Hacktivist #2 (Comics Review)
Posted by AJ
Created by Alyssa Milano, who has worn a lot of hats over the years, including actor, producer, director, Hacktivist was announced by Archaia Label last year, and in January this year we got the first issue. I had high hopes for this series, given the subject matter, and the first issue proved to be a delight. It wasn’t quite out there with what I wanted it to be, but it was a solid issue with the writing and art executed fairly well. Sadly, I dropped off the title in February because of a burgeoning pull-list but the relative down-time this week has allowed me to get back into it, and I’m still having fun.
The second issue takes things further as far as the protagonists Ed and Nate are concerned. In the previous issue, they were asked to help the US government with the people’s rebellion in Tunisia, and in this issue we see how all of that plays out, from start to finish. These two extraordinary programmers and owners of the social networking site YourLife use every trick up their sleeve and the fallout is extremely interesting. That’s not all of course because the art also continues to be quite good. In fact, I’d say there’s been a bit of an improvement since last time.
When Big Brother US Government is watching, things tend to go out of hand, given the usual government tendencies of deception, betrayal and near-fascism. In the review for the first issue I called this series well-timed with respect to hacker collectives leaving their mark on big corporations and governments alike. This time, I’ll say that the series is well-timed with respect to governments interfering where they are not supposed to, all in the name of global geo-politics and the recent NSA revelations. The story here is very much on point, and I suppose that’s the intent, to offer a social commentary on governments interacting with… outside collaborators.
The best part about this issue was Ed himself. While Nate and Ed are both fantastically portrayed all the way through, Ed was the one who stole the show by the end, given the climax and where he ends up by that final page. It is fascinating to see a fictionalised version of how social media can aid in a people’s rebellion, giving the people the power to communicate when the ruling body takes it away. This is pretty much the story of the Arab Spring in the real world, and while the writers here take quite a bit of liberty, that’s totally fine, because this is a fictionalised encounter that is being set up.
Unlike the previous issue, the new one is much better paced. There is a lot of story and development packed into this issue and yet it all flows together very neatly. There is definitely a significant improvement here on that regard and I welcome it, because I was looking for that specifically. I loved all of it, from start to finish, and on the matter of the story, I really couldn’t have asked for more.
Like I said, Ed steals the show here and just like the previous issue the ending totally throws a spanner in the works. At the end of the first issue the government was putting the squeeze on the two young entrepreneurs. Well, now they are striking back, because their shtick has always been about freedom. It is what they wanted in life, and it is what they want for people all over the world. Ed has a lot of dialogue here in this issue on the topic, and all of it is top-notch.
Marcus To and Ian Herring are back for the art, and as mentioned, I could see some improvements in their work. One of the areas of improvement was that Marcus To has a lot more things to work with this time. The characters are much more expressive, and they go through a lot of emotional moments here, each of which builds upon the one before. The interface of YourLife was back again in this issue, and rightly so, given the importance of the social media in the entire story, and the coding backend of the system which is what the US Government is leveraging through Ed and Nate. And in the end, the colours were very… warm throughout and as with the detailed and varied artwork, they too stood out.
In a final summation, I’m quite happy with this issue. It is quite a bit better than its predecessor, which is what I wanted and what I got. The only real negative of the issue is that we don’t get to see much of Sirine and her problems in Tunisia, but hopefully that changes for the third issue, given the ending here.
More Hacktivist: #1.
Posted on March 31, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged Activism, Alyssa Milano, Arab Spring, Archaia Black Label, Collin Kelly, Comics, Comics Review, Deron Bennett, Hackers, Hacktivist, Ian Herring, Jackson Lanzing, Marcus To, Programming, Review, Review Central, Revolution, Science Fiction, Social Engineering, Social Media, Social Network, Tunisia. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.