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REVIEW: Alex Automatic Preview

Written by Robert Porter

This is shaping up to be quite a month, eh gang? With tons of great comics on the horizon, we’re all going to need to set aside a lot more time for extracurricular reading activities! Unless of course reading comics is serious business, which it is, so disregard my previous statement. Today we’ve got an ultra-special, secret surprise in store for you; a “preview review” (patent pending on term, do not steal) of Fraser Campbell‘s upcoming comic, Alex Automatic!

Part 1970s spy drama, part Inspector Gadget, Alex Automatic is about Alex Anderson, a man who has undergone some pretty intense surgical procedures to make him into one of those cybernetic-type, super spies (yeah, you know, those types of spies…ehem…). There’s a catch though: all of Alex’s upgrades have left him a bit on the crazy side, so he actually believes he’s in a television show. That’s pretty crazy if you ask me; I don’t know anyone who would believe that! Yeah, no, I don’t know anyone who thinks their life is a television show. No, yeah,…I don’t…seriously.

Fraser Campbell and the rest of the creative team behind Alex Automatic were gracious enough to provide us with a seven page preview of the upcoming comic for us to take a look at, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Just take a look at the Kickstarter campaign; it’s killing! Personally I’m a big fan of comics like this, but you already knew that, didn’t you? I know, you want me to talk about the comic. Okay then, let’s get into it!

In this preview of Alex Automatic we get a nice James Bond-esque card playing scene, complete with a villainous card dealer and a femme fatale, and I just love that sort of thing. There’s some fun banter between Alex and the card dealer just before things go south, and we learn that Alex is looking for someone named Professor Zero.

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When attempting to interrogate Major Arcana, a “mystical mercenary” of the mysterious PRYSM organization, Alex is thrown into a trap and confronted by the Fissure Men. It is at this point that things start to go wrong for Alex and he is captured by PRYSM and placed into some sort of stasis chamber. What is PRYSM’s game, and what do they want with Alex?

Campbell’s script is very well done. Admittedly, the preview issue comes off as just a bit cryptic, but I think that’s actually purposeful and it creates a great deal of tension. My personal favorite line in this preview describes Alex Automatic as a “toy who plays at being a man,” and can be seen in the above image of Alex battling the Fissure Men. I think that’s pretty deep stuff, and it just proves once again what comics are truly capable of.

The artwork in Alex Automatic is a collaborative effort between James Corcoran (pencils and inks) and David B. Cooper (colors). The artwork is fantastic, and really homages the look of some of the great comics of the Golden and Silver Age. The cover is especially well done and perfectly captures the feel of that era, complete with a “Cabal Comics Group” banner and a Comics Code Authority stamp of approval. Colin Bell provides the lettering and helps with the design aspect of the comic.

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The preview of Alex Automatic leaves many unanswered questions and from the looks of it, the full length release will be packed to the brim with some of that good ol’ spy-thriller intrigue, and just a bit of zaniness. To learn more about the project, check out the official Kickstarter campaign where you can also pick up some of those sweet, sought after rewards! Some feature art prints by artists such as Shaky Kane, Nick Pitarra, Alisdair Wood and Iain Laurie, so you’re not gonna want to miss those!

Follow Fraser Campbell on Twitter @fraserc69

Will you be doing your part to back Alex Automatic and make it a reality? Sound off in the comments section and on our Twitter page!

 

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Robert Porter

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