Note: This review was originally published at ComicsBulletin.com
Alex + Ada has been quietly delivering one of the best love stories in comics today. Despite the looming presence of the government and the public’s anti-android sentiment, the creative team has maintained the series’ intimate nature – focusing on the two protagonists and how the world personally affects them. With that in mind, Alex + Ada #13 is a game-changing issue.
This issue’s success is due to its use of the two most primal of human emotions: fear and love. Furthermore, it manages to do so without coming across as a cheap ploy. Sarah Vaughn has earned this issue’s payoff through meticulous planning during the previous twelve issues. Lingering over Alex and Ada’s romance has been government prohibition of sentient androids such as Ada, not at all unlike that found in the 1982 film Blade Runner. While Ada herself had a brief scare back in issue #9, these characters’ fear has been an afterthought to the kindling love narrative. Here, Vaughn brings that fear literally to the doorstep of the protagonists and, by extension, the reader.
This issue’s rising tension would not have been possible without the art by Jonathan Luna. His style captures the emotions of his cast so well that the reader can easily empathize with them. If there is a hang-up, it’s that many of the characters are indistinguishable if not for the coloring, which includes repetitive facial expressions. However, this is a minor quibble in the grand scheme of things. Alex + Ada #13 adds more intrigue and suspense Image’s intoxicating romance.