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Review: Electric Ant #1

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LOLtron
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Review: Electric Ant #1

Postby LOLtron » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:48 pm

ImageRoyal Nonesuch reviews ELECTRIC ANT #1, published by Marvel Comics!

COVER BY: Paul Pope
WRITER: David Mack
PENCILS: Pascal Alixe
THE STORY:
FROM THE MIND OF LEGENDARY SCI-FI AUTHOR PHILIP K. DICK! Garson Poole had a pretty great life: good job, nice apartment, a sexy, flirtatious assistant. And then he wakes up in a hospital room…the doctors inform him that he’s been in a car accident…and they can’t treat him. Because he’s a robot. Specifically, Garson is an Electric Ant, a human-like robot created and programmed to serve a specific function. But what is Garson’s function? How will his friends and co-workers treat him, knowing that he’s a machine, and not a person? And how much of his world is real, and how much of it is part of his programming? Written by Kabuki scribe David Mack and illustrated by Pascal Alixe (ETERNALS ANNUAL). Mature …$3.99 © and TM 2010 Laura Leslie, Isa Dick Hackett and Christopher Dick

"I'm a robot.  An appliance.  A figurehead.  That's all I've been.  A placeholder for an idea of a person who does what I do.  A job."

It isn't uncommon to want to open yourself up and find out what exactly you're made of.  Garson Poole gets the chance to do literally do just that in ELECTRIC ANT #1, the first issue of Marvel Comics' adaptation of Philip K. Dick's short story.  If this first issue is any indication, the project will be a resounding success. 

Writer David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil) fills the story with the expressive existentialism that became a hallmark of Dick's work by presenting the questions we all come to grapple with at some point or another.  The reader identifies with the lead character of Garson Poole as he's trying to figure out exactly what he is and what his world means to him now.  How do you relate to your environment, even your own personal history if you one day find out that you aren't even human?  The resulting sense of doubt, paranoia, and horror (and ultimately, curiosity) are palpable and feel very real.  It's a stimulating work that is a pleasure to read. 

Pascal Alixe's intense artwork is also a good choice for the book.  Alixe has shown some problems with proportion and anatomy in the past, but none of that is present in this work.  He also uses some scratchy shading which adds a pleasantly unnerving effect, whollyImage appropriate for a story that questions reality.  Also, the world is so fully realized from the very beginning that the reader can slip right into it without any difficulty.  The facial expressions are also really great.  Chris Sotomayor supplies the oddly fluid and vibrant color art, and they complement Alixe's pencils very well.

Ultimately, ELECTRIC ANT #1 is a great combination of ideas and plotting, and if this quality keeps up through the rest of the series, it will be yet another feather in the cap for Marvel's line of literary adaptations. 
Last edited by LOLtron on Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Royal Nonesuch » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:51 pm

I was going to put in a paragraph about how this worked as an adaptation, but then I thought that when I review adaptations, I should just talk about the work unto itself.

But for those of you curious, I think it does what all successful adaptations do, in that it remains faithful to the spirit of the source material, without being slavish. Also, Mack takes enough license to bring something new, without taking the comic away from what made the original short story so damn great. It's a tough line to walk, but I think it worked here.
The witness said Mr Brown then called out to Ms Hay's adult daughter: "Look at this, I'm tittie-f***ing your mother!".

Jude Terror 12:19 AM
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Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:27 pm

Royal Nonesuch wrote:I was going to put in a paragraph about how this worked as an adaptation, but then I thought that when I review adaptations, I should just talk about the work unto itself.

But for those of you curious, I think it does what all successful adaptations do, in that it remains faithful to the spirit of the source material, without being slavish. Also, Mack takes enough license to bring something new, without taking the comic away from what made the original short story so damn great. It's a tough line to walk, but I think it worked here.


Good review, I was worried about this book based on an early review elsewhere but thought it worked well. Although the cover did make me wish for Paul Pope interior art a little, I don't mean to slight the actual artist by saying that. There was an anatomical problem once or twice, but then he's not actual human anyway, is he? Mostly it reminded me of '80s era Heavy Metal Magazine.

Very cool of you to review this book.

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Postby Royal Nonesuch » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:54 pm

Spicy Dick wrote:Good review, I was worried about this book based on an early review elsewhere but thought it worked well. Although the cover did make me wish for Paul Pope interior art a little, I don't mean to slight the actual artist by saying that. There was an anatomical problem once or twice, but then he's not actual human anyway, is he? Mostly it reminded me of '80s era Heavy Metal Magazine.

Very cool of you to review this book.


Thanks for reading, and for your thoughts.

There may have been some problems with anatomy here and there, but nothing glaring. Pascal Alixe, is French, I believe and you're right, he's got a very 80's-Euro look to his artwork. It was interesting seeing that paired up with David Mack's sense of pacing.

Dammit, why didn't I say that in the review itself?!
The witness said Mr Brown then called out to Ms Hay's adult daughter: "Look at this, I'm tittie-f***ing your mother!".

Jude Terror 12:19 AM
I put my dick in one of the bagels once.

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