Review – Alex Automatic Volume 1 (Cabal Comics)

Publisher: Cabal Comics
Writer: Fraser Campbell
Artist: James Corcoran
Colours: David B. Cooper
Letters & Design: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Funding on Kickstarter until Sunday 30th May 2021 (CLICK HERE)

Alex Anderson is a broken man in both mind and body. Recruited and trained as an assassin by the shadowy organisation known as PRISM, Alex is subjected to a series of illegal experiments to make him literally programmable to suit any scenario. However, repeated exposure to the process breaks Alex’ mind and leaves him believing he is Alex Automatic, bionic super spy, star of a 1970s thriller TV show.

If Alex has any hope of piecing his mind back together he must defeat the agents of PRISM who hound his every step, wanting their weapon back, all while being guided by friends that he can’t trust are even real, let alone on his side.

Cast your mind back to the great spy/thriller shows of the 1970s. Mission Impossible, Sapphire and Steel, The Man From U.N.C.L.E, The Avengers, The Champions, Danger Man, The Prisoner, and The Six Million Dollar Man to name but a few. This was the heyday of the genre for me, thrillers that were bold, loud and which embraced an unusual but satisfying mixture of kitsch and suave sophistication where men were men and women were as lethal as they were alluring.

Alex Automatic draws unashamedly from all these shows, takes more than the recommended number of tabs of acid, and explodes onto the page in a psychedelic blur of reality and fantasy as Alex battles everything from shadowy agents to mutant creatures bent on taking over the world.

This is a series that I initially fell upon completely by accident. I was quite new to Indie Comics, hadn’t heard of Fraser, James, David or Hassan, and the first time I visited the COMICHAUS app, (to pick out some indie titles to review), Alex Automatic was one of the first titles to really catch my eye. I was completely bowled over by the inventiveness of the first issue, and since then I have become a huge fan of Fraser Campbell’s work, to the point where it’s pretty much guaranteed that I will buy anything he writes, no questions asked, and that goes for the rest of the creative team on this series.

Having already fallen in love with the adventures of Alex Anderson, I’m very excited to be able to say that today sees the launch of the Kickstarter for the collected edition of the first five issues of Alex Automatic, along with promise of some great extra content. From what I can gather there will be the inclusion of some short stories that have been released in other publications , well as a completely new story and if past history is anything to go there will be some pretty cool reward tiers and stretch goals.

As a regular backer of Kickstarter projects, I can say hand on heart that Fraser and the team run some of the most well organised campaigns I’ve had the pleasure of throwing my hard earned money at. There will undoubtedly be those of you out there that are still a bit nervous of Kickstarters, but these guys run a very tight ship with great communication throughout, and they fulfil their projects damned quickly (no pressure, guys!)

I am going to be right at the front of the queue for this Collected Edition, and I hope that my recommendation is enough to get some of you reading this to join me on this rollercoaster ride.

The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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