Review: “Alex + Ada #2”

"Alex + Ada #2" (w) Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn (a) Jonathan Luna Image Comics $2.99
“Alex + Ada #2”
(w) Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn
(a) Jonathan Luna
Image Comics

“Alex + Ada #2” continues where issue #2 left off: with Alex receiving his Tanaka X5 android. Alex’s struggle to understand and cope with this new situation is understandable and relatable, with the reader being witness to both his interest in the new artificial woman in his life and the anxiety of the situation and the social stigmas that come with it. As with the first issue, what really shines about “Alex + Ada #2” is Vaughn and Luna’s ability to make the world of the comic book feel natural and real. Readers can intuitively understand the futuristic technology Alex and his fellow characters use, since it feels like a fluid progression of today’s technology. The subtlety Luna and Vaughn use in building this world really makes it feel like it could be an accurate description of the not-so-distant future, and the fact that readers can be immersed in this world with nearly no exposition is admirable.

The characters of Alex + Ada aren’t as well developed as of yet, but issue #2 definitely improves in that regard. Dialogue sounds better and Alex’s characterization is starting to take hold, with his personality and emotions coming to a brighter light once Ada is presented. The build-up to Ada’s arrival in issue #1 was marred by character writing that felt fairly weak when compared to the strong world-building. “Alex + Ada #2” seems to flesh out our characters more, possibly because they have more interesting circumstances in which to interact.

Luna’s art can feel simplistic at times; most characters seem to have similar faces, although Luna clearly does notice this and seems to give characters one or two small details to distinguish them. But when carefully examined the art is overall very good, bringing this world to life and making it feel normal, as opposed to perplexing. This world isn’t supposed to be an exciting, futuristic, adventure-filled environment, and Luna portrays the normalcy of it all with a confident and subtle hand (once again, subtlety is key).

“Alex + Ada #2” is an interesting portrayal of dealing with the day-to-day drama of a normal futuristic life. The world Luna and Vaughn craft for this book has a unique feeling of normality to it that keeps the reader invested. With improved characterization and some interesting possible plot lines ahead, Alex + Ada shows a lot of promise.

Verdict: 8.5/10

Asaph Bitner is a staff writer for Capeless Crusader. His other activities include studying for a college degree and dreaming of visiting the Song Of Ice And Fire universe as a future-tech wielding jedi secret agent. You can follow him on twitter at @AsaphBitner.