Ever since I finished the graphic novel series Fables, I’ve been looking for a new series to read, and I thought I found it with Alex and Ada. I loved the first two volumes. The storyline was incredibly interesting and raised some serious questions about artificial intelligence and humanity. It actually made me think of Alan Turing’s Turing Test.
I immediately fell in love with Ada as she started to figure things out on her own and worked on becoming her own person. Alex and Ada served as two sides of the same coin as it were because they were both handling the question of what it means to be human – one from the perspective of AI and the other from the perspective of a human.
And then volume 3 happened.
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. Alex takes a huge risk to unlock Ada so she can think for herself and explore life as a sentient android. As Alex and Ada spend more time together, they become closer. But as restrictions tighten on artificial intelligence, Ada feels unsure about her place in the world, and Alex questions being with an android. In this final arc, Alex and Ada struggle against the growing hatred for sentient robots and their human allies. Can they survive what’s around the corner?
There are most definitely spoilers below.
This volume started off strong and I was super excited.
Alex and Ada have decided to give their relationship a chance and are figuring out what that means, and how it’s going to work in real life. This takes up a good chunk of the volume, and it’s fun and interesting and you realize that humanity is seriously not good (historically and apparently in the future) with anyone or anything that is different.
Then, hell brakes loose because the police come calling after they break into the Forum and start hunting down sentient robots and their owners. Cue Alex and Ada running for their lives. For a couple of pages while they’re on the run, there’s some humour and some new experiences, but then they get caught. And Ada essentially turns off.
THEN THE BULLSHIT AND COP OUT HAPPENS.
Alex gets arrested and serves 25 years in prison. In that time the world changes and sentient robots start to gain more rights. After 25 years Alex gets out, gets Ada back (she was taken as evidence) and then oh no! She has been restored to factory settings. But of course Alex knows how to fix her, and she becomes herself again (well herself from 25 years ago) and they ride off into the sunset together happy ever after.
I was livid when I finished reading this volume. Putting Alex in jail for 25 years and having the world changed in like 5 pages was a complete and utter cop out. The whole point of this graphic novel series and the main thing that made it stand out and really interesting was the discussion of human or machine. And the third volume removed that whole discussion. It was like the authors just got tired of the story and just wanted to end it. It was garbage.
There was such amazing potential here with this storyline – they could have made it a huge series – and they blew it. I was so disappointed.