HACKTIVIST #1

I’ve been a fan of Alyssa Milano since I was a kid, she was one of my first “celebrity crushes”. She’s the reason I watched and reviewed every episode of her TV show MISTRESSES last summer, as well as movies she’s been in like MY GIRLFRIEND’S BOYFRIEND and PATHOLOGY. So when I heard that she was creating her own comic-book (from Boom Studios, via their Archiai Black Press imprint) of course I had to buy it.

To be specific, Milano is credited as “Creator”, so I presume it’s similar to when Rashida Jones “created” her comic-book miniseries FRENEMY OF THE STATE, in which she came up with the concept, and then hired established writers to flesh it out and turn it into a series. In this case the credited writers are Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly. The premise of this series (which is scheduled for 4 issues) is basically what if Mark Zuckerberg was secretly behind the cyber-group ANONYMOUS, or WIKILEAKS?

The issue opens in Tunisha with a ragtag group of underground human rights activists trying to expose the abuses and corruption of their government, except the government is using its authority to shut down the local internet. But then thanks to a group calling itself “svs_urs3lf”, the government’s internet is hacked open and the activists’ message is broadcast through Tunisha and the rest of the world. Cut to America and we see that the two men responsible for this are Edwin Hiccox and Nate Graft young billionaires who co-founded YOURLIFE, which is supposed to be some radically new and effective social network, with a current user base of 600 million. There’s a couple of pages of dialog explaining how Yourlife supposedly works, but it’s all technical stuff that I can’t explain here.

It becomes clear that Edwin takes their clandestine hacking activities a bit more seriously than Nate, who seems to view it as an interesting distraction from their daily responsibilities. Edwin, on the other hand, appears to be more interested in their potential to affect radical social changes across the world. Then one night, while Edwin is in his office working, Nate hosts a lavish star-studded party for the company. And it’s there that he’s approached by…well, that would spoiling the ending.

It’s a well-written first issue that I found engaging from the start. I must say that I’m also impressed by the fact that this doesn’t read like a typical celebrity vanity-project, something that’s meant to be a stealth-pitch for a TV show of movie for the celebrity to star in. While this is a good premise for a TV or film project, the two leads are males. There is a female character introduced who could conceivably be played by Milano, but it remains to be seen how large a role that character will play in this story.

In addition to the writing, there is vary capable artwork here by Marcus To, colored by Ian Herring. I enjoyed this issue, with it’s topical and relevant subject matter, and look forward to the 2nd one.

GRADE:

Available in comic-book stores of purchase digitally (like I did) via COMIXOLOGY

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