An all-new Mecha-Masterwork, reviewed by some who doesn’t know about Mechas.
I haven’t had the relationship many people had with mechas or big-fighting robots. I didn’t watch Gundam or Evangelion. My first encounter was Power Rangers, which is about more than that. Later, Transformers, which I enjoy deeply. And that’s about it. Therefore, why am I the one writing this review for Astrobots #1? I will write from a non-mecha fanatic’s perspective to determine if this book is a good entry point towards that type of story for curious people yet uninitiated, such as me.
Astrobots #1 from Whatnot Publishing (Liquid Kill, Ninja Funk) by Simon Furman and Hector Trunnec, based on the toy line of the same name, tells the story of the Astrobots, machine lifeforms that pave the way for human colonists. It occurs in a dystopic future, where climate disasters have forced humanity to escape the planet. Although, there are problems in the community they’ve created. Humanlike issues that they will need to solve before the humans arrive.
A flawed society made by machines
Astrobots shows a futuristic society made by advanced machines serving humanity that struggles with human problems, such as protests, inequality, and class differences. All structural issues will complicate its existence and show that these problems are hard to solve, even for the following life form. The role machines play and how they define humanity’s role shows a duality that asks the question: do creations live to serve their creators? Even if they have surpassed them?
If you analyze it, the level of discussion in this book makes you think about important issues on the planet, starting with the role of humanity and their responsibility toward Earth, considering that our creator gave us the world and it’s our role to conserve it. Not to get religious, but the parallelism between God and the humans, and the humans and the Astrobots, is astounding and thought-provoking.
An unexpected savior
Another important theme of this book is the appearance of a savior. A messiah who should be dead but isn’t, and promises to have the necessary knowledge for society. We have seen this figure throughout history, particularly as dictators, but also in fiction: every chosen one story or the kid of the prophecy shows this. This hope that someone is coming to save us.
This first issue builds a promising world, creating many mysteries and characters not showing their true colors. Everyone has their agenda and wants to do stuff in their way. Sounds familiar?
The art is another highlight of the book: the character and background design is spot on, creating a perfect sci-fi dystopian future dominated by machines. The colors set the atmosphere, help differentiate the Mechas, and nudge the reader’s attention in the right direction to follow the conversation and the action. Each robot has its own identity, and everyone is recognizable.
Overall, Astrobots #1 from Whatnot Publishing is more than robot-on-robot action, showing relevant themes and fantastic art, and indeed a great entry point for people who want to read a Mecha story.
Astrobots #1 is available May 3rd in comic shops.
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