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.
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.
Awwww. I'm all aflutter with feelings! I wasn't exactly expecting to feel that way when I found out this was about sentient AI, you know? Most of the time, these stories just terrify me!
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.
Whatever. This made me feel kinda warm and fuzzy. And not towards Ada. You don't really get to know her much in this volume. Although, I assume that's coming up in the next one. No Alex is the one we sort of follow along with in volume 1. And he's just...such a nice guy! When I saw the cover (below), I just knew he was going to try to get his freak on with her. And robot sex is...ewwww!
But, no. Alex is a total gentleman. To start with, he wasn't some creeper looking for a willing body to cater to his every whim. Ada was a present from his eccentric grandmother, who has her very own robot lovah. *shudder* Anyway, Alex had been in a slump since he broke up with his longtime girlfriend, and good ol' Nana decided to surprise him with an android for his birthday.
The backstory is that there was some sort of sentient AI that went nuts a while back, and killed a whole bunch of people. Nobody knows what exactly went wrong but...
Because of that, new laws were passed that prevent androids from coming off the assembly line with the ability to become sentient. Supposedly. But every now and then it seems as though a few androids are still acting out of character, so Alex is understandably a bit nervous having Ada in his house.
Gasp! Machine gun jubblies?
The reality of his situation with Ada is much more mundane. Having (quite literally) no opinions of her own, she likes what he tells her to like, does what he tells her to do, and expresses herself...not a bit. Which is unnerving to him, because he has this nagging feeling that she could be more.
The rest of the volume explores just how far he is willing to go, in order to find out if he can wake her up.
I don't know why I thought this was such a sweet story, but I did. I also loved the artwork! Definitely recommended for fans of sci-fiish graphic novels.
This story follows Alex, a human that lives in a world where is it common for people to live alongside robots. These robots are there to help in any way to make life easier for humans.
We read only from Alex's perspective, which I found to be really disappointing. He felt like a very bland character and I didn’t like that his facial expressions almost never changed.
But when he did feel something (mostly sadness), he started to remind me of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character in (500) Days of Summer. Meaning that he's very selfish and not a romantic role model. Maybe that was the goal? I just didn’t feel for him at all.
I’m kind of upset that this graphic novel left no real impression on me, I’d been really looking forward to it.
*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buyingAlex + Ada, Vol. 1, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*
Sentient robot stories have been done to death at this point - Blade Runner, I, Robot, Her, AI, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, even Pinocchio, to name just a few examples – but, as I’ve mentioned in other reviews, it’s not so much the freshness of the concept as it is the execution that’s important in storytelling. And in Alex + Ada, writer Jonathan Luna doesn’t do anything particularly new or original but he does create an enthralling story that masterfully draws you in and holds your attention.
Set in the near future where keys are obsolete as door locks are unlocked by cerebral commands from chips implanted in our heads, and little flying robots make our morning coffee – Androids are real. And I don’t just mean they exist, they are REALLY realistic – the only way to tell them apart from humans is the logo on their right wrist.
Alex has been moping about his breakup for a while and his grandmother’s had enough. She’s been enjoying the pleasures of having a youthful android companion and wants her grandson to be happy too – so she buys him an android of his own (a female one though – the opposite wouldn’t help!). Her name is Ada. But Alex doesn’t want a robot lover without a personality, he wants someone he can have a real conversation with – and so begins the journey to “awaken” Ada to her sentience and bring her into the real world.
Alex + Ada isn’t the fastest moving story but Luna does such a marvellous job of character development and world-building that there’s always something happening on the page to keep the reader engaged. Primarily the book explores the idea of sentience and questions how important a quality it is. The way the first issue lays out Alex’s routine – from waking, to breakfast, to work, to having dinner, watching TV, then going to bed, repeat – is like Luna asking: THIS is sentience? How overrated! Sarah Vaughn’s artwork underlines that idea with incredibly spare panels – the space in them shows little room decoration with everything clean and feng shui-ed to hell, as if to say future existence looks sophisticated but is also very empty. Is reality so great when it’s like this?
The world-building is done with a very light touch – details come up naturally as part of Alex’s story rather than getting shoe-horned in abruptly. We learn about sentient androids killing their owners, the strict controls over androids and the societal stigma attached to their owners. And though there are robots doing everyday things and people walking around with implants in their heads making them semi-psychokinetic, the future’s not hugely different from our own.
Vaughn’s designs for when Ada first arrives were very convincing – Apple-like even! Very stylish packaging, easy-to-operate, er, machine (“touch behind ear to turn on”) and the whole process of Alex getting an android seemed scarily real. Also, the lexicon used when discussing giving sentience to Ada is similar to how we talk about our technology – “unlocking” Ada, like unlocking a mobile from its pre-programmed network.
The aspect that threw me was that Ada needed food to keep up her energy levels – I get that the idea is to make people more comfortable around androids by making them simulate eating, but really, food? How would ordinary food generate energy for a robot? It seemed like a detail too far. I did appreciate that Luna didn’t make Alex some pervy guy who would’ve spent the whole book feeling up Ada, who of course would’ve done nothing to stop him – but then there’d be no story if he did that, just some cheap porno!
It’s also refreshing to read a futuristic android story that isn’t all about doom and despair – the story celebrates technology and progress rather than damns it with some cautionary tale, moving past its setup to become a compelling blend of philosophy and romance. By the end of this first volume, you’re no longer thinking of it as a love story between a man and an android but a man and a woman.
Alex + Ada Volume 1 has an excellent science fiction story that’s got layers of thoughtfulness and ideas as well as a great narrative and characters. It’s the kind of book that appeals to readers who enjoy comics for the surface texture as well as those readers who appreciate the artfulness behind it too. A great start to this intriguing and charming series – check it out!
Still undecided about this one. The topic has lots of potential, of course, but so far the execution feels bland and strangely depthless to me. Sure, it can be pleasant to dream up a future world unaffected by environmental degradation and mass poverty and instead filled with obedient robot butlers and awesome communicator implants and sexy androids that can be magically "unlocked." It's the kind of naive celebration of consumer culture I have a problem with, though, so I hope the story will turn out to be more than just a glossy mirage of the technological miracles late capitalism promises to have in store for the privileged few.
4/14/18 A re-read sort of in conjunction with my cli-fi class, since we had just read Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Because it also deals with the extent humans and androids can experience empathy, and love. Dick and Luna agree that it is possible, basically.
1/16/15 Original review, with a little light editing: This is Isaac Asimov's I, Robot meets Lars and the Real Girl territory, by which I mean that love can happen between humans and "objects." As usual in these ventures, it's about what it means to be human, and the limits of science. Alex in this tale is the human, and his grandmother, seeing Alex broke up with his girlfriend and is sad and lonely, gives him Ada, a robot. Alex's friends have a range of reactions to her as housemate and emerging girlfriend, some accepting, some rejecting. The ex is rejecting, offended.
Alex is never comfortable with the idea of developing a relationship with a machine; he wants choice, not programming. He wants sentience, self-efficacy. In other words, he wants Ada to be with him because she wants to be with him! And over time, Ada pursues and Alex supports her independence. Alex helps her make connection to robot political groups, even if it means he may lose her.
Of course (as with Lars and the Real Girl (and Dick's Androids), there's a certain level of curiosity about aspects of the sexual relationships, to their credit Luna and Vaughn keep that question somewhat at bay. This is, to some extent an AI-human romance (as is Androids, to some extent), but it is more importantly about the potential for AI-human relationships. Most human relationships fail. Why conditions might make for successful AI-human relationships, or any relationships?
The art is really unique and interesting, very near future. It feels sort of cool and distant and artificial, in a way (see the cover) but also lovely. There's lots of advanced technology throughout, of course, with plenty of questions about all that. I liked it much more than I thought I would have and will read the next volume for sure!
Another robot story. Still, I found this story engaging. The is a lovely tone to this book.
Does anyone think that AI like this is really possible in our futures? I don't really know if that's good or bad.
I think the robot, Ada when she has no sentience is very creepy. She waits at the door all day long for Alex to come home. She has no opinions. I would not like that. That would get on my nerves quickly.
I also enjoy the chat room they show in one chapter. It's interesting to see it as a room to chat in. I like the interactions there and Alex finds out there is a way to give Ada a personality so she can choose things for herself. There are some interesting concepts here, nothing new, but these are well done. You know eventually, Alex would have had sex with her just to see what it was like. It was inevitable.
We well done story and concept on a tried and true idea. Well see if this is a good robot or a bad robot. I look forward to Vol. 2.
So interesting and fun! I really enjoyed reading this story and I definitely connected with these characters, especially Alex, of course. Also, his grandma is too awesome too handle. Love her! The art is gorgeous,too. I really hope that the characters will develop a bit more and that the story will get even more intriguing in the next Volume.
I got this graphic novel for Christmas yesterday and read it the same evening in one sitting. I really, really enjoyed it and I'm definitely going to use the gift certificates I also got to buy the sequels very soon! :D Highly recommend this one! Maybe it's even more of a 4.5 star read for me :)
I didn’t know much about Alex + Ada before I started reading it. All I really knew was that it centered around the idea of artificial intelligence in a futuristic time period. First of all, if you couldn’t tell already, I absolutely love futuristic story lines. Especially when they’re so incredibly realistic and don’t feel too far off from the near future. I love the idea of technology waking up, even though it can also be a scary thought in reality, it makes for a great fictional story. Volume one was a great introduction into this three part series and I have already ordered volumes 2 & 3!
Initial post reading thoughts:
I LOVED this. I'm definitely picking up volumes 2 & 3 ASAP. I love how futuristic it is. I love the idea of technology "waking up". I love the characters. I need more now!
To Alex and Ada είναι ένα Graphic Novel που λαμβάνει μέρος στο μέλλον, όπου μονάχα μία σου λέξη αρκεί για να κλειδώσεις το σπίτι σου ή το αμάξι σου. Όλα γίνονται αυτόματα, με τις μηχανές στο προσκήνιο. Τα ρομπότ κάνουν τις δουλείες που κάποτε έκαναν οι άνθρωποι, φτιάχνουν φαγητό, καθαρίζουν, εργάζονται. Τα πάντα είναι ηλεκτρονικά και η Ada είναι ένα από αυτά, ένα μηχανικό Android.
O Alex είναι ένας μοναχικός άνδρας 27 χρονών, που ζει με μια ψιλό-κατάθλιψη μετά τον χωρισμό με την κοπέλα του. Ένας εσωστρεφής χαρακτήρας έχει ένα μικρό κύκλο φίλων και γνωστών. Ο Alex είναι ένας μέσος συνηθισμένος άνθρωπος κάνοντας την ματιά του για το μέλλον εξαιρετικά ενδιαφέρουσα. Αλλά εκτός από αυτόν στην ιστορία βλέπουμε και την απελευθερωμένη γιαγιά του και την Ada ένα android που του έκανε η ίδια δώρο. Στην αρχή ο ίδιος είναι αμήχανος και δεν νιώθει άνετα με το δώρο του, που μοιάζει τόσο ανθρώπινο και του παρέχει ότι χρειάζεται συνεχώς. Θα πιάσει τον ίδιο του τον εαυτό να μην θέλει να την επιστρέψει πίσω, ακόμα και αν η Ada είναι ένα ρομπότ αυτός μπορεί να δει πολλά περισσότερα από πίσω. Θα είναι η αφετηρία στον σκοπό του να αποδείξει πως όλα αυτά τα μηχανήματα έχουν συναισθήματα.
Η εικόνα του μέλλοντος και της τεχνολογίας είναι ταυτόχρονα συναρπαστική αλλά και τρομαχτική. Υπάρχουν τσιπ μέσα στα κεφάλια των ανθρώπων που τους δίνει την δυνατότητα να χειρίζονται πράγματα τηλεπαθητικά, ολογραφική τηλεόραση και ρομπότ που πετάνε.
Η αλήθεια είναι πως δεν έχω διαβάσει ξανά κάποιο παρόμοιο Graphic Novel. Τα δύο πρώτα κεφάλαια ήταν αργά και πολύ εισαγωγικά με αποτέλεσμα ίσως να απογοητεύσουν πολλούς αλλά από την στιγμή που η ιστορία μπαίνει πιο βαθιά και η Ada έρχεται στην ζωή του Alex δίνοντας του ένα σκοπό στην ζωή του όλα γίνονται πιο ενδιαφέροντα.
Οι εικόνες από την άλλη είναι ιδιαίτερα απλοϊκές, μου θύμισαν λίγο παλιά κλασικά κόμικ. Αλλά πιστεύω πως αυτό είχε ως αποτέλεσμα να αφήσει την ιστορία να λάμψει πραγματικά. Δεν επικεντρώνεσαι ως αναγνώστης στα σκίτσα αλλά στο τι θα πει η ιστορία στην συνέχεια. Αν είστε φαν των sci-fi και για ιστορίες του μέλλοντος σίγουρα δεν θα σας απογοητεύσει.
“When I was your age, I made the most horrendous mistakes. And I enjoyed every minute of it. At least go out and get your pee-pee wet.”
This is brilliant stuff. As other reviews more eloquently state, the subject of A.I. is not a new one, but the compelling story and minimal artwork take this to another level.
Sarah Vaughn and Jonathan Luna co-write, while Luna illustrates. The writing and illustrations are minimal. There are pregnant pauses and long silences, which is, the argument can be made, machine-like. The dialog is crisp and realistic. This is pure indie film drama, slow burn yet quirky and exciting.
The not-too-distant future is sparse and uneventful. But in Ada, a beautiful android and birthday present, Alex ironically sees the life that he hides from in his apathy. We see humanity slowly returning to Alex, and we see it emerge in Ada. Their togetherness is exquisite to watch, heartwarming in a cold automated world.
Find this and other Reviews at InToriLex The imaginative future technology, humor and minimalist art, left me entertained and ready to learn more about Alex and Ada. Alex is a twenty something who is gifted a X5 (Ada) , from a well meaning if over sharing grandmother. After becoming more familiar with her, he wants her to be herself, which means unlocking her sentience. The future technology includes having a implant you can use as a phone, a portal to the internet, and a way to control technology around your house. It all seemed really cool and common place. The minimal art allowed me to focus on the characters stories, and dialogue so it worked well for me.
In this world Artificial Intelligence has been discovered but led to a horrible accident where sentient robots killed employees of Nexacare, the firm that created them. Since then some have decided to start a movement for robots rights, while others are afraid of another accident. People are torn between treating robots like humans, or placing restrictions on them out of fear. Alex finds help though a forum called Degrees of Freedom, where he meets up and learns how to make Ada more than just an unthinking android. He accesses this forum through Prime Space a virtual reality you access in your head.
This volume is a great introduction into this world, where a society struggles to know what to do with it's own creation. I'm excited to see how Alex and Ada navigate it. I was worried that there would be some inappropriateness on Alex's part but he is very respectful towards Ada. Ada has to learn how to experience life with sentience in world that doesn't know what to do with that. The humor is subtle but memorable, it worked to lighten some tense moments and make it more realistic and familiar for the reader. I felt a emotional connection with the characters and am intrigued with all the possibilities the comic can take. I would recommend this for sci-fi lovers, who are interested in exploring how the issues of a world with AI would work.
As weird as the last comic I read (Dark Engine Volume 1: The Art of Destruction), this was AWESOME!!! I know there have been loads of movies/TV shows/books with this premise (one that comes to mind is the Joaquin Phoenix movie, "Her"), but this was just well done! I love the method of using several panels with minuscule or no changes to build a scene and a mood!
Another from the IMAGE Humble Bundle...I honestly can't get over how much of a great deal this was.
OK so Alex + Ada is a very simple story, nothing crazy or wild in the concept. Alex is a depressed 27 year old guy who's been pining over his breakup for 7 months. On his birthday, his grandmother sees how down he is, and since she's super happy with her robot paramour, she decides to send him one of his own for his birthday.
He gets it, and wants to send it back, but when he discovers that it will be wiped of all memory, he feels like it would be just as bad as killing a puppy or something like that.
So he decides to keep her, even though she's woefully without personality or anything, just a pleasant hello, nice to see you Alex, I like what you like, yes that's very nice if you say so.
She's boring. He's not impressed. His friends seem to accept this fairly easily, and all comment on how hot she is...
But she's like a moving walking talking blowup doll with no personality, and Alex doesn't want that.
Problem is, a year ago, the leading AI/Robot company had produced sentient robots, and they went nuts and killed 35 humans in the lab. Since then, all robot sentience has been banned, and that company has gone bankrupt.
The competitor company is the one who supplies Alex's top of the line robot model, with no sentience.
Alex sees a news story about a robot that seemed to gain sentience, and attend a concert, only to be discovered as a robot and torn to pieces by terrified humans in a riot.
Instead of freaking him out, this makes him investigate what he can do to help his robot (now named Ada) to become more sentient.
It involves him going into the Virtual Reality customer support website, and into the forums (oh the forums! saviour of us all) where he discovers a secret place where there are human supporters of sentient robots and robots who have been "unlocked" from their sentience blocks. (This is explained rather practically, that the company had billions of dollars of inventory, when the robots killed everyone, so instead of scrapping them, they just blocked the sentient brain.)
Of course there's then a sentient robot hacker, who "hacks" and reboots Ada, and of course, she's now fully sentient...the end.
It's got some very interesting questions about the rights of sentient life, and denying sentience to beings, as well as how to regulate robots and AI, which is science fiction-y, but also something in the scope of our lifetime which may be reality.
The big problem I had is that there's no conflict, there's no real problem here, just a bored, depressed dude who's grandma gives him retail therapy. The world is so clean, perfect, sanitized, everything just looks clean and shiny. It's boring. Yes, it's nice to see a positive future instead of the post-apocalyptic wastelands we see as some futures, but still, it feels very shallow, where everyone is so pacified by their wonderfully easy and comfortable lives that there's no issues. Have they solved all problems? War, Famine, Homelessness, Disease? If so, well then super. I'm not sure because there's no discussion of anything like that.
Alex is just a boring average dude. Yes, he's thoughtful and sweet, and doesn't try to stick it in her or anything, and he wants her to have sentience, which is great, but otherwise, I'm not very invested in him as a protagonist. He's just too I dunno, milquetoast.
I'm interested to see if Ada's gaining of sentience will lead to the usual robot on the run from the evil authorities, or if it will be a more micro-examination of the growth of her sentience.
I think the second would be more interesting, but you never know...Jonathan Luna was also the author of Girls, that abysmally misogynist piece of garbage I had the misfortune of reading a few weeks ago. So there's part of that knowledge that bleeds into reading this, which actually makes Alex into a creepier character than I think he's meant to be, but for all the people who say how sweet he is, he actually seems slightly creepy, and I don't quite like the fact that Ada starts her existence as an intended sex toy present from his his Granny.
I think Mr. Luna probably has some strange ideas about how girls work, and this is one of those cases where I don't think a man should be writing about women, because he seems clueless. I hope his co-creator, Sarah Vaughn, is going to be taking a bigger role in the writing, because I have this nagging feeling that he's going to write it with Ada becoming protected by Alex and getting all attached to him. Seems kinda like ugh...I wonder if he would have written the story the same if the robot was a male? I think it would take away some of the creepiness for me.
That being said, it's pleasant to look at, very bright, clean, and not violent, so there's that. I also like the more philosophical parts about the rights of the AI/Robots versus humans, and that, but not so much the creepy blossoming "love" story. There's plenty of real women out there dude, it's pretty creepy for you to have a robot woman. Yes, I realize that you never took advantage, and you were a gentleman, and you made sure to lead her to sentience, but you're kinda setting yourself up as her saviour, which makes for some odd relationship issues I'm sure.
I guess it depends for me on what happens in the next volume...I'm really on the fence here, but I didn't DIS-Like it, so 2 stars seems a little harsh. 2.5-3 seems about right.
I want some of my female Shallow Readers to take this on and get their feedback, to see what they think, because for me it's got creepy undertones which take away the potential sweetness of the story.
Holy shit this was so so so so cute. I've recently been getting into graphic novels, last month I read all 24 volumes of The Walking Dead and I've been desperate to find another good graphic novel series since. I think this might be my new favorite! This story is so cute. It's about this guy named Alex who lives in a world where Prime Inc. runs the world with their cars, phones, and androids. They have created androids that look like real human beings and people can purchase them all around the world and use them for whatever they like. I think this is a really cool concept and I've always been intrigued by stories that involve artificial intelligence. It reminds me of the movie "Her" when the main character falls in love with his computer that can talk to him like a real human being, but in this graphic novel, it is an actual physical android, not just a voice. Recently though, the company Nexaware created androids that are aware and they have opinions and emotions like human beings and the androids attacked. So now there's a risk to owning an android because you don't know if it's going to become aware and try to harm you.
Alex isn't interested in owning an android but his Grandma thinks he needs a girlfriend, so she sends him one anyway, and he has mixed feelings about it. I thought this volume seemed really short and I just want more! I like Alex as a main character I think he's smart and caring and he really does want her because he's lonely. And Ada is such an interesting character! I love everything about this world so far, can't wait to read more!
Fantastic story line - somewhat let down by the artwork.
- This comic follows the story of a human named Alex. Alex lives in a world where is it common for people to live alongside robots, these robots are there to help in any way shape or form. As is accepted by most humans these robots are not capable of thought of their own. They are non-sentient.
- Much to the surprise of Alex, he arrives home from work one day to discover that his Grandmother has bought a robot for him. To begin with Alex attempts to return the robot but can't quite go through with it. The time that Alex spends with her he really enjoys but then the robot (which he names Ada) will do or say something that will remind Alex that she is not a real, free-thinking being. So with that in mind Alex sets out to change Ada - he wants her to become sentient, to be able to make decisions on her own and have her own opinions. Will Alex succeed? You'll have to read it to find out!
- I loved the premise of this story and upon reading it I adored the actual plot. The only thing I found to be a little disappointing was the artwork, it was very plain and I just didn't really take anything from it. I would love to continue on with this comic so am hoping the artwork improves as the books go on.
- 3.5 out of 5 stars and I look forward to continuing the story! I would recommend to all!
Oh, I love this! What a clever, funny, heartfelt, genuine story. Even if you've never picked up a comic before, I'd recommend this to you. It's that relatable.
Essentially it's about the human condition, wrapped up in a simple artificial intelligence plot. Alex receives an anatomically-correct android on his birthday, a present from his amusingly randy grandmother. She's got one of her own and she loooooves him!
What makes Alex + Ada special is the many poignant, sometimes stinging observations about modern life. For example, Alex asks a customer service rep if he's a robot. Oops, he's human. Or...a group of people attack a robot simply because of what she is, because she's different. They fear her.
The story is full of humor too though. Every other page, something made me snicker or grin. It's lovely to find a book that's just FUN.
But what really got me was the parallels Luna makes between the owner/android relationship and a parent/child relationship.
*How compassion is essential to loving or even knowing someone. *How you can take care of a person to the best of your ability, but eventually their life, their choices, are up to them. *How you should never give up on or abandon a child.
I enjoyed reading this. I think it is a really cool premise for a graphic novel and I'm excited to find out what is next. Alex & Ada didn't really shine as three-dimensional characters yet but I'm still liking their relationship. I hope we see some character development in the future comics and something cool for the story. It is an interesting look at what the future could be like in regards to future technology. I recently got obsessed with Black Mirror, the tv show, which also looks at where technology could go in the future and I find it all extremely fascinating. I'm also in the process of writing a story similar to Alex + Ada (well the premise is similar) and so that is kind of why I decided to finally pick this up.
The writing and graphics were both good. They're both very simple but the minimalistic style actually says a lot. I would definitely recommend this comic series. I'm off to go read volume 2!
I actually really really liked this! A graphic novel about AI, robots, sentience...& the morality of creating and owning these life-like robots that are built with the ability to be sentiment & have independent thought. A robot is just a robot, but at what point does their ability to be sentiment become a danger to humans, as well as at what point does it become cruel to do what we do to them? They might not be real, but they do feel real, at least to themselves, and what is the risk we take when we give robots the ability to exercise free will?
This graphic novel explores all that, while also giving us an easy-to-love-MC. Alex is still reeling from a sorta recent breakup, and after so long of feeling lonely and disconnected, cute grandma character (who owns her own sexy 40-years-younger-android that keeps her company after her husband passed) has a surprise package delivered. Surprise! It's his very own android model. He is wary at first, initially planning on sending her back...but then something compels him to keep her. He feels badly about asking her to step back in her sad box and go back to the factory. Or whatever. But he is troubled by her lack of self. She laughs only when he does. She has no desires or preferences of her own. Obviously she is created to serve him, but naturally he doesn't feel a connection with her because she feels and is too robotic. So Alex soon finds himself online, in some secret message board for people who have all felt the same way about their androids, disappointed by their roboticness and out there seeking ways to make them more lifelike (this is the future Internet, where things are more...interactive. He is walking thru message boards as his avatar) He finds a "secret" group with human members who have all desired the same thing as him, the ability to unlock their androids and allow them to fulfill their true potential as sentiment beings. Some of the members are even actual androids, who live and exist on their own. (The member who ends up being the hacker who hacks into their system and "awakens" Ada is an android who asks for only a few cheesesteaks as payment.) After some deliberating, Alex chooses to proceed with the plan to awaken Ada, & he stands by nervously while he watches it happen. Ada wakes up and immediately overloads on this new way of processing information but gradually is calmed and relaxed, and soon enough opens her eyes and begins existing. They walk outside together, & she notes the beautiful sunset.
It is a very very promising beginning of a series, & if I'm not mistaken there is only two other volumes that wrap up the whole rest of the series. I was disappointed to see that because based on what I've read so far, it seems like a storyline with the potential for a lot of depth. So far I'm loving this, the concept the premise, and definitely looking forward to finishing up the series.
I’ve read a few graphic novels now and I must say this is my absolute favourite. It has an interesting and eventful plot paired with beautiful artwork and the dialogues are really easy to follow. Definitely recommend this!
4.5 stars. Having read the whole series now I gotta say, this volume is by far the best one.
Set in the future, Alex + Ada is a story that, as many others have, explores the concept of being human. In this sci-fi graphic novel we follow a world where humans and androids live together, where technology is such a fundamental part of the everyday life, where cars and phones and pretty much every electronic device is controlled by a chip inside your head. Recently though, after an incident with a new AI model, people are afraid of sentient androids and they see them as a threat to humanity. Our story however, begins with Alex and a very special gift on his birthday.
I really loved the artwork here. It is minimalistic, clean and simple, and there's some brilliance in it. (The Ex-Machina vibe is strong with this one and I'm all for it.) It goes perfect with the tone of the story. I had some problems with Jonathan Luna's art style before (The Sword), but I gotta say I really enjoyed how sophisticated the whole book looked.
With every chapter the story and its scope gets a bit bigger, but the main focus is always the relationship between Alex and Ada, which, against all odds, it's endearing and quite human. I really appreciate the decision of making Alex a nice, caring guy and how he takes upon himself the responsibility of guiding Ava.
This first volume is a really sweet story which, because of the overall sci-fi theme, it's surprising to read. Most of these stories are always dark tales of conflict between humans and androids, but here, even with the conflict on the background, the spotlight is always on the relationship, on the little moments of love, of trying to understand each other.
I picked up Alex + Ada because I read some pretty positive reviews, and I’ve always been interested in AI/android stories, ever since my first fateful encounter with Asimov’s robots in The Positronic Man. I’m a little irritated now that the library only had volume one, because that barely gets things off the ground: Alex meets his new android companion, names her, and realises that she’s lacking that something that makes her a person. For whatever reason — and this isn’t really covered in depth, which actually kind of makes sense to me — Alex decides that he wants to free her intelligence and make her truly sentience. He hasn’t really thought about it before, even though he’s all wired up to his house, but it just feels right, so he goes through with it.
And that’s… pretty much it. It’s an intriguing enough set-up, but it’s barely the start of a story. I wish the library had the next book; I’d rather just go straight onto that, and hope that it picks up straight away. As it is, I’m not sure when I’ll get to read the second volume.