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Review: Made In Korea #3

Made in Korea #3

Made in Korea, a harrowing SF story and domestic drama, continues as Jeremy Holt and George Schall show Jesse continuing to fall in with a bad crowd at school and move apart from her loving parents. This is while her good-intentioned, yet socially inept “creator” tries to take her away from her family and return to where she was manufactured in South Korea. Made in Korea #3 is a solid middle issue and sets the table for some explosive developments and creates tension in key relationships in Jesse’s life.

Starting with an opening sequence where two of Jesse’s classmates blame the manufacturer of a BB gun instead of their own ineptitude for their lack of skill with it, Holt and Schall explore the connection between white male mediocrity and violence. Naive Jesse thinks that these guys are her friends, but they’re really just using her in a school shooting plot. Jeremy Holt nails these men’s ideology in a well-written monologue where one of them talks about being an outsider and persecuted by society. This draws a parallel to men who appropriate media, pop culture, and even history to justify their insecurities and hatred. As a women of color and artificial intelligence in a predominantly human society, Jesse faces real discrimination and is treated as an “other” by everyone from her parents, “creator, and even the teachers at her school who ask if she’s had any “technical difficulties” when she doesn’t show up for a few days.

Holt and George Schall do an excellent job of exploring racism through sci-fi metaphor and reality while also continuing to probe into the question of what it means to be human. These ideas come out through the strong storytelling of Schall’s art. They show the tension in Jesse’s family through a few powerful images like a slammed door, an angry face, or a car speeding into the night. The pink and red color palette can almost make you hear that asshole revving up his engine in the lane next to you even though it’s a one lane road, and the speed limit is 35. George Schall truly makes Jesse a conduit for the emotions of Made in Korea in bittersweet sequences like her genuinely having a good time with the bad kids from her school and howling like a wolf when her expression is usually neutral. It makes you even feel sadder that she’s being used by the folks around her.

As mentioned earlier, Made in Korea #3 falls squarely in the science fiction genre, but Holt and Schall also play with the superhero genre, especially in how a couple of the students from Jesse’s school treat her. Without mentioning the name of any popular characters, they reveal that she’s basically like Wolverine with unbreakable bones, great strength plus a knack for markmanship. However, these kids also strip the agency away from Jesse and basically play on her loneliness to use it for bad ends like robbing a military base and setting up a school shooting. Jeremy Holt strips away the “badass” from punching and shooting and focuses on the pain and loneliness as Jesse doesn’t want to hurt anyone. (It’s literally in her programming.) George Schall reinforces this by showing no joy when Jesse uses her abilities, and they even add some uncertainty in her facial expressions during the military base heist.

Jesse has great mental and physical skills, but of course, they’re exploited by humans for evil ends in Made in Korea #3 as some kids from her school prey on her loneliness and not fitting in to use her as a pawn in a school shooting. Jeremy Holt and George Schall have spent the previous two issues of Made in Korea crafting Jesse’s family dynamic and this five minutes in the future world, and this third issue starts to overturn it a little bit with the scientist that helped build her lacking the people skills to prevent a catastrophe from happening. The thread that continues to run through the series is that the people around Jesse continue to treat her as a “human in name only”, and this definitely seems like it will backfire in the back end of Made in Korea.

Story: Jeremy Holt, Eunjoo Han 
Art: George Schall, Eunjoo Han Letters: Adam Wollet
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

United States of Captain America #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Barbaric #1 (Vault Comics) – Owen the Barbarian has been cursed to do good with what remains of his life. His bloodthirsty weapon, Axe, has become his moral compass with a drinking problem. We’re sold!

By the Horns #3 (Scout Comics) – A fantastic fantasy series about a woman bent on revenge against the unicorns who killed her beloved.

Darling #1 (Source Point Press) – New York City is caught up in a missing 8-year old girl but Francis Darling accidentally stumbles onto the machinations behind her kidnapping and the drug war that ensues. But has he really?

Factory Summers (Drawn & Quarterly) – Guy Delisle recounts his summers working in a paper mill.

Made in Korea #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue was fantastic and we’re expecting this one to be just as good. We felt something was lurking under the pages in the first issue and we want to see what, if anything, that is.

Mighty Crusaders: The Shield (Archie Comics) – The comic has been full of drama but we want to see this Rob Liefeld driven update on the classic Archie characters.

Parasomnia #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – Cullen Bunn and Andrea Mutti, we’re in just for that. The story is about two worlds split between dreams and reality.

Power Rangers Unlimited: Edge of Darkness #1 (BOOM! Studios) – There’s a lot of buzz about this debut which features the Phantom Ranger. Expect sell-outs and new printings.

United States of Captain America #1 (Marvel) – Marvel is going to explore the legacy of Captain America and introduce a bunch of new characters inspired by the icon. We want to see what the series has to say about the character and what he represents.

White #1 (Black Mask Studios) – Black looked at a world where only Black individuals have superpowers. White focuses on the reaction to that and the individuals attempting to stop them.

Made in Korea #1 Heads Back to Print

The breakout hit miniseries Made in Korea by fan-favorite writer Jeremy Holt and artist George Schall has sold out completely at the distributor level. The popular debut issue is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with growing reorder activity and the reprint will feature new cover art by Schall.

In Made in Korea, readers follow Jesse, the world’s first true A.I. system, on an exciting exploration of what it means to be a family in an age when biological parenthood is no longer a reality.

Made in Korea #1, second printing (Diamond Code APR219396) and Made in Korea #2 (Diamond Code APR210312) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, June 30.

Read our review of the first issue.

Made in Korea #1, second printing

Around the Tubes

Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #1

Yesterday was new comic book day! What’d you all get? What’d you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below. While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The Beat – Small Press Spotlight: Celebrate Indigenous comics and literature – Some cool comics to check out!

The Mary Sue – The Sandman Announces Additional Cast—With Preferred Pronouns for Performers! – Very nice!

Reviews

Collected Editions – Justice League Vol. 7: Galaxy of Terrors

The Beat – Made in Korea #1

Geek Dad – Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #1

Review: Made in Korea #1

Made in Korea #1

George Schall’s cover for Made in Korea #1 has to be considered one of the best in 2021. It’s what made me stop scrolling through the list of upcoming comics I was scanning, looking for my next fix. Once I saw Jeremy Holt was involved, the writer behind Skip to the End and Southern Dog, I knew the quality of the story would match the grotesque wonders of the cover.

Made in Korea centers on a couple that’s debating whether to bring a child into their family. Thing is, the child in question is a kind of ultra-realistic android that’s programmed to behave like a real son or daughter. As is the case with technological innovation, the android kid is expensive and seemingly available only to those privileged enough to have easy access to the required funds.

The title’s manufacturing reference isn’t there for show either. The android children are actually made in Korea, which allows Holt and Schall to add an entirely different but interconnected story thread that, in this case, sees a Korean programmer trying to crack a code that could have an effect in android behavior.

Holt’s script is quite naturalistic, presenting well-rounded characters that feel genuine. Everyone is infused with personality and I appreciated how opinionated they were when commenting on the small but meaningful changes their world has gone through.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Those small details will make any fan of Phillip K. Dick proud as they build up a sci-fi world that thrives on complex subtleties without letting big ideas get too watered down in the process. There’s a delicate balance struck between character moments and big plot events that keeps things moving at a quick but measured pace.

A few pages are also borrowed from the movie Logan in terms of the comic’s worldbuilding, in which the subtle bits of sci-fi that are shown also develop the setting and the characters’ place in it. The near future of Made in Korea is a place that’s taken noticeable steps in technological evolution without making it come off as overwhelming and all-encompassing.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Holt and Schall also find the time to bring up conversations about artificial intelligence, the capacity advanced tech has to adapt and perhaps surpass humanity, and technological co-dependence. There’s even a reference to Dick’s famous novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, thrown in to establish the kind of sci-fi Made in Korea is going for.

Schell’s art perfectly captures the shine that’s often associated with certain idealized versions of the future. It’s crisp, clean, and sleek, as if the future is obsessed with keeping things in their right place, if only for appearances sake. Schell doesn’t go for the dirty, gritty sci-fi look of Blade Runner, Akira, and Brazil, where trash and rundown high-rises color the environment. Instead, he goes for visuals that contain hidden dangers buried deep within suburban standards of life.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Made in Korea packs a lot into its first issue. The six-issue miniseries is ambitious and expansive, worthy of the topic it settled on. There’s something lurking in its pages that looks like it’ll blow up in later issues concerning the questions that come with adopting a child among couples that can’t conceive. Just how much that’ll figure in the story remains to be seen, but what’s here is already enough to make for an exceptional comic.

Made in Korea #1 will be released in comic shops on May 26, 2021.

Story: Jeremy Holt Art: George Schall Letters: Adam Wollet
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Recommendation: Buy and make sure your robotic appliances aren’t becoming sentient


Purchase: comiXologyZeus ComicsTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #3

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Black Friday #2 (Scout Comics/Black Caravan) – Something is trying to come up through the floor. An evil has festered due to the violence of previous Black Fridays and the staff of Star-Mart will need to survive what’s coming. Fantastic horror and a must for fans of the genre.

Black Widow #7 (Marvel) – The series has been amazing so far with a great mix of everything. The writing is top-notch, the action entertaining, and the art is amazing. One of Marvel’s best series out now.

The Blue Flame #1 (Vault Comics) – A new take on the superhero genre. The Blue Flame must prove humanity is worth saving before a universal trial but the hero must save himself first.

Made in Korea #1 (Image Comics) – A series that explores the concept of artificial intelligence. Check out our glowing review.

Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #1 (DC Comics) – Spinning out of Future State, this is the story of how Shilo Norman became Mister Miracle.

The Other History of the DC Universe #4 (DC Comics) – John Ridley turns his exploration into the DC Universe towards Renee Montoya.

Redshift #1 (Scout Comics) – The Ministry of Exploration pins mankind’s last hope on an astronaut who’s scared of space. It’s a tale of survival for all.

Reptil #1 (Marvel) – Not a character we expected to get the spotlight but we’re intrigued to see what’s done here.

Robin #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue was a lot of fun. There was a solid mix of humor and action and the second issue is just as fun. So much added to Damian as far as depth of the character already.

Shadow Doctor #4 (AfterShock) – The amazing true story about a Black doctor in the 1930s who had to turn to his friend Al Capone to help fund his business.

Shadowman #2 (Valiant Entertainment) – The first issue was fantastic and a great reintroduction to the character. The debut got universal praise from our team and we’re all excited to see where the series goes from there.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #3 (IDW Publishing) – We’ve been eagerly waiting for the issue as the series has been delivering entertainment with each release. It’s a familiar grizzled take but the setting and story itself really stands out with really unique elements.

Advance Review: Made in Korea #1

Made in Korea #1

George Schall’s cover for Made in Korea #1 has to be considered one of the best in 2021. It’s what made me stop scrolling through the list of upcoming comics I was scanning, looking for my next fix. Once I saw Jeremy Holt was involved, the writer behind Skip to the End and Southern Dog, I knew the quality of the story would match the grotesque wonders of the cover.

Made in Korea centers on a couple that’s debating whether to bring a child into their family. Thing is, the child in question is a kind of ultra-realistic android that’s programmed to behave like a real son or daughter. As is the case with technological innovation, the android kid is expensive and seemingly available only to those privileged enough to have easy access to the required funds.

The title’s manufacturing reference isn’t there for show either. The android children are actually made in Korea, which allows Holt and Schall to add an entirely different but interconnected story thread that, in this case, sees a Korean programmer trying to crack a code that could have an effect in android behavior.

Holt’s script is quite naturalistic, presenting well-rounded characters that feel genuine. Everyone is infused with personality and I appreciated how opinionated they were when commenting on the small but meaningful changes their world has gone through.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Those small details will make any fan of Phillip K. Dick proud as they build up a sci-fi world that thrives on complex subtleties without letting big ideas get too watered down in the process. There’s a delicate balance struck between character moments and big plot events that keeps things moving at a quick but measured pace.

A few pages are also borrowed from the movie Logan in terms of the comic’s worldbuilding, in which the subtle bits of sci-fi that are shown also develop the setting and the characters’ place in it. The near future of Made in Korea is a place that’s taken noticeable steps in technological evolution without making it come off as overwhelming and all-encompassing.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Holt and Schall also find the time to bring up conversations about artificial intelligence, the capacity advanced tech has to adapt and perhaps surpass humanity, and technological co-dependence. There’s even a reference to Dick’s famous novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, thrown in to establish the kind of sci-fi Made in Korea is going for.

Schell’s art perfectly captures the shine that’s often associated with certain idealized versions of the future. It’s crisp, clean, and sleek, as if the future is obsessed with keeping things in their right place, if only for appearances sake. Schell doesn’t go for the dirty, gritty sci-fi look of Blade Runner, Akira, and Brazil, where trash and rundown high-rises color the environment. Instead, he goes for visuals that contain hidden dangers buried deep within suburban standards of life.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Made in Korea packs a lot into its first issue. The six-issue miniseries is ambitious and expansive, worthy of the topic it settled on. There’s something lurking in its pages that looks like it’ll blow up in later issues concerning the questions that come with adopting a child among couples that can’t conceive. Just how much that’ll figure in the story remains to be seen, but what’s here is already enough to make for an exceptional comic.

Made in Korea #1 will be released in comic shops on May 26, 2021.

Story: Jeremy Holt Art: George Schall Letters: Adam Wollet
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Recommendation: Buy and make sure your robotic appliances aren’t becoming sentient


Pre-Order: comiXologyZeus ComicsTFAW

Made in Korea Explores an A.I. Future

Fan-favorite writer Jeremy Holt joins breakout artist George Schall for a new science fiction story titled Made In Korea. The six issue miniseries will launch from Image Comics this May. 

Made In Korea is Alex Garland’s Ex Machina meets Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender and perfect for fans of Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn’s Alex + Ada.

In Made In Korea, readers will follow Jesse, the world’s first true A.I. system, on an exciting exploration of what it means to be a family in an age when biological parenthood is no longer a reality.

Made In Korea #1 is scheduled to hit shelves in time for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, May 26. 

Made In Korea #1
Almost American