Isaac Asimov’s I-Bots #7
Tekno Comics (May, 1996)“Sacrificial Lamb” WRITER: Steven Grant’ PENCILER: Pat Brodrick INKER: Josef Rubinstein COLORING: Prismacolor LETTERING: Richard Starkings & Comicraft EDITOR: James Chambers CONCEPT: Isaac Asimov DEVELOPER: Howard Chaykin
Killaine is found, very much alive and amnesic, by a group of monks who accept technology but still push for a simpler life. The leader, Cortez, attempts to help Killaine find herself, but when nothing appears to be working (although since they know she’s an I-Bot they could have started there but don’t) he suggests a more dramatic spiritual process. Killaine is blindfolded, but the blindfold has circuitry to inhibit her functions until she wakes up near a dead senator from Greece who has been condemning the I-Bots. Now everyone, including Killaine herself, believes she killed the senator, but as her self-destruct protocols begin to kick in she is stopped by the vengeful spirit Lady Justice, who tells her she is innocent and that she can use Lady Justice’s powers, which will even counteract her “no-kill” protocol, to get revenge on Cortez.
I should explain Lady Justice here. Created by Neil Gaiman (one of many comics he created for Tekno), Lady Justice is a spirit of vengeance for women, who joins with them to get revenge for an injustice done to them, usually by men. Not having read the series this is all I know about her.
What they got right: This sets up an interesting situation for Killaine. The I-Bots declared they can’t kill due to a version of the “Three Laws” that’s hardwired into their design, which is how the Cabal was defeated. So how did Killaine kill someone and not die? This is a question her friends have to ask, but although we learn she didn’t by the end of the issue (thanks to Lady Justice popping up) we do learn that the self-destruct activates psychologically. Even if Killaine did kill the senator she didn’t know it at the time because she was blindfolded (ironically the symbol worn by Lady Justice’s “avatars”), so will even an accidental killing react with the protocol? Something interesting to think about.
What they got wrong: So does I-Bots exist in the same universe (other titles by Gaiman suggest a multiverse for Tekno/Big) as Lady Justice? I was under the impression that the latter took part in a more normal reality than the high-tech world of the I-Bots.
Other notes: Technically this is the last issue of volume 1. Big Entertainment, who published the Tekno Comics line, decided to start branding the comics with their own name, and renumbered the series. Next week begins Volume 2 and starts at #1, while the “next time” page says the next issue is #8 (which I’m betting confused people at the time, including myself). However, because it was intended to continue on and the story continues next issue I didn’t put a “FINAL ISSUE” notation in the opening of this review. As part of the transition there is a multi-part story in the Tekno titles. This issue contains chapter 6 of “The Big Bang”, but it’s not worth reviewing since it’s too short and I have no way of connecting it to the rest of story. The only other Tekno comic I have is one issue of another Neil Gaiman creation, Mr. Hero: The Newmatic Man, and doesn’t have any part of “The Big Bang”.
Recommendations: I’m still into this series and recommend it to anyone who asks.