Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Alex and Ada Vol. 1
Alex and Ada Vol. 1 is a fun graphic novel about what it means to be human. I've been wanting to read this one for a while and soon as I finished this one I wanted the next one, so I guess you can say I liked it. And I did- there's a lot of good stuff going on here. Alex is a twenty seven year old guy who lives alone after a recent break up. He keeps to himself although he does have friends- but when he gets a Tanaka X5 android from his rich grandmother for his birthday, his life changes.
The X5's are state of the art, and Alex initially doesn't know what to do with her. The android will basically do anything he wants, it's just a machine- but Alex didn't want it in the first place, and resists using her for anything. He almost returns her but has second thoughts, and as time goes on he suspects that there are androids out there who have a personality or sentience. When he finds a group that can unlock her potential, he discovers secrets of the X5 program- including the fact that she can be sentient. The question them becomes- is Ada still just a robot, or is she something else? Is she human?
This is a nice graphic novel with great art and a compelling story. The world is a near future where robots perform routine tasks and there is a debate about artificial intelligence after robots became self aware and massacred humans. It is illegal to modify your android and so Alex takes a big risk unlocking her potential, and this one ends with Ada gaining her self awareness. What happens next? I'm looking forward to the next one to find out.
There are a lot of of nice touches- one of my favorite parts is when Ada is introduced to his friends and there are all kinds of interesting reactions. There's some nice humor here and that lightens the mood even as the story raises questions about what it means to be human. Great story, good art- this one is a winner and I'm looking forward to the next two.