to Volume Two.

Spoilers to part one: So Ada has become sentient and Alex and Ada are having problems working around her sentiency especially with the society becoming more afraid of sentient robots. This volume is more focused on their relationship and takes a look at the rights of sentient beings. Once again fast-paced, and I like it. We’re at the brink of a war between humans who are afraid robots might kill them and the robots who haven’t done anything since that one rampage. I’m amazed there’s only one more part to this graphic novel.

Volume Three.

The pace is just hilarious at this point. It’s so fast paced. Looking back at all three volumes, our protagonists really have no chance at life. They never stood a chance. Volume three is the authorities closing in on them since Ada is sentient and them trying to escape.

SPOILER SECTION

But you know, I no longer like the idea of sentient Prime robots. I don’t think that was the intended feeling I was supposed to have. But this company, Prime, that makes these robots, they make them to function exactly like human. They eat food, they take dumps, I wouldn’t be surprised if they could smoke. They are capable of everything physically possible as a human – sex included. And I dislike all of this. They are made to replace humans, not to make human life more convenient. And then making them non-sentient is just disgusting. They’re completely submissive – that’s some kind of fetish bruh. But making them sentient is just as weird – then they will completely replace humans. Is that the fear in me talking? But if like these robots are super smart and super good at everything and can do everything I can do but better, do I need to exist? I will be removed by evolution. Humans will be removed by evolution.

We have another robot called Otto in this book, this Otto is a robot I’ll support. Otto seems to do what I would expect and want robots to do. Help around in the house, help around with tasks. It’s this flying small bot that doesn’t look human but can cook and stuff. Give me Otto.

At the end of the graphic novel, sentient robots have earned rights to be their own non-human person. I mean, great. But. I can’t live in this world. Why create something that can COMPLETELY REPLACE you?

But that’s my moral issue with this idea of having sentient robots.

Anyway, lets talk about the graphic novel. It’s hella fast paced. Can’t really feel much for the characters but you can kind of guess how they must feel because this is obviously racism but against robots – robot racism. And we’ve seen wars and civil unrest all due to racism at some point. Other than the interesting technology, the graphic novel comes off very cliched. The problems our protagonists face, their fears, the contrasting friends they have – people who support their relationship and people who don’t -, their responses to what happens, are all quite expected. Nothing that blows you away. But it is a short graphic novel with only three volumes. If it has to be that short, there’s only that much you can explore – of which there was not much done if I may add. It’s just a normal take on (robot) racism.

/But I didn’t like the ending. Our protagonist is so useless in the fight for robot rights./

I’m not someone that reads a lot of sci-fi, I don’t read them at all, so this was an alright intro to the sci-fi genre. I do like the simple art. The fast paced story was well appreciated. But if you’re used to sci-fi stuff, this might seem very ‘on the surface sci-fi which wraps up all too nicely’.

All in all though, I’m actually glad I read this graphic novel. Now I know what kind of sci-fi novels I won’t like, the ones with sentient robots. But I still do think if you can get on board with the illustration style AND you’re not that into sci-fi, this will be a good start.

 

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