Story: Mathew Klickstein
Art: Evgeniy Bornyakov
Colors: Lauren Affe
Letterer: Simon Bowland
What They Say:
Lyla must choose to make the ultimate sacrifice, changing everything she thought to be true. She is tasked to use the “killer app” the children of the island have created in order to take out all the adults on the island.
YOU ARE OBSOLETE is a spine-tingling thriller that evokes the eerie naturalism of 1970s horror films with a modern deadly digital twist.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I’ll admit that I usually dislike seeing memes and the like show up in comics since it dates it so instantly, but the quick use of the OK Boomer line is so perfectly timed and not appropriate but spot on for this book that I don’t mind. With the kids killing Gen X and up, and likely some millennials, it’s not exactly accurate, but it fits the whole generational warfare that Martina is running here. The book doesn’t work it into the story, just the title, so Klickstein doesn’t overplay his hand here at the end. It’s a solid ending and one that has Bornyakov really honing in on the escalating terror and fear that Lyla is going through as it all barrels forward.
Lyla’s facing the reality of the situation in a starker light after all that’s gone on so far and with Kad basically accepting his death, she’s in a kind of shock over it. Martina’s pushing of the situation and wanting Lyla to do the deed to finalize her descent into what Martina and the children have crafted is the final move. But as far as all of them have gone, Lyla’s just not there yet and still retains some of her humanity. In fact, she’s calling out Kad on this in that he can’t just let them kill him like this, to expire/retire him without raising a finger. But he won’t do anything against his own child or any other, even though as she says they could just push them out of the way with ease. He’s complicit in it entirely now and allowing it to happen and the more that he makes it clear, the more Lyla finds him pathetic and eventually accepts this from him – which is dangerous in itself.
It’s no surprise that Lyla’s attempt to get off the island after that doesn’t go anywhere as they have their grand plans for her (and backup plans with other disgraced people they can try and take advantage of) and it’s amusing to see her attempt to come up with a plan. Her desperation comes through well and the way she shifts gears to try and calm herself to execute the plan she comes up with is just right. The final round of tension with Martina and the children hits the right sweet spot but watching as it seems to reveal the twist with how the story goes wide, with the tattoo so appropriately placed that you might miss it the first time, paints a grim picture of the future of that world. It’s an ambiguous enough ending that it’ll frustrate me on some level as it’s the kind of story that I think really needed something more distinct and clear to show the impact of it.
You Are Obsolete didn’t quite stick the landing as much as I would have liked and part of it is because it needed to make things just a bit clearer and more defined within the core story itself. I liked the tale in seeing what Lyla discovered and how she tried to grapple with it but I don’t think it was communicated to the reader quite as clearly to make it connect. Watching her trying to take control of things at the end here is about as expected and her push leads to a somewhat ambiguous ending that you can read a few different ways when I think it needs more clarity. Klickenstein presented some neat ideas throughout the run and Bornyakov’s artwork so wonderfully captured the paranoia and tension of the whole situation that combined with Affe’s color design it was pretty intense. It’s an interesting book that I wonder if it works better when read in full.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: January 8th, 2020