An AI story with a pagan twist, Hexware #1 is already asking the big questions: who deserves a soul, and how far will one go to feel “real”?
Warning: SPOILERS for hexware #1hexware #1 is the latest sci-fi offering from image comics, but this time with a fantasy-oriented twist. Like many AI stories, this first issue already raises the big questions: who deserves a soul, and how far will one go to feel “real”?
hexware joins a long line of AI-focused stories that consider what would happen if artificial intelligence really started to gain, or, in this case, want, sentience. Described by Image as “dark mix of witchcraft and science fiction” hexware promises to add an almost pagan element to this classic AI tale, as the story follows the android “What-Where” of a wealthy family as he tries to buy a new soul from an incomplete source: the devil. In this futuristic world of amplified class inequality, the “the reclusive population is drawn to neo-spiritualism and hedge magic.Including, apparently, the androids of the corporate ruling class.
The first number of hexware, by Tim Seeley, Zulema Scotto Lavina, Valentina Cuomo and Maurizio Clausi, uses a “then and now” structure to introduce the reader to the main character: a “what-where” android who seems to be trying to become more human. The “now” segments of the issue explore the android’s attempts to experience the world on the street, seemingly for herself, using her emotions and senses rather than facts and data. The “then” story shows the reader how the “What-Where” got to this point: a politically motivated bombing raid killed the daughter of the android’s wealthy family, Jesi. When her grief-stricken parents try to shut her down, the android resists, searching instead for pagan texts to win a soul. She ends up communicating with a demon, who tells her which-where she will sell him a soul, if she runs some scary errands, like bounty hunters, on her behalf. The issue ends with the implication that it is the dead daughter’s soul that the android has claimed.
hexware Successfully combines AI philosophy with pagan aesthetics
This new series takes the classic tale of Pinocchio (will the android turn into a “real girl”?) and adds a super fun twist in the form of these combined genre elements. Despite the sometimes jerky pacing as the story moves back and forth in time, the enchanting witchcraft of this first issue keeps the reader engaged and enchanted, especially as the pagan iconography is applied in a futuristic setting. never No It will be fun to see an android in a classic witch hat. Scotto Lavina’s art stands out in that regard, full of élan and poignancy, as well as terrifying demons. The action sequences at the end of this first issue are a highlight, and hopefully the action will continue as the series continues.
hexware It’s perfect for fans of science fiction, fantasy, and even stories of power and class disparity. The book balances a good handful of genres and thematic elements, and so far the juggling is spectacular (as is the art). If the team behind hexware can keep all those balls in the air, this new tale of Pinocchio from image comics it could be a philosophically moving and utterly charming hit.
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Verify hexware #1, available now from Image Comics!
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