Book Review: Alex + Ada, Vol. 1 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

Image Description: The book cover of Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn. The border of the cover is white, with coloured title text around the smaller central image. The central image is an image of Alex and Ada (side-long profile), with Alex wearing a white shirt, black tie, and black pants, while Ada wears a white singlet and white pants. Ada also has a plastic bag wrapped over the back of her head in a way that resembles a wedding veil.

Title: Alex + Ada, Vol. 1 (Volume #1 of The Alex + Ada Series)
Creators: by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
Social Media: Goodreads, Twitter – Jonathan Luna, Twitter – Sarah Vaughn
Publisher: Image Comics
Format and Price: Paperback from my local library
Stars: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Creators:
Jonathan Luna co-created and illustrated THE SWORD, GIRLS, and ULTRA (all Image Comics) with his brother, Joshua Luna. He co-created and illustrated ALEX + ADA with Sarah Vaughn. He wrote and illustrated STAR BRIGHT AND THE LOOKING GLASS (Image Comics). His work also includes the art for SPIDER-WOMAN: ORIGIN (Marvel Comics), written by Brian Michael Bendis and Brian Reed.

Jonathan was born in California and spent most of his childhood overseas, living on military bases in Iceland and Italy. He returned to the United States in his late teens. Writing and drawing comics since he was a child, he graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Sequential Art. He currently resides in Northern Virginia.

Sarah Vaughn is a writer and artist, currently living n Washington DC. After living in various parts of the United States of America, she graduated from Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College with a degree in Sequential Visual Narration. She is the former artist for the webcomic SPARKSHOOTER by Troy Brownfield. ALEX + ADA is Sarah’s first comic as a writer.

About The Book:
From JONATHAN LUNA (GIRLS, THE SWORD, ULTRA, Spider-Woman: Origin) and SARAH VAUGHN (Sparkshooter) comes ALEX + ADA, a sci-fi drama set in the near future. The last thing in the world Alex wanted was an X5, the latest in realistic androids. But after Ada is dropped into his life, he discovers she is more than just a robot. Collects ALEX + ADA #1-5.

General Observation:
~Interesting Page Layout: All the pages of the volume, except the Issue Cover, all have a black border around the comic-pannels. It fits in with the Dystopia Elements that the characters aren’t being given all the information required with regards to the technology around them.

~Philosophical Issues: There’s quite a lot of ethical arguments and morality considerations going on with the existence of Androids and advance technology within a “Futuristic Society”. Or, more importantly, which groups of people can interact with this advanced technology.

These X5 androids are super expensive; so it makes sense that the majority of people who buy them are wealthy people looking for a new toy. The ethical problem here is in the treatment of humanoid dildos for the One Per Cent. The situation reeks of an acceptable form of slavery.

Then there’s the sentience problem. Is it developing the whole time? Do androids develop their personality gradually but, because of their restrictive programming, aren’t able to express anything? That can lead to a very dark rabbit-hole of thought.

~Artistic Style: The illustration style is unique, the characters are very expressive, however, there’s a problem with everyone kind of looking the same, even if they’re supposed to be of different racial backgrounds.

~The Sliding Scale of Character versus Plot: While this is only the first volume in the series, so far I think this series has a great balance of Character Development, Plot, and World Building. It’s hard to explore an already established world, however, I think the creators do a good job blending all three of those elements together.

All in all, a great start to an interesting series about people and androids, looking forward to the next volume in the series.

Available for Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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