Robot Bildungsroman #3
Damn, now that’s how you wrap up a trilogy. Reading this without reading the first two issues of this series is silly, but if you choose to go that route this one does a nice job of summarizing the story so far. This time around we get to see robot Marci learn what her true purpose was, what was going on behind the scenes at the company behind it all, and even get a suitably epic final confrontation between the main players. There’s always the temptation to go huge in series finales instead of keeping it realistic (within the framework of the story, that is), so kudos to Joe for keeping things in line while still wrapping up all of the loose ends. OK, he leaves one damned intriguing loose end on the last page, but there’s nothing wrong with that. My only complaint, if you could even call it that, is that he packed so many ideas into this series that it seems silly to give them up and move onto other things. Still, what do I know? Maybe he has lots more planned in this universe. Whatever the case, if you happen to be at SPACE this weekend, you could do a lot worse than to pick up these three issues. Or if you’re reading this in the future, maybe buying them online, or downloading them directly into your brain, or whatever the prefered method of consuming media is in your time. Sorry about the mess we left you with the environment, future dwellers! Oopsie!
Robot Bildungsroman #2
The comic with the catchy title is back! Seriously, I’m sure some people have skipped this if they’ve seen it at the store purely due to that clunky title, which would be a shame, as they’d only be hurting themselves. Well, and Joe, who I’m sure would like to at least make a few dollars on this. In this issue we get a solid recap of the last issue (hoorah!), see a bit more of the men behind the robots, and get a showdown between the cops and the gang from the last issue, which doesn’t seem to end well for anyone involved. Marci was a bit scarce in this issue, but we do see her getting a “routine” check-up and seemingly forgetting about it once she gets to school, although she is left with the sense that something is wrong. There’s also a short story at the end of the book that deals with a bit more of the culture involved in having robots being readily available all the time, as this tells the tale of… well, you can see it for yourself on the sample page. I probably should have used one of his splashier pages (as this issue really looks great), but I couldn’t resist that description. Anyway, the humanoids don’t exactly work as advertised, but one boy decides to keep the defective creature with him anyway. It’s another solid issue and again, I have to point out that this has all the makings of a really great series. Assuming you like smart science fiction, that is… $3
Robot Bildungsroman #1
Who out there is looking for a great comic science fiction story? It’s way too early after one issue to call this great, but all the potential is there. This starts off with an advertisement for a new process that allows you to transfer the consciousness to robot bodies after they die… more or less. It relies on interviews from loved ones, diaries and personal records (which actually sounds like it would still leave quite a bit out) and sends them back into the world. In this case a young high school girl gets killed, then gets brought back in a robot body. Still, with her classmates unwilling to provide any information, her school life is a bit of a blank slate. She begins to make new friends, but is attacked by a gang on her way home… and learns that there’s more to her than she thought. I thought this issue had everything a first issue needs: teasers, bits of information, character introduction (the cops aren’t given much time, but at least they got in the comic), mystery (some sort of spy who blends into the brick wall) and all sorts of confusion. Why is the robot company so interested in Marci? Why are violent street gangs so common? Exactly how much of Marci is in this robot body? All sorts of things to keep you coming back for more. I do think the backgrounds could use a little work, as there’s barely anything there, but Joe has plenty of time to work on that. He seems to have this writing stuff down pat, and if he sticks with it this could turn out to be a really impressive series. $3