Arcadia asks some tough questions without even asking them. Alex Paknadel probably does this intentionally, so I thought I could spend some time talking about them. Being obsessed with robots and the line between man and machine, you probably can’t help but wonder who are the real humans in this comic. I have noticed that in my other reviews, I always assume that Lee, the real Lee, is going through some tough times and can’t let go of his daughter, who is now a robot programed with Coral’s memoires. But I guessed I just assumed this, although there has been no sign that he even cares about it. So maybe Lee thinks differently and wants his daughter back and wants his wife back, even if they are the new programed ones. Again, Paknadel never directly asks his audience this, but your mind wonders. Which is cool on Paknadel to not let his character’s comment on it, as of yet, and you just go with the flow. So maybe the comic isn’t all about The Meat Vs The Machine, but just a story about two minds struggling to get along. Again, I like that all these questions are going through my head when reading comics. Isn’t that what they are for?
To get into the story, I found this issue to be the most confusing Arcadia issue to date. I actually don’t know much of what happened plot wise, but I’ll try my best to comment on it. I don’t know if I need to read it again or if the audience was supposed to be confused, but it all seemed strange. We meet some new people who I honestly don’t know who the hell they are. But I would assume that this is a flashback of when people were dying or current day and not many humans are left. I really just hope it all makes sense in the next issue. What I did get was Jack’s story.
We still don’t know what is so special about him, but he seems to have power that no one else has. Everyone now knows of this power, so they put it to good use in this issue. The only problem with having Jack, is having his mother. This lady is crazy and it could mean the end of the line for Coral and her friends if she doesn’t get in check. Again, this shows Paknadel’s ability to give characters all different motivations. What drives the motivations is the real question…?
As far as Lee goes, we don’t get much of him and it is one of those moments that I am confused at. I don’t know if I missed the character’s names that he mentions in an earlier issue or if it is just as simple as he is going to help the President.
The art is great and I feel like I don’t talk about it much with so much going on, but Eric Scott Pfeiffer does exactly what needs to be done. We get dark rich characters with mostly blank backgrounds to really focus in on everyone’s situation.
All in all, I was a tad disappointed by how confused this issue made me feel. I may have missed some things but to be this lost feels daunting. I really hope Arcadia can solve some of my anxiety.
Arcadia #5 Writer: Alex Paknadel Artist: Eric Scott Pfeiffer Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/23/15 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital