Saturday, September 12, 2015

Alex + Ada, Volume 2

 Taking a break from my Spider-Man marathon to catch up on the tender romance between a boy and his robot....

 That's really oversimplifying things, but it's still a fairly accurate description of this Image Comics series from Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn. The premise is simple: Lonely young man Alex is given a female robot by his hip grandmother. Alex names her "Ada", and has her unlocked, effectively granting her sentience. The pair get to know each other, and fall in love, amidst a growing backlash against sentient robots.

 The bulk of this volume is devoted to Alex helping the unlocked Ada learn about various types of tastes and smells and feelings, as she tries to take in all of the sights and sounds around her. Ada carelessly outs herself to one of Alex's neighbors, and the pair then have to struggle to keep her sentience a secret.

 It doesn't sound like there's much going on in this volume, but ALEX + ADA, VOLUME 2 was an incredibly rich, enjoyable read. Watching Ada learn what it means to be "human", and seeing the pair slowly come to terms with their feelings for one another was extremely touching. Luna and Vaughn have created an absorbing, thoughtful sci-fi drama, and I enjoyed this volume so much that I'm going to postpone my Spider-Man binge a little further, so I can read Volume 3.

 Small beef: Would it kill Image (and DC, and any other publisher, for that matter...) to include a recap page at the beginning of these collections? I read Volume 1 over a year ago. Most collected editions come out about six months apart....who can remember what the hell is going on after all that time? Especially with a book like this, where you're basically hoping that I will remember, in minute detail, the names and situations of brand-new characters. This is a big reason why I fail to return for the second volume of a lot of new books...I may love volume 1, but by the time volume 2 comes out, I can barely remember reading the first one. Just a thought...but a recap page would probably be helpful in getting old readers to return, and making the book friendly to NEW readers.