Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Magic Boy and the Robot Elf

So who hasn't wanted to create a robot version of him/herself? Maybe it's just me, but I've always wanted to be a robot or at least have my brain put into a robot so I can live longer than this frail, human body of mine will let me. I'm sure you've all wanted to time travel as well, right? Besides being a robot, traveling back in time is another thing I'd love to do since there are many, many things I'd do differently. So what would happen if you created a robot version of yourself and then sent it back in time? That's precisely what this graphic novel tries to answer.

Unfortunately, any answers that are given are muddled and hard to grasp since this story suffers from a severe case of "existential-itis". Yes, it's one of those stories where things happen and you're not really supposed to know why, but in some deeper sense they're supposed to make sense. In my opinion, this only works for a select few writers--Morrison, Moore, and Gaiman for the most part. Unfortunately this story was not written by any of them.

So when the robot goes back in time, it kills the younger version of Magic Boy (the creator of the robot) so that it can live his life instead of Magic Boy actually getting to. Everyone is content in the fact that Magic Boy is dead and has been replaced by a robot of similar likeness. Ok, I can try to suspend my disbelief to try to let the story get its point across. The robot starts to date Magic Boy's future wife and there's even some robot-on-human sex illustrated for your viewing pleasure if you dig that type of thing. All the while that the robot is living out Magic Boy's life, Magic Boy is watching it happen on a special tv that he has which allows him to see into the past.

As the story reaches its conclusion, you will be treated to Magic Boy being greeted by some alien, which he kills and steals the spaceship of, before he is swallowed up into the bowels of existence from which he came. Since the robot has stolen his life, he is removed from reality, or some other weird concept. Seriously, this story just doesn't work that well because I don't think you can really get anything out of it except that it's a bad idea to send a robot version of yourself back in time.

Sadly, it seems that the more Top Shelf books I read, the more often they strike out with me. There really hasn't been anything unbelievably impressive from then that I've read, but maybe that's because I keep reading the wrong titles. Any way you look at it, though, this book can be added to the list of interesting, but completely flawed, attempts at some type of existentialist comic storytelling.

Art: 2
Story: 2
Overall: 2

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