Lonely Receiver #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on September 01, 2020

Writer: Zac Thompson
Artist: Jen Hickman
Letters: Simon Bowland

Lonely Receiver is an interesting concept. It takes a look at humanities obsession with technology, our overreliance on it, and what that may mean in the future. It does that by looking at Catrin, and the relationship she has with her Life Partner, an A.I. which is bundled with her phone. These Life Partners are meant to bond with you for life, but Lonely Receiver examines what happens when things don't go to plan, via a tough break up between Catrin and Rhion, her Life Partner.

Zac Thompson is used to challenging readers with his stories, you only need to look at No One’s Rose and its Solar Punk story to see that, and with Lonely Receiver he’s taking a look at humanities unhealthy relationship with technology, and turning it into a literal relationship. There is so much going on in this first issue. We see Rhion being created in a scene which is absolutely fantastic, an incredibly imaginative sci-fi scene. The relationship between the two is key to the story though, and it’s incredibly human. There is something raw and true about the feelings and emotions that Catrin is experiencing which really helps to make this futuristic story feel real.

Zac Thompson doesn’t bother to hold the readers hand through the story, leaving just enough clues to put it together and follow along without wasting this first issue explaining exactly what is going on. With so many concepts going on it can be a little confusing at times though, but the story is compelling enough that readers will soldier on through the harder to follow concepts and trusts that readers are intelligent enough to understand. Rather he focuses on telling a compelling story with some interesting concepts which takes a good look at our relationship with technology. Because he’s introducing some challenging concepts though after the comic finishes we also get treated to an advert for the Phylo X11, the phone where Rhion’s personality comes from, which helps to fill in a few blanks for the readers. It’s a nice touch and doesn’t hamper the story any.

Jen Hickmans art is outstanding, she brings the sci-fi elements to life in such a natural and organic way it doesn’t feel as unbelievable as it should. There are some quite graphic love making scenes in this comic, but thanks to the deft way it’s handled it doesn’t feel like it’s porn for horny teenagers, instead it feels like natural lovemaking between a couple. There is also a horror element to it which is quite unsettling because of the contrast.

There are some incredibly creative concepts on show here, Zac Thompson feels like he has an important message to tell about humanities unhealthy relationship with technology and using a literal relationship with technology is an inspired way to look at it. It’s still incredibly early days for the comic and it’s difficult to tell where the series will go from here. Jen Hickman does an amazing job with the art, bringing these fantastical elements to life and managing to portray an adult relationship incredibly well.

Our Score:


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