We meet the Marks family on a shopping trip, pushing what looks like skads of books in a cart. Sheela Marks is deep into reading one on paganism as she walks through what I can only guess is an upscale shopping center. Turns out she’s some sort of spiritual consultant. When their android, Which-Where, shows interest in the topic, their daughter, Jesminder, makes fun of the android and her mother’s interest in alternate belief systems. It isn’t long before the shopping trip goes sideways. A suicide bomber takes their own life, killing Jesminder and many others. Mom and Dad survive but are unable to cope with the loss of their daughter. That is when Which-Where decides to utilize magic to solve her owner’s problem.
The story moves back and forth between the present and the past to give us a well-rounded view of the world and Which-Where’s predicament. She’s a simplistic character in the beginning, which makes sense as we are there to witness her gradual evolution. The story is well-paced and has interesting and engaging characters. My only quibble is instead of seeing Mom doing her job, she’s reading a book on it while shopping; that part felt a little too convenient. I’d have rather seen her at work so that we have a better grasp on exactly what she does. It would have enriched the whole story line; however, the concept of an android playing with magic and possibly having access to a human soul is fascinating. It’s a combination rife with possibilities.
I’m also enjoying the art quite a bit, especially the jagged-edge paneling and insets. They add a visual sense of being broken, both physically and spiritually. The colors gave it a vibrancy in a possible future where every emotion seems to be heightened.
The questions of what defines a human soul and whether a mechanical being have access to it are something we may be facing in our own development of AI. I look forward to the next issue.
Creative Team: Tim Seeley (writer), Zulema Scotto Lavina (artist), Valentina Cuomo (colorist)
Publisher: Image Comics
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