Hacktivist HC | Creator: Alyssa Milano | Writers: Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly | Artist: Marcus To | Colorist: Ian Herring | Letters: Deron Bennett | Publisher: Archaia/Boom! Studios| Price: $24.99 | From my column @ Forces of Geek.com
Hacker stories are a dime a dozen, but Alyssa Milano, yes, that Alyssa Milano, has presented a fresh premise that is engaging and ties into all of the concerns we have about social media.
Our story follows Ed Hiccox and Nate Graft, who, by day, are brilliant young co-founders of YouLife social networking company.
By night, they are the notorious hackers ‘sve_Urs3lf,’ who help those in need. Their friendship is the crux of the story as their back and forth comes across as two actors with great chemistry with one another.
Nate is a charismatic maverick, and Ed is the strong silent type. Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly’s dialog does a great job of not insulting the reader’s intelligence by not inserting random tech speak so the story can feel like a high-tech drama.
One of the many things the book does right is not making YouLife a Facebook clone, making it easy to ignore. Instead, the company has its own voice and therefore becomes a character you can’t ignore. Most of us have seen the various warnings on how social media is infiltrating our lives while working for the government.
Well, the CIA’s version of freedom in this story makes our fears well-founded, and the writers draw on that as tensions escalate domestically and abroad. Nate doesn’t see the big deal, while Ed believes otherwise. Depending on your personal view of privacy, you might find yourself siding with one over the other. The narrative is laid out in a way where there is no real clear-cut answer as to who’s right or wrong, with bread crumbs leading in either direction.
The talented hand of Marcus To knows no bounds. Emotion, body language, page layouts, action, beauty, and style are all illustrated with an expertise that captures the project’s essence. I can’t imagine the creative team being any happier with the results, and Ian Herring’s coloring is the cherry on top.
There is a cool interview at the end of the book with a former hacker giving their take on the story along with some of their personal tales. You would think this was done just to give the book some street credit, but you get the sense that they very much enjoyed what they read, which makes it more authentic.
This hardcover collects all four issues and reads much better as a collected work because waiting a month between releases might have dulled your excitement because there is so much going on, and you might forget a tidbit or two.
Archaia seems to be allergic to producing anything but comic book gold, and Hacktivist is just another shining example of the publisher’s standard excellence in the genre.