The Machine Stops #2 – Advance Review

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See the future through the lens of some amazing art by Michael Lent.

TMS #2THE MACHINE STOPS #2

Writer: Michael Lent

Artist: Marc Rene

Publisher: Alterna Comics

Cover Price: 1.99

 

Previously in The Machine Stops: We’re in the future and everyone lives in pods! A man by the name of Kuno has seen the world above, and now he just wants to talk to his mother face to face. Only he hasn’t done that since birth.

THEY’RE ALL POD PEOPLE

Based on a sci fi story by E.M. Forster with the same name, this comic drops you deep into a world of science and intrigue. Everyone lives underground, and the future is very bleak. Kuno has seen the world above. He has seen the sunsets and the mountains. Kuno has even discovered that there are people up there. All he wants to do is relay that information to his mother, face to face.

That conversation is the bulk of the issue. It’s an interesting metaphor to create a society that hates actually seeing things with their own eyes. Some could say that this very trait is present in current society with our reliance on Skype and the internet. Kuno treats this conversation as if he will never see his mother again, and his mother bides her time during it so that she can leave an report him.

This story has many levels that become fascinating on reflection. Although, the issue does get confusing at certain points. The lettering by artist Marc Rene sometimes makes it unclear about who is saying what. While I am not a lettering snob, you know what most people say about lettering? Nothing. Because good lettering never effects your reading experience. The choice of font for this issue really bothered me, and made it difficult to read all the word balloon text that seemed to be in italics.

MEET THE NEXT JAE LEE

Where Marc Rene succeeds is with his amazing artwork. His panel work is fantastic; creating pieces of the future technology in the panels. His work pops and only enhances the black and white artwork of the issue. Mark my words, this is an artist to watch. He’ll soon be drawing some of the bigger books out there.

THE BOTTOM LINE: YOU MAY WANT TO GO BACK TO THE FUTURE

One part Matrix and one part Phillip K. Dick, The Machine Stops is an interesting look at the future. The ideas it sets up and the world that it builds is a journey that any sci fi fan would want to read. If a dystopian future is to your liking, make sure you get out there and support this indie book when it is released on March 26.