SP4RX by Wren McDonald
Kirkus Star


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In a gritty future, hackers must fight an evil corporation trying to turn humans into mechanically altered zombies.

SP4RX is a bitnite, or a hacker for hire, barely keeping himself and his best friend, CL1PP3R, afloat with the odd freelancing job. The pair is commissioned by a profiteer to steal a beta botnet program from the prestigious Gaius Corp. The purloined program can control the existing Elpis Program, a dubious free procedure that bionically modifies humans to increase efficiency. However, when a mysterious female bitnite steals the botnet program from SP4RX, he soon finds himself falling down a terrifying rabbit hole of corporate greed that seeks to use the Elpis Program to turn the modified persons into controlled zombies. Told through visually active panels awash with a spectrum of blacks and purples, McDonald’s tale has a wonderfully indie feel that marches in smart synchrony with its nonconformist antihero. For exposition, McDonald intersperses bits of television ads or interviews, creating a depth to his world without awkward infodumps. Teeming with rogue robots, political and corporate corruption, and raw, unflinchingly violent action, this is a must-read for fans seeking a smart sci-fi graphic offering that's a bit off the beaten path.

A pulls-no-punches techno-thriller; think Mr. Robot meets The Stepford Wives. (Graphic science fiction. 15 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 13th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-910620-12-0
Page count: 120pp
Publisher: Nobrow Ltd.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2016


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