Review: Hacktivist Vol. 2 #1
The medium of comics can be at times amazingly inventive and creative, but it has also never really known what to make of social activism and the advent of computers into our lives. This has changed in varying degrees over the years, as the rise of independents have made certain stories more approachable, especially for those groups that are often marginalized, and one can see this in the development of the medium’s approach to social justice. While the 1960s saw huge advances in civil rights, it was often ignored in comics, with comic characters mostly ignoring the real world. The modern day is different, as the independents tell the stories that the big two sometimes seemed hesitant to explore, with movements like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street forming part of the public discourse in comics. Equally though, comics have never really approached computing from a realistic standpoint, with graphical representations of virtual worlds which are nothing like the true cyberspace, or of superheroes like Oracle who act as slightly more enhanced versions of Google and Wikipedia.
These two oddities for comics combined together in the first series of Hacktivist which focused specifically around the events of the Arab Spring, but also focused on the 99% and a world that Snowden has alluded to. This second series picks up from that first story line and pushes it in a new direction. The story here focuses on the return of some familiar screen names, but not belonging to the original owners. Some new hackers have taken it upon themselves to build on what has come before and to push the boundaries farther. The goal now is not only social justice, but seemingly also the beginning of a revolution, and the series’ regulars return to attempt to stop them.
This series deserves praise for accomplishing what has been next to impossible for comics as a medium, addressing a social issue, and tackling it head-on as opposed to the restrained approached of some afraid to keep both side’s of the debate happy. It has also managed to infuse the series with so much computer based concepts that it makes the reader feel like one with the characters and their hacking knowledge. Neither is an easy feat in this medium, and the end result, combined with some clever artwork, is a comic that has the ability to tell a story unlike any other. The creative team has set this up as a potentially great series, and it only remains for them to execute what they have start here.
Story: Alyssa Milano, Colin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing Art: Marcus To
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy
Boom Studios/Archaia provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review