Graphic Novel Review: Upgrade Soul

By Nolan P. Smith

Staff Reporter

(Victor Valley)– When you think of comic books, the epitome of stereotypes either falls into the bright caped world of superheroes or the juvenile hijinks of a “for kids” comic book. In the last decade or so, we have seen this stereotype get broken down by comics about any story you could possibly imagine. With Upgrade Soul by Ezra Claytan Daniels, we get a book that is eerily frightening, intriguing and a little too close to home in today’s science fiction-tinged world.

From Lion Forge, this graphic novel follows the lives of senior married couple Hank and Molly Nonnar. They are a happy couple, a bit worn down from the toll life can take on you, and are ready to try something new. For their 45thanniversary, the couple decides to undergo a very experimental procedure that would give them back their youths and a new lease on life. What they get instead are horrid, yellow-hued defective clones that look more like potatoes than humans, but with their memories, and a smarter intellect. But what about the old Hank and Molly? What constitutes a living, bonafide person when you are created out of a lab?

Daniels tackles a subject near and dear to everyone’s heart: our own mortality. If, IF such a procedure was possible, would you make the jump, no matter the risks? Illustrated and written by Daniels, the book is absolutely chilling, but not in a crazy, ax-murderer kind of way. More of a science gone wrong kind of way. Hank and Molly’s journey through this crazy time, as well as the people they meet along the way, are all extremely memorable. The book looks, reads and feels like it is ready to jump to the big screen: the storytelling is so fluid.

There isn’t a whole lot of action in this book. Instead, it’s packed with heart, heartache, shock, questions that have answers and questions we need to answer ourselves about life. Upgrade Soul makes you take a good, hard look at the world around you, and it makes you wonder if this is fiction or inspired by real-life events. Ezra Claytan Daniels creates one of the best graphic novels of 2018, and I highly recommended picking it when it releases in September.

 

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