As I have said a thousand times, I try to pick up new BOOM! titles as much as possible. Because they are freakin’ awesome. Very rarely do I not enjoy a number one issue from BOOM! They know what they want and have a clear path of getting there. So it was no surprise that when Arcadia opened up for review, I jumped all over that. And was it worth it? Hell yes! Ok so the human species is pretty much screwed right now. The world, although we haven’t gotten much view, seems fine. At least livable, so we didn’t mess that up. But what did happen was a huge outbreak. It has killed off most of the humans, and like any government, they are freaking out. So under pressure, the government decides to essentially copy people’s brains into a computer program. The whole process is called Arcadia. If this doesn’t sound great to you then just jump off ship right now, but otherwise stick around.
The plot jumps around a lot. For a first issue, it was a little rough on the get go not knowing the people or the situations, but Alex Paknadel slowly builds us into an understanding. Like most readers, I am selfish, so not having all the information right away messes with me. You have to take a step back in this comic though and realize that this is new territory and this new ground needs to be walked on with an even pace. Paknadel seems to be the man for the job. His way of intertwining stories and creating relationships with the characters before knowing everything about them breaks up the “not knowing” chaos.
The first story we see follows Lee Pepper in Alaska. He is Chief of Operations and is probably our main character. He works in these huge facility that houses the humans’ minds. We don’t get to know much about him besides that he comes across as a good guy. He is friendly with the President, fights against the computer A.I.s, and also cares for his daughter. I dig the dark past trying to make things right kinda dude, so Pepper is a good fit for this environment.
Then you meet Coral. She lives in California and, although they haven’t explained exactly I’ll try, is living in a human shell. She isn’t apart of her real body anymore but got her mind transferred to a host. She has struggles too because even though she is now immune to the disease, she still fights authority and questions Arcadia. Maybe not the whole program but maybe just the people running it or even some aspects of it. Her only outlet is unlikely source that you will just have to wait and see, but for now she lives a pleasant life, so the outside world thinks.
I haven’t been truly intrigued by a comic in a while. I am interested to see where Paknadel takes us on this ride. So far, so good.