ITTO and Beanie (the Barista bot) are on their way to a resupply station when they are buzzed by a recycling and litter observation bot. While ITTO wonders if it’s operated by a human, Beanie discovers they have arrived at the station.
Searching through it, the bot realizes there are no replacement batteries. ITTO urges Beanie to keep going, but the Barista bot powers down; however, when it reboots, Beanie is attacked and dissembled by recycling bots. It is sudden and vicious. ITTO attempts to flee but is attacked, as well. It’s only by sheer luck that a traffic bot is nearby and tasers one of the recycle units, destroying it.
At first, ITTO is afraid of the traffic bot, but the unit assures him that dismantling other bots is not part of its protocol. Its primary mission is to protect all citizens and insists on accompanying ITTO to its destination. Unable to save Beanie, the duo traverses an increasingly more hostile environment. Hearing the flying drone bot return, ITTO and the traffic bot hide while it buzzes the area, notes the destruction of the other recycle bot, and leaves. The big question now is: Will they make it to the factory? And if they do, what awaits them?
This issue continues to build the threat level for ITTO and its companions. Everywhere they look, there is potential danger which makes for suspenseful moments in otherwise bucolic scenes. I do find ITTO being saved by the traffic bot multiple times to be convenient, and I would have liked to see ITTO help itself in a way that is organic to its programming rather than depending on luck and other bots. The action sequences are solid and even though ITTO does not have a human face, the art does a wonderful job of giving us a sense of its struggle, fear, and dismay. You definitely feel empathy for the bots.
It is a fun and engaging story, and I look forward to reading more.
Creative Team: Phil Chapman (writer, artist)
Publisher: Blue Fox Comics
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