ComicBook.com is obsessed with Westworld, HBO's new series that mixes hi-tech science fiction themes in a brutal Wild West theory. When we're not coming up with new theories about the show's mysterious world, we're looking for ways to pass the time until the next new episode.
If you're a big fan of Westworld, you might enjoy these five comic series. Some focus on the morality and ethics of artificial life, while other series will scratch your itch for the Wild West. All five series are great reads and should help quench your thirst for more Westworld-like themes and worlds.
Alex + Ada
An Image miniseries by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn, Alex + Ada is a surprising love story between a man and his artificial companion. Alex's grandmother sends him Ada as a way to get over his ex-girlfriend, he quickly realizes that there's a greater intelligence lurking underneath the android's complacent personality. After a dangerous and illegal procedure, Alex unlocks Ada's self-sentience and helps her acclimate to a world that fears and hates sentient androids.
Like most love stories, Alex + Ada has plenty of bittersweet moments as it explores the ethics and morality of artificial life. With gorgeous artwork and an easy to follow story, Alex + Ada is a solid look into the complications of artificial life and its relationship with humanity.prevnext
The Sixth Gun
One of the more intriguing parts of Westworld is the Maze, a mysterious "hidden level" buried deep within the original designs of the park. Although the Maze isn't truly supernatural, many characters hold it in some sort of reverence even as they attempt to find its real meaning.
Another great supernatural series is The Sixth Gun by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt. Set in a post-Civil War wild west, the series follows a preacher's daughter and a solitary gunslinger as they battle for control of six guns embued with supernatural powers. The preacher's daughter comes into the possession of the most powerful of the guns, which gives her visions of both the past and the future. Although the guns are connected to the devil himself, the pair and their supernatural allies slowly grow aware of the weapons' even more powerful and dangerous abilities.
If you like the mystery of Westworld and its cast of strange characters, you'll love The Sixth Gun. The series recently finished after a 50 issue run, but trade paperbacks and collections should be available at comic stores and libraries.prevnext
One of the best superhero comics in recent memory, The Vision is a dark take on Marvel's best known artificial life form. Written by Tom King and illustrated by Gabriel Hernández Walta and Jordie Bellaire, The Vision follows the title's character's attempt to lead a normal "everyday" life by building himself a family and moving to surburban Washington DC. But while the Vision had years to acclimate himself with human behavior and help from the Avengers, the Vision family only has each other to learn from.
As the series progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that neither the Vision family nor their human neighbors are quite ready for each other. Although the Vision does his best to keep the peace, death and tragedy quickly follow.
The Vision is probably the best Marvel comic published over the last year and helped solidified Tom King as one of the best writers in superhero comics. If you want to explore the dark side of android sentience, The Vision is a great superhero place to start.prevnext
A spinoff of the popular manga series Astro Boy, Pluto is a murder mystery set in a world populated by humans and sentient robots. After some starts killing off the world's most powerful robots and humans, an android named Gesicht is assigned to investigate the attack. Gesicht has a personal link to the case, as he's also considered to be one of the world's most advanced robots.
Pluto was written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa, one of the modern masters of manga. Not only did Urasawa successfully transform the bright world of Astro Boy into a more realistic and dangerous world, he also explored the limits of robot sentience and one's sense of self.
Pluto is a must-read for every comics fan and requires no knowledge of the wider Astro Boy world to understand. Although the hosts of Westworld hasn't turned (yet), Pluto explores what could happen if robots ever overcame their programming limitations.prevnext
If you enjoy Westworld's gritty take on the Old West, you'll love Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti's Jonah Hex series. Jonah Hex is the heavily scarred ex-Confederate soldier turned bounty hunter in the West. With a past filled with tragedy and few friends, Hex relied on his gun and his own sense of justice to survive in an unforgiving world.
The 2006 Jonah Hex series featured mostly standalone stories set during different points of Hex's life. Gray and Palmiotti's stories are raw and harsh, filled with betrayals and double-crosses, and often feature endings that are far from hopeful. Jonah Hex plays upon some of the same themes that guests get drawn into while visiting Westworld.prev