Alex + Ada #6 is a new beginning for the series that continues to hit it’s stride. Up to this point Alex was learning about the mysterious side of owning and ultimately making an A.I. sentient but soon realizes it’s even more complicated than he ever imagined. This is a new start for Ada, a more complex role for Alex and an new era of discovery for both.
Official description from IMAGE:
Ada now sees the world through different eyes, but life has become more complicated for her and Alex.
The one driving force that makes Alex + Ada such a great book is the process of discovery and how that effects relationships for better and worse. Ada is now “awake” and with it she begins to see the world in a new way with Alex as her tour guide. Ada’s not like a newborn just learning a new step each day but experiencing what she already knows with a new sense of excitement and literal new life. Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn don’t immediately dive into the deep end of the pool but deliberately balance Ada’s new experiences between her new life and her old life. When’s she’s with Alex she lights up and goes for broke, when she’s alone she reverts, somewhat, to her previous state of waiting for Alex to give her direction. There’s a sense of adventure and uneasiness now that she has independent thought and when she does wander off on her own the results will be complex.
While her new outlook is exciting it is also underscored by a danger and uncertainty with the outside world. When Ada makes her own decision to go for a simple walk it turns into a much larger and dubious event which Alex must confront head on. While most of Ada’s new beginning seems bright, Alex has so much more to be cautious of and protect. Luna and Vaughn bring back Alex’s grandmother, who first purchased Ada as a gift, and now she becomes a thorn, of which there will be many, in Alex’s plans. Grandma makes for an unassuming and unknowingly threat to Ada’s new existence and even the most simple gestures can cause conflict.
Luna’s artwork remains a series of repeating static images that still feel fresh based on the dialogue and unfolding drama. Not many books can pull off that type of repetitive sequences but Luna has a way of making it work. The story is so incredibly well written and intriguing that it would be more distracting if each panel had to change angles, perspectives or become overly complex. Very few relationships in comics are that strong where this art style would work so well. Terry Moore’s work is one of the few that come to mind.
Alex + Ada is a slow burn of twists and turns, and when they happen, are subtle and disarming. Alex’s grandmother is one example and at the end of this issue a new wrinkle gets thrown in that seems so simple but so drastically impactful. Throughout this series I have yet to find a lackluster issue and issue #6 is no different. Alex + Ada is a deeply intertwined story masterfully constructed by Luna and Vaughn which is masked in it’s clean, simple presentation. Don’t be fooled by it’s approach because it is rich with drama and emotion which struggles to answer the question, few have the answer to, of what it means to be human. However, Alex + Ada is the best possible story and relationship constructed to try to answer it.