Illustrated by George Schall
A company in Korea specializes in creating “proxies”, life-like robots that have taken the place of some human children for families where conceiving has been difficult. A programmer, in his spare time, has possibly unlocked a key of artificial intelligence. He experiments with one unit and sends it out into the world. As she is later named, Jesse is sent to a family in Texas, where she starts to devour every book in the house, and quickly move on to the library where her mom works. She decides she wants to try going to school and being a “normal” child. Jesse’s innocence quickly gets her swept up with the wrong kids, and she finds herself an accessory to a school shooting. The programmer comes back to reclaim Jesse and raise her as his own daughter, but back in Korea, Jesse struggles with her identity and wanting to not be a girl child. Some short stories are also included that are supposed to bring more to the world of proxies
There are two stories here that are mushed together - the ethics of artificial intelligence and finding identity - and neither one of the is fully realized, as either one could be an entire story to itself. The inclusion of a school shooting seemed a little bit of an extreme way to show Jesse's struggle with fitting in, especially because the consequences and fall out of the shooting aren’t included - the programmer takes Jesse back to Korea before anything can be handled from the violence. While in Korea, Jesse starts to question gender identity, but this could have been a much bigger part of Jesse's "childhood" and, frankly, was more interesting than the artificial intelligence questions or the inclusion of school violence, and could have been the focus entire story.
Image rates this story as Mature, which is probably for the violence, nudity, and mature themes. One of the programmer's friends programs sex proxies, and he's not shy on the details. There are a few scenes of naked adult proxies. The school shooting is a little violent and a few students are shown dead on the page.
Sara's Rating: 6/10
Suitability Level: Adult
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
ISBN: 9781534320116 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 6/10, Suitability: Adult, Comicbooks, Science Fiction, LGBTQ+, Family, Friendship, Image Comics
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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