Wednesday, April 13, 2005

NYC Mech

When I first read the solicits for this series, I was very intrigued. New York City is populated by robots and this series would tell the story of some of its residents. I wanted to preorder the series, but I just didn't have the extra money to spare at the time. Fortunately, I came across all six issues on ebay recently for $1.00 plus shipping for a grand total of a little more than $3.50. It was seriously a well spent three and a half dollars.

Even though what intially drew me to this title, robots, would seem to give the story a sci-fi feel, it really doesn't have that at all. This version of New York could easily be our everyday version of New York. The idea of the population being robots is simply a gimmick as the focus of this series is on character interaction and the positions that people put themselves in to make it in this life.

There are two main story arcs. The first deals with a group of criminals who are planning on robbing an arcade so they can buy more drugs. The interaction between the members of the group feels very genuine and you can feel the careless abandon they have when it comes to living their lives. They are invicible and aren't afraid to do anything to get their next fix. The only thing that seems to get to them is their annoying cleaning robot, which appears to be lacking sentience.

While robbing the arcade, things go horribly wrong and each member's true colors of self preservation shine through as they all scrap to survive, even though it is implied that only one actually makes it out alive. The reason why things go wrong, well, that's an interesting twist that I don't want to give away. I'll tell you that I thought it was very clever and very cute at the same time.

The larger arc that spans the last 4 issues of the series deals with a brother and sister combo who are living together and living out two very different lives. One is a modeling superstar while the other is simply a bum that makes it through each day by pretending to be a cop and taking what he needs or convincing people to bribe him off. The relationship is quite two-sided in that the brother is simply trying to get by in his life while the sister, excelling at modeling, is so jealous of her brother who she thinks is doing a great service to society. The lies that they both live in come to a head when a tragic situation forces the brother to confront the lies he lives.

As you can tell, this story isn't about robots at all, but instead is about characters and every day life. The robot aspect is simply to spice it up a little. I seriously enjoyed this series a ton and would recommend it to anyone looking for a little bit of 'slice of life' styled writing with a unique environment. If it holds your interest, you'll be happy to know that the next iteration of the series, NYC Mech: Beta Love, will be coming out soon. I'm not going to make the same mistake I did last time, so you can bet Beta Love is already on my preorder list!

Art: 3.5
Story: 4
Overall: 4

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