Alex + Ada #11
Jonathan Luna—Story, Script Assists, Illustrations, Letters, Design
Sarah Vaughn—Story, Script
Published by Image Comics, Inc.
Review by Logan Anthony Rowland
I am an avid fan of stories that build tension without using a lot of action or jargon. Movies like 2011’s Drive or almost anything directed by Quentin Tarantino—I mean, that opening scene of Inglorious Basterds is bloodcurdling—absolutely drive me mad. I can barely handle it, but I have a drive for more of it.
It sounds like I’m describing addiction—maybe I am. Maybe I’m addicted to this book.
Alex + Ada is not a book that I would place in a comparison pile with Tarantino or movies like Drive, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its fair share of tension. The last few issues of this book have begun to build a tension, slowly and skillfully, the writers have created a possible problem, planted some seeds and have steadily fed the ferocious weed until it finally takes over the yard, takes over the story.
And why does this work?
It works because Alex + Ada is not a book that depends on its tension to drive the story, but it’s characters. Though there are many great supporting characters, the title characters are enrapturing. Great science fiction takes strange ideas or situations and humanizes them. Watching Alex and Ada figure each other out, learn the truth of what they are attempting—because, I mean, truly, every relationship is an absolutely insane decision; the implications can be life changing—is one of the most gratifying plot lines I have witnessed in comics of late.
Luna’s art here is much the same as it has been through each issue. Many may have issue with the bare aesthetic of the book, but the one thing no one can say is that the book has not been consistent. When the story is finally finished, reading this in trade is going to be insanely immersive as each issue looks and feels like the last, keeping you drawn into the motion and the actions of the story within.
Alex and Ada are constantly being told about the rough road they have chosen. Some people don’t approve. Some do. It’s beautiful, it’s wonderful, it’s utterly terrifying; the definition of relationship. Learning and loving ourselves is hard enough as it is; deciding to actively live your life learning and loving another person is insanity.
Sweet, lovely insanity.
Imagine if that other person was a robot.
The ending of this book marks the true awakening of the tension the creators have been so successfully crafting. It’s chilling, it’s wonderful, and it’s going to drive me absolutely mad waiting for the next issue.
My short pitch for this book is this: you can cut through the tension and fear with a knife, but the genuine raw emotions throughout the book are thicker than blood, thicker than oil, thicker than wire. Get your blood pumping with dialogue and interactions that melt your heart and stop it with the true fear you feel for the characters the team has successfully convinced you to love.
BUY THIS BOOK.