There’s a moment a few pages into this comic where you wonder if parts of it might be a little too on the nose. Somewhere between the main characters with the last names Lewis and Carroll and the rabbit who tells our protagonist that she’s late, you start to think maybe it’s hitting you over the head with the Alice in Wonderland parallels just a smidge too much. The feeling quickly passes, though, as you realize that the story isn’t hitting you over the head at all. It’s setting a tone. It’s also grounding you in something familiar before it takes you on a wild ride into madness.
Alice Carroll, along with her fiancé Max Lewis, have been conducting research into quantum entanglement, using mirrors. They’ve succeeded in creating an Einstein-Rosen bridge between two points on opposite ends of the country and have even sent drones through it successfully. The next step is human trials, and test subject #1 is Alice herself who, in order to complete the test, must literally go through the looking glass.
The plan is for her to step through the portal at their lab in Boston and emerge a moment later at their sister lab in Colorado. Unfortunately, things don’t go quite as planned, and instead of being transported across the country, Alice finds herself in a dystopian alternate world. It looks similar to the Boston she just left, only more technologically advanced—and everyone is under the thumb of someone called the Red Queen.
Many of the themes explored in this comic are familiar to the cyberpunk dystopia genre, but the Alice parallels are what make the story unique and fun, and what make me want to read more. The art helps, too, creating a vivid and colorful picture of the world through the looking glass. This first issue gives us a basic introduction to what this other world is and how it got that way. I’m looking forward to seeing where things go from here and just how far down the rabbit hole we have yet to fall.
Creative Team: Matt Ringel (writer), Marika Cresta (art), Fahriza Kamaputra (color), Toben Racicot (lettering), Fell Hound & Tim Daniel (variant covers)
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