Spoilers here for the first part of this issue, but the end is still a secret. Buy the book and find out!
Depending on who you ask, the 1980s were all about rock and roll, computers, and vans. So, what better way to celebrate that crazy decade than with a comic book that combines all of these things. Tommy Lee Edwards and Noah Smith bring us Vandroid #1, a cool story meant to be a cheesy resurrected 80’s movie. Well, maybe not cheesy, but it would have been awesome in the way that grindhouse movies tend to be. Now we get to see it as an awesome five-issue miniseries from Dark Horse Comics.
The first question I have to answer in this review is “Why is it called Vandroid?” The story focuses on a custom van designer, Chuck Carducci. However, the story is not about the height of his life, in the 1970’s, where he was winning awards and so well known that he had more business than he could handle. This story is set in the middle of the 1980s, after the drugs, the women, and fame have faded away.
Enter Taylor Grey, a technological genius who is working on perfecting a new computer program. This program, under the name of Project Horizon, would be the first true artificial intelligence. His attempt is finally successful, but the A.I. is a little more than they all bargained for as it reroutes power, delves into secret files, and goes about gathering all the data and control of everything electronic that it can reach. Finally, shutting it down after much carnage, the project is shut down and Taylor is afraid of losing his greatest achievement.
Taylor calls on his old friend Chuck Carducci. Even though Chuck had fallen on hard times, lots of drugs and not enough gigs, he still has his skills. Terry goes to him offering him the chance of a lifetime, and Chuck, knowing this may be his last chance, jumps at the idea… well, after berating his “friend” for ignoring him for the last three years. But, Terry gives Chuck what he really needs. Money! And a purpose, of course, via the brain from Project Horizon. All he asks is that Chuck builds a body to house this beautiful mind.
In the search for the perfect body, Chuck designs something very different from what he is used to, but something that allows him to truly pour himself into his work. He creates, not a van, by an android made to look like he looked in his younger, much buffer, days. However, problems follow, since he booted up the android on his PC, it absorbed all of his journals and now believes itself to be Chuck Carducci. Old Chuck meets his untimely end and new android Chuck heads out into the big world.
Vandroid #1 was so fun and I really look forward to reading the rest of the series. They even have a soundtrack to complete the gimmick, since this was “supposed” to be an actual movie back in the mid 80’s. You can find out more about it at the Vandroid website. Overall, the artwork is really good. The story makes sense and really feels like a movie. I felt the ups and downs of the characters and really felt for old Check when he died. If you like movies like The Terminator, Universal Soldier, or Virtuosity, you will love this comic. Check it out!
My Rating: 4.5/5