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Review: Electric Ant #1

Written by Royal Nonesuch on Thursday, April 08 2010 and posted in Reviews

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

COVER BY: Paul Pope
WRITER: David Mack
PENCILS: Pascal Alixe
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, whollyelectric-ant.jpg 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. 


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About the Author - Royal Nonesuch

As Senior Media Correspondent (which may be a made-up title), Royal Nonesuch tends to spearhead a lot of film and television content on The Outhouse. He's still a very active participant in the comic book section of the site, though. Nonesuch writes reviews of film, television, and comics, and conducts interviews for the site as well.  You can reach out to him on Twitter or with Email.


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