Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday Revue February 27: Steel Salvation


It's Time For The Steel Salvation!

The story begins with a little robotic Napoleon believing in a Goddess of Code and trying to wipe out humanity. And then things get weird. It's 'Steel Salvation', it's the creation of  a team made up of J.S. Conner, Evan Ledesma,, and Alex Mattingly, and it continues its strange and brooding existence at this address. Click of you dare to confront the terrible and remarkable Dy-Gar, the evil, the terrifying, the...
Okay, he's not that scary. But he thinks he is, and he has BIG ambitions. He wants to free all robot kind and destroy humanity in all its forms. He wants to purify the galaxy!
The constant and amusing dissonances between the dark and Tolstoyan events of the comic and the charming character designs is one of the many off the wall oddities of this work and one of its charms.

The Rating

There's deep and complex questions being raised here, 
but the essential drive to answer them is missing

The Raves

If you like puzzles, this is your comic. Mystery abounds. There are plots within plots, and to top it all off you can never be quite sure of what's real and what's been conjured up by the protagonist's silicated imagination. Every answer leads to more questions, from the practical-how the hell do we get out of here, what's going on- to the metaphysical-what is sentience, is there a destiny, why is the universe cruel-and the snarky, a la 'why are you such a jerk?'
The comic likes to explore deep and philosophical themes, forcing its readers to ask penetrating questions that rarely come up in daily life; questions of self determination, of free will, of reality and realpolitik ethics. It's good to get that kind of philosophical challenge once in awhile. And the protagonist's rambling speeches are a masterful exploration of a fractured mind and a great case study on how to design and write a character who is conflicted and self-deluding.

The Razzes

But ultimately, Steel Salvation reads like a russian novel in space.It's all bleak, it's all grim, and it's all a little bit pointless to the reader.  A lot of people are dying, somebody's talking about it at length, and you don't really care. The Russian authors were out to prove that war and oppressive society were just that: grim and pointless. They wanted people to read and revolt when faced with the stark truth. But 'Salvation' seems to want we readers to keep reading for the sake of studying all the ways the brain can go wrong and all the ways it can fool itself...sorry, but it doesn't work for most people. If I want to study psychology, I pick up a textbook. Reading the comic is a bit too much like reading the 'making of' book to some famous sci-fi series, without the series you care about involved. There's frankly no reason to care about any of the characters involved, and I found myself reading only in a sort of morbidly idle hope that the protagonist would have a mental breakdown or have all his delusions stripped away. The characters in 'Salvation' are robots, but we're human, and humans need to be able to identify with characters in order to care about what happens to them.As a creator you can do that through life threatening situations, through character traits that make them likeable, or through ideals we believe in. But watching an angry robot wander around proselytizing and bemoaning existence gives none of these, and becomes boring quite quickly. Frankly, I don't care if he's crazy or not. I just want something interesting to happen.

The Revue

A little too cold and mechanical to fall in love with, but definitely one for the philosophy majors in the crowd.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Drop us a line!