Published on May 7th, 2015 | by Guest Writer


Arcadia #1 Review

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If you’re going to read any reviews of Arcadia be prepared for lots of The Matrix comparisons, because there will be many. However apart from the central idea that the majority of the human race exist as digital constructs within a vast computer there isn’t that much to compare, even the central character is less wooden than in The Matrix*

The story starts outside Arcadia Base Station 1 where a sea of bloody fish is being cleared away by Mr Pepper before he faces down a terrifying wolf. This is a scene setter, giving the reader an insight into the hardships of ‘the meats’ world. The meat is the colloquial name for the humans left in the world after a pandemic started wiping out the population. In order to survive, the world’s governments turned to technology to save mankind and undertook the mother of all downloads. Basically it was a massive scanning project of people’s brains. The Virtual People knowingly exist within the framework of a vast computer simulation which is powered and maintained by the Meat.

Arcadia insert 1

Mr Pepper is busy preparing for the President’s visit which is a chance for Alex Paknadel to open up the world he has created to the reader. He uses the visit to have a tour of Base Station 1 and then journey into the database itself to meet some of the digital elite.

Meanwhile in Arcadia, the name given to the computer simulation, Coral has issues with authority and the computer generated world. Just like Neo in The Matrix, Carol is enable to manipulate the digital world and she doesn’t understand why more of the populace aren’t doing it. But of course her father tries to explain it and like any teenage/parent relationship no-one is really listening to anyone else.

Arcadia insert 2

The hierarchal world within Arcadia is illustrated through several meetings between the few characters that are introduced. There exists the elite and the underclass the same as in the real world before the pandemic. Despite the transference to the digital world it would seem that mankind still believe that all aren’t created equal.

There are some amazing ideas portrayed in this first issue and there is so much going on that it’s almost impossible to think that anyone wouldn’t come back for some more. Paknadel doesn’t shy away from jumping straight in and showing off all of the aspects of his new world order. He wants the reader to see exactly where his characters live and show you all the murky goings on. The image of the ‘protestor’ peeling away his skin to reveal the digital image beneath is disturbing and Carol’s secret telephone call adds an extra level of intrigue to a story already brimming with excitement.

Arcadia is a wonderful read with elaborate art and an exciting narrative. It’s easy to compare this to The Matrix but it’s so much more than that. It has a much richer base with which to build on.

Arcadia cover

Title: Arcadia

Publisher: Boom! Studios

Writer: Alex Paknadel

Artist: Eric Scott Pfeiffer

*Sorry, Keanu, we love you really

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