By Dustin Cabeal
Sci-fi is one of the hardest genres to write, mostly because at some point you have to explain the way the entire world works to the audience which can make or break a story. A lot of stories will try and cheat this by having a wall of text to read before starting the story which is the worst possible way to do it. Others, like A.A.I Wars, will use narration to explain the story. There are other ways of course, but I’m by no means teaching, nor am I an expert. I just know what works for me as a consumer of sci-fi.
Again, A.A.I Wars opts for the narration route instead of a wall of text, which is better for sure. The problem is that the narration isn’t that different from a wall of text in that it rarely if ever correlates with the images on the page and its only intention is to explain the world and story as quickly as possible. It’s unfortunately not successful in being interesting; it does manage to convey all the information the reader needs about the alien A.I. virus that’s taken over the world.
While this is happening, the story follows a platoon fighting on the ground and barely surviving against the enemy. They get some air support and eventually find a cave that they couldn’t see before due to camouflage. Without covering the cliffhanger, that’s about all there is to the issue.
There’s only one character focused on in the story. It becomes clear that the rest of the cast is just there to die when needed. The problem with this is that the main character isn’t memorable in her actions or dialogue, just her design, and just her eye patch. Fighting to save humanity is great and all, but it’s the human backstory for fighting that makes a war story work, and this first issue doesn’t lay the groundwork for that. It’s just, “Hey, I’m the character that’s going to fight and win.” The other problem, as I stated already, is that the art doesn’t contrast or match up to the narration at all. Which is a shame because it would make the narration far more effective.
The art itself is the best part of the book. The style very gritty with incredibly thick lines, but it works for the story. It keeps it from looking like a typical Sci-Fi story for sure. The coloring wasn’t my favorite as it’s just greens, reds, yellows and oranges. I should point out that it’s mostly greens with flares of the other three. On the one hand, it works in that it covers up some of the shortcomings of the art, but on the other hand, it’s a lot of green to look at and doesn’t add to the experience.
As it is, I’m not interested in reading more. You could easily sum this up as a mix of the Matrix and Starship Troopers, which might interest some but doesn’t interest me any. Everything is just okay but never makes it past that point. Still, if it’s interesting to you then support it, I’m sure creator, writer, artist, inker, colorist and letterer Jason Flowers would appreciate it.
A.A.I Wars #1
Creator: Jason Flowers