The Best Comics in July Part 1: Jailbreaking Your Sexdroid
Each month the staff at 8th Dimension Comics picks out the best book to review. Look for Part 2 tomorrow.
Alex and Ada #7 Look, we all know that sexbots are just a matter of time. It's like space colonization or reliable electric cars; it's going to happen. The question is, what happens when people treat their boinkotrons the way they treat their iPhones?
The jailbreak them, of course, which would be massively illegal. That's the premise behind Alex and Ada. Alex is a typical man that just wanted some artificial companionship, but when he gave Ada sentience he both created a true love, and a dangerous random number according to the government.
Now he's desperate to both show her the world and keep her safe in the face of government crackdowns. Jonathan Luna tells the story wonderfully and Sarah Vaughn's minimalist art really lays the stark, mechanical nature of the future out beautifully. It's a slow book -- I won't lie -- but a good one.
Rating: 7 of 10
Low #1 Rick Remender's new science fiction series is serious stuff. Don't dive into this one unless you're prepared for the long haul. It's the story of a humanity desperately seeking to survive and recolonize as the sun starts to expand and consume the solar system. Pretty standard plot, right?
Remender takes it deeper, though, as two parents helm a giant ship full of millions of people and hunt to survive with a powerful suit that only responds to their bloodline. The father, Johl is a pessimistic but good-hearted captain eager to lead his two daughters to follow in his footsteps. The mother. Stel, is more dedicated to finding a way to escape the inevitable fiery fate no matter how hopeless that may be.
Both are woefully unprepared for the piratical threat that captures them as they hunt for food outside the dome for their people. A brutal attack later and Remender's whole world is now under the command of a bandit lord. The science and myth-building is rich and deep, with great dialogue and much that is slightly incomprehensible. It's not for sci fi lightweights.
Rating: 6 of 10
Uncanny X-Men #24 You know, I used to love watching Wolverine run around like a superpowered Mr. Vernon as the head of the Xavier School. Then the whole Phoenix force and Avengers vs. X-Men thing happened and we lost a whole lot of focus.
It's weird to watch, honestly. Brian Michael Bendis writes these characters so well. You love every interaction, every bit of snark, and every bit of lonely despair. It's just all so bloody epic and far-reaching that it feels like tiny bits of personality in a twister of OMG YOU GUYS THE END OF THE WORLD!
Here we read the last will and testament of Professor X, and to do that every one of the errant X-Men must be gathered for the reading by She-Hulk (Watching Nightcrawler flirt with Jennifer Walters is now in my top ten comic moments of all time). So much of what is said is magic, but so much of what it means is tired. Marvel needs to back off the cataclysms for a while and just let things simmer.
Rating: 6 of 10
This story continues on the next page.
The Wicked and the Divine #2 So good last month that I couldn't resist not checking back in. The Wicked and the Divine is probably the best monthly book running right now. To recap, various gods of all mythologies come to Earth about once a century, get to live with their godlike powers by taking over the bodies of humans, then die after two years. This time, they've all become pop stars openly, which is pretty kickass.
Until Lucifer makes a joke at the wrong time and ends up in prison for allegedly exploding a judge's head.
Her fellow gods leave her to rot, preferring to distance themselves from Luci's carnage. Distraught and worried, she turns to a fan named Laura and promises her demonhood for helping her. Thus begins a quest for the Morrigan.
It's a book that borrows heavily from Gaiman, there's no arguing that, but the concept of open gods who have a problem being recognized no matter what their abilities is intriguing. it also says something about us, and the nature of both what and why we worship in the first place. It's a wicked read that's heading somewhere quite strange, I'm sure.
Rating: 9 of 10
The Amazing World of Gumball #2 Today's all ages book was really fun, and a treat for an old PS1 warrior like myself.
Karate is the name of the game in Gumball. A Street Fighter tournament grows dull when Darwin masters the annoying art of turtling and hitting with low kicks. This leads to an epic quest to learn real karate by beating up cars, then ultimately lessons with Master Onion from Parappa the Rapper. Yep, i still know the whole song by heart, and thanks to Gumball for bringing it back.
It's silly, even for an all-ages book. And as much as I like having so much of my childhood referenced for my amusement I can tell when I read this stuff to my daughter that she can tell there's a level she's just not getting it at. In jokes are fun, but spacing them out a bit might help with the plot.
Rating: 7 of 10
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2.
Get the Theater and Arts Newsletter
Exclusive discounts and announcements to Houston theater shows and art events