Volume I: The Resistance
Written by Lara Fuentes with art by Patricio Clarey.
Some people, sometimes, feel trapped in the skin they’re in. Alix and Bartimo are resisting their biological path to mechanization, or full robotic anatomy. They sit on the No Destination Train worried that their incomplete mechanization will lead them to St. Peter’s.
There are different plans. Some in the Resistance believe Alix and Bartimo are Alter Egos, those who can speak to the Gods. Both escape the train and start their journey to meet and reason with the Gods. What an intriguing journey to restore humanity it is. Volume I stops just as readers have gotten acquainted with the Gods. I wanted to know how the machines ultimately ruled and even established their own religion.
The religious subtext present a a vague lack of connections. There are subversive elements; a place named Saint Peter is considered a prison and a devil-like figure meets one of heroes at a crucifix. Faux-Beelzebub gives hero an object that’s eventually used as a weapon while speaking one Jesus’ famous sayings.
In contrast, the robot religion established throughout has a “Book of References” and the villains are shown to be highly pious. Bartimo himself leans on the skeptical side. What the ultimate will of the Gods about the fate of robotkind isn’t stated in this volume. There are also mentions of a “third law,” winking references to science-fiction scribe Arthur C. Clarke.
As an expression of imagination, Archeologists is great. Each robot is not a copy of another; I appreciate the artful process that combined sculpting, photography, drawing, etc. The character designs are top-notch and each setting, from the train to the city to the countryside, has a distinct colorful atmosphere. I sense that Fuentes and Clarey have big plans to fill the mythology. I would’ve liked a little more room to explain origins of robot rule, but this scenic route of alternative graphical storytelling is pleasant.