Unfamiliar with Steve Aoki’s music, I thought it might be interesting to dive into a debut series and focus on it as a comic standing on its own. I’ve found it to be engaging in a peculiar way…
To summarize, an underground outlaw group of “Augmented” (people who chose to integrate their bodies with technology) begins plans for revolution as tensions rise towards war against society’s majority population of “the Authentic” (those who remain purely organic human beings.) The problem with this basic structure is that I was immediately reminded of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mankind Divided. Now there are worse things to be compared to, but my immediate concern was just how similar these ideas would be; a fairly realistic interpretation of what the future would look like for us as technology advances more and more. In my research, I think thus far I’ve found the comparison isn’t particularly harmful. The focus of each story is different and though similar in the general concept of future society, they have very distinct styles and some key differences.
The aforementioned Deus Ex games follow Adam Jensen, whose backstory is fairly complex and leads to him becoming an agent against technological terrorism as well as radical anti-augmentation groups. Those are stories of espeonage, political duplicity, and discrimination. Neon Future however, follows the titular cybernetic resistance group and their newest project: Clay Campbell, a law enforcement star that hunted the augmented in spectacle, becomes the fatal victim of a vehicle explosion; Neon Future then takes possession of his near lifeless body and revives him using experimental cybernetic “plug-ins” that hold perhaps limitless potential. To put it simply, the face of “Return America” and the effort to crack down on cyborg tech, is saved by the people he hunted, to be made an example of their true potential. It seems a bit twisted, however the leader of the resistance, Kita Sovee (bearing Steve Aoki’s resemblance,) would appear to be attempting to save the life of an enemy in order to share perspective and work towards peace.
At the moment, I can’t say I know what to expect. Some of Kita’s followers don’t seem to have a clue either and it’s possible the members who doubt his methods may break off and become another problem. Truthfully, I feel it’s hard to understand how anyone expects to get anywhere in this resistance, as Kita appears to be extremely cryptic about how he can see giving Clay the new tech will lead to eventual harmony between mankind and technology. That won’t necessarily breed confidence in the people of your cause… although conversely, his right hand, Mars, calls for violence, an uprising from their underground against the oppressive anti-cyborg society. Still, Kita is on the right track, saying “I’m not afraid to use a pawn. I’m afraid to go from oppressed to oppressor.” How fortunate for Clay, who finds himself despised by most of the augmented while seen as dead and just another nameless “plug-in” by his former allies.
True to the desire for harmony, the zen nature of Steve Aoki’s likeness, and an overall beautiful color scheme, there’s a strange mystic twist to all of this. On the brink of death and prior to his awakening with new head implants, Clay enters a strange, peaceful world where he is ambushed by an armored swordsman, presumably Kita’s consciousness, telling him he has to pick a side in th coming war between the augmented and authentic, as well as chose “the blade or the butterfly” to determine what circumstances they’ll meet in next. And like Clay, I sincerely don’t know what that means. I’m interested in where this story goes because as hard as it is to describe, it clearly has opened a door to an unusual journey. Confuse, yet intrigued, I’d recommend you give it a look. Let’s find out what publisher and creative team Impact Theory wants to show the world.
New face in publishing Impact Theory has released Neon Future issue 1 with 6 unique cover variants. Their online store offers the issue for $3.99 a piece for mature audiences.