Review – ENIAC #1
Review – ENIAC #1 Bad Idea
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Doug Braithwaite with David Lapham
Colourist: Diego Rodriguez
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: Bad Idea
Plus: An All-New Bad Idea B-Side Story : Save Now
At the height of World War II, the world’s most ingenious minds began a race to create a super-weapon capable of ending the war with the push of a button. One of those projects gave us the atom bomb…and another produced the world’s first supercomputer: ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) — an immeasurably complex mathematical model that targeted the Axis war machine by calculating missile trajectories and troop deployments.
Everybody knows that. It’s real-life American history.
Or so we were told.
On August 6th, 1945, the United States dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima.
Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki… Only President Truman wasn’t the one who gave order.
It was ENIAC.
In the Allies’ determination to end the war, they had accidentally created the world’s first autonomous machine intelligence…which had quickly deduced that one bomb wouldn’t be enough.
But ENIAC’s real plan was only just beginning…
Now, 75 years later, an encrypted countdown has just been detected in Earth’s satellite network and mankind only has three days left before ENIAC launches every weapon in the planet’s nuclear arsenal simultaneously. With few options and even less time, the Secretary of Defense has just given two covert operatives the most important mission in human history: kill ENIAC.
Kindt provides use with a classic story in three acts here. In modern Afghanistan, an elite group of American Soldiers tracks down the money trail of the Russian’s who are hiring locals to kill Americans. We then cut to the group naked in the desert getting their mission from SoD. To finish the arc we get a quick origin of the ENIAC programme.
It’s a great basic story that could have happened and feels kind Black Mirror in approach. Man pushes technology too far and technology pushes back.
Doug Braithwaite with David Lapham do an admirable double act here. The front of house ENIAC story is bright, violent and almost feels like something you’re before while still being fresh and on point. The back of house B&W Save Now story is slightly mad and freshens you palette after the violence of ENIAC.
ENIAC is the first series released by BAD IDEA, and it was a stunning debut but does it live up to the hype? BAD IDEA has an interesting market strategy, less is more and keep demand up in short bursts. Restrictions on the number of approved dealers (including one that received a lifetime ban within 24 hours of release for abuse), strict ordering guidelines, clear customer limits, and pricing, BAD IDEA has mainstreamed the Kickstarter model without bidding. The Golden Button for customers with the first purchased copy added additional secret incentives to that new comic book day thrill. Another impressive factor by BAD IDEA is the overall high print material quality word of mouth spread quickly and prices have continued to rise.
ENIAC #1 is good, very good. It plays to all the strengths of comics as a medium. The industry relies on big ideas told in prose snippets showcased by cutting edge artist. ENIAC #1 had to be a comic and it had to be one in 2021. I am setting the bar high for issue #1 with a perfect score for all areas. Comic shops need more of this type of activity to drive footfall into shops and away from online.
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