By: Sarah Vaughn (story/script) and Jonathan Luna (story/art/letters)
The Story: As Alex and Ada start to settle into their lives, they come to grips with the fact that they are not normal.
Review (with SPOILERS): Even though this issue of Alex + Ada is (again) very high quality, it still hasn’t turned the corner into the bigger story that I am anticipating. However, even in an issue where we’re still waiting for the shoe to drop, there are still some cunning and clever elements to this story.
The big thing that struck me was how quickly Ada is blasting through her learning phase. She’s trying to experience and DO everything. That’s going to lead to two things. First, Ada will probably outgrow this phase where she is dependent on Alex pretty fast. She needs him right now, but what about next week when she knows everything? Is their relationship based on something “real”? Or is it just based on the fact that Ada wants to learn about stuff and Alex is willing to indulge her? Is she staying with him just because she needs him or does she really want to stay? Right now, she needs to stay with Alex, but can you have a truly great relationship where one party is dependent upon the other?
And of course, all this experimenting is going to lead to sex. We were reminded in this issue that Alex’s grandmother has sex with her android. She even has some sort of kinky Wednesday where they fool around all day long. Funny how our perception of the Grandma/Male Android relationship is shaped by the fact that she is an older woman and he looks like a young man. If Alex and Ada were doing this on Wednesdays, it might be somewhat creepy and if it was an old man and young female android, it would be totally upsetting. I wonder if women perceive this comic differently? But….back to the subject at hand…. There is going to come a moment where Ada is going to ask Alex to have sex with her. She’s experimenting. She is watching TV. She’s going to ask. If I had to speculate, you’ll see Alex be resistant to doing that because he’ll think of it as taking advantage of Ada….but he’ll eventually relent. Then Alex will essentially fall in love with Ada just as Ada has finished learning everything that Alex has to teach and leaves to go to the bigger world. Hmmmm…..
The other thing that stuck me was how shut-in the Alex/Ada relationship is. I mean, they are cloistered in his home for the sake of safety, but they can’t stay there forever. Then it’ll become clear how strange Ada is. Even if she is learning about humanity, she can’t come close to passing for a real human. And then what? What about when they inevitably have to meet Alex’s family? Then what? Did any of you have a friend in your younger years who got into a relationship with a weirdo where you never saw them anymore? They just stayed home ALL THE TIME because the weirdo didn’t like to see friends/family (probably because they knew they were a weirdo)? The Alex/Ada relationship kinda reminds me of that: You can build your own fantasy world at home, but sooner or later it’ll have to survive in the daylight because grown-ups have to go outside and talk to people.
I guess I have slight disappointment that this series is still in Act II. I guess I can wait, but I do feel like this series is headed to a fairly predictable set of questions and I’m just ready to explore that ending. Everything about the series has been pitch perfect so far. I just hope we don’t have to wait too long.
The art is again perfect. I love how Luna captures all the important emotions. As I’ve said before, this series wouldn’t even begin to work if Ada looked like a tramp or if Alex looked like a bro who might give a girl roofies. Not only does Luna have that sense of humanity so that he KNOWS what physical attributes indicate a sympathetic character, but he knows how to draw those elements on the page. Bravo…
Conclusion: A strong issue that is still in Act II of the overall story.