The Frightening or Promising Future of Robots?

Alex and Ada — story about a man named Alex who lives in some type of alternate or futuristic universe where robots are under human’s rule programmed with no feelings other than to obey the owner. Alex wants to free Ada because he is uncomfortable with the idea that she has no personality.

I feel that initially, Alex wanted Ada’s freedom for his own benefit, but ends up wanting the best for Ada. I say this because Alex had recently gone through a devastating breakup which leads him into a life of loneliness and isolation. His grandma, who has a robot boyfriend, finds that having a robot makes her feel less lonely so she gifts Alex with a robot of his own. After contemplation, he keeps her, never explaining why.

To my interpretation, he wants to fill the void that his ex left with someone, even if the company is paid for. To my surprise, he never did have sex with her nor did he get touchy-feely, he always asked her opinion, knowing she didn’t have one. In simple words, I like Alex. He wants her freedom, but I thought it was a way to be with her in more than a paid relationship type of way.

I think the author tries to show the development of their relationship in that way: Alex wants Ada to have a personality before he can truly love her and vice versa. But.. there is something haunting about the robot from the robotic world’s warning. He or she (I don’t know whether he/she is a boy or girl) tells Alex risks losing Ada because she could leave if she wanted. A part of me believes that if or when they have a fight, Ada will run away and that could ultimately lead to more trouble. As per usual, here are a few things I like and don’t like about the comic.

Likes:

  1. As mentioned before, Alex cares about Ada’s opinion

I like this especially because Ada has no opinion showing that Alex really does want more than just company, thus making me change my mind about what I thought earlier on his intentions of selfish needs.

2. It doesn’t have any scenes of love yet

Not that I’m an anti-romantic person, I just believe that love takes time and it would be unrealistic if all of a sudden, Alex and Ada started to fall for each other.

3. The last page

The last page has a very powerful image of Alex and Ada walking out of the shack, without holding hands with the background being a sunrise or sunset. It’s a very powerful scene and captivates me as to what will happen next between them.

Dislikes:

  1. The alternate universe that Alex finds to help Ada

Maybe it’s because I need to go back and reread this part, but I don’t understand what and how Alex found this alternate location. Why do they have this place if they didn’t want anybody to find it? Why don’t they just completely eradicate any robots that have free thinking?

Hopefully, I can receive some answers soon. Enjoy the comic. As for me, I give it 8.5 out of 10 robots. 😀

Move Along Batman

Ms. Marvel — story about a Pakistani American teenager named Kamala Khan who wants to fit in with other kids, but when that fails, she wishes that she was a hero like one of her favorite heroes, Captain Marvel. When she gets her wish, she saves people and becomes instantly known. She faces struggles with her family, her long time friend, Bruno, and loses her identity along the way. I chose to read this comic above others mainly because of Ms. Marvel’s background. I’m so proud that a brown, Muslim female was able to become a comic hero. Kamala goes against cultural norms, she shows readers that girls shouldn’t have to follow a set path that was created by someone else, and that women can change the world.

There are many things I like about this comic that I want to talk about in this post:

1. Kamala doesn’t wear a hijab

I say I like this mainly because I feel like the author is representing the American Muslims. Many people think that if she isn’t wearing a hijab, it’s not authentic. In fact, 5-15% of American female Muslims don’t wear hijabs, therefore, if Kamala wore a hijab, it would be less authentic than if she did

2. Her best friend is a boy

Typically, being friends with a boy if you’re Muslim is so ludicrous mainly because it says in the Qur’an (Holy Book) that when a boy and girl are alone together, Shaytaan (the devil) is also there. So, the fact that her best friend is a boy shows how contemporary the book and the characters are. I also like how their friendship doesn’t amount to anything (yet) in the book. I hope that in future volumes that their relationship won’t escalate. In most movies where a guy and a girl who are main characters are friends, they usually end up together. It would be nice to see two main, different gendered characters just remain friends.

3. The Mosque scene

There’s a scene where there is a partition between the boys and girls in a mosque, and Kamala says she doesn’t know why they’re divided when Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) didn’t divide by gender. I liked this because it was daring/risky. Many Muslims believe that women and men should be separated due to temptation, distraction, etc. But I believe that if you’re in God’s house, you’re there for a reason i.e. not for flirting. So when Kamala says this, it shows how powerful and independent she is.

Here are some things I didn’t like about the comic:

  1. The Given Powers scene

For someone who isn’t a comic savvy, I had no idea that tarragon dust was a thing. The way her powers were given was ominous and I would’ve never understood it if it weren’t for my teacher. We should have been given a better explained reason within the first volume.

2. Her uniform

I liked the dupatta (scarf) flair to her costume which represented her culture, but what I didn’t like was that the costume was very similar to Captain Marvel’s. I wanted Kamala’s to be more different mainly because of her self-realization: that she was her own person and she shouldn’t be hiding behind a fake persona. If the uniform had a better look to it, I would be more satisfied.

3. She didn’t tell her parents

I didn’t like the fact that she didn’t come clean to her parents about her powers. It might happen in future volumes, but it would be interesting to get closure with her parents. I guess that’s how you get readers coming back.

I hope that if and when you read Ms. Marvel, you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂

😀