With Arcadia #7 you start to see all of the parallel stories in Alex Paknadel and Eric Scott Pfeiffer’s twisty, internet-as-utopia, epic converge. All of the players begin to take their places for the final act. (Maybe!) As this occurs, a single through line becomes clear, a final attempt to save the inhabitants of Arcadia falls into place. From what? I won’t reveal, because the twist is really interesting, and the journey to get there even more so.
Much of this issue takes place in “the meat” – otherwise known as the real world. It sort of settles down a little in the mind-bending stuff and introduces another creepy element answering the question, what do the few people who weren’t uploaded into Arcadia do with their time? This also adds new angles to the commentary already presented on our virtual addiction as a society.
And, as I continue through the series, I begin to ponder multiverses. People have been arguing the existence of such things for a little while now, and it just occurred to me, maybe we are creating multiverses already. Technological universes in which we exist as information, in which we are able to live and make decisions outside of ourselves without the fear of actually being hurt. Anonymity. You see it every day online and in social networks – how we treat each other. Imagine what our adolescent, indoctrinated minds would do to each other if we virtually lived (lived virtually) within these worlds. It might look a little like Battle Royal, the Japanese film about teenagers forced to kill each other on an island – all places that my mind goes while reading this thought-provoking, imagination-enhancing, dream-like spiral into and around surrealism.
There is so much of this world that Paknadel and Pfeiffer have left uncolored, allowing mere glimpses at certain things so that our imaginations can fill in those empty spaces. That’s part of the joy of this series; it expands well beyond the edges of the individual panels. This world lives and breathes, along with it so too do my thoughts.