Through the lens of the robot revolution, Mark Russell’s Not All Robots targets toxic masculinity, privileges, police brutality and more.
Warning! Spoilers for Not all robots # 1 vouch!
Mark Russell’s latest comic series about the robot revolution, Not all robots, takes on an incredible number of relevant sociopolitical issues, including toxic masculinity, privilege, and police brutality. Not all robots is published by AWA Studios and illustrated by Mike Deodato Jr., whose art brings dystopian satire to life.
The series starts in 2056. Robots have made humanity obsolete and completely replaced it in the workforce. Humans are totally dependent on the robots that keep their civilization going. Every human family has an assigned robot that takes care of the family. The relationship between the pointless people and the hard-working robots is strained, the status quo is nearing a break. A robot revolution seems more likely every day. Somehow Russell and Deodato Jr. manage to comment on an impressive amount of sociopolitical issues in this well-trodden area.
The most direct problem, the Not all robots faced is toxic masculinity. The title is an allusion to the battle cry “Not All Men”, which arose as a reaction to the “Me Too” movement. The main problem with Not All Men, of course, is that it is a tactic used to derail crucial and crucial conversations about sexual assault and sexual harassment. In the first edition, a robot even uses the common countermovement argument that only a small percentage of the men / robots engage in violence. The series uses robots as a simple metaphor for the men of a conventional, old-fashioned nuclear family. The robots do jobs that they despise out of a sense of duty. They hate their life and are constantly angry. They treat their families badly and sometimes they snap. People live in fear of their emotionally repressed, responsible family member. A robot newscaster does a considerable amount of metal-splaining and even defends violence against humans because the robots take care of them.
The angle the series takes is a little less straightforward. The robots here are privileged because they can be used. On the letters page of Issue # 1, Russell says he believes privileges are created “Not only to rob people of their humanity without them, but also to convince the privileged that they are not also robbed.“This sense of privilege turns those who have it into willing prison guards of the prison in which they are held.
The comic even manages to put the harsh reality of police brutality in the spotlight. People fear that at any moment their robots will snap up and murder them in their own homes. A human news anchor says: “(Humans) fear for their safety as they cannot turn to anyone but other robots. ”Then we see the robot police arrive at a place where a robot murdered their family. The robot police officers let the murderous bot run free because they would not give up any of their own. This is a clear allegory for the “blue wall of silence”.
It’s hard not to hear the echoes of the January 6th Capitol Uprising in the Robot Uprising. After being radicalized on online platforms like 4chan, the people who stormed the Capitol used the same platforms to organize the attack. In Not all robotswho have favourited readers see the same process unfold. Robots are radicalized and organized on a site called 4Chine, a clear parody of 4chan. On the letter side of Not all robots # 1, says Mark Russell that he sees writing as an exercise in forced empathy. He points out that dystopian futures consist of horrors that are already happening to people today. Not all robots seems to have two ambitious goals. The first is to get readers to empathize with those who are already living in a dystopia. The second is to ask readers to hold up a mirror and see that we are, in fact, all robots.
Next: Tim Drake’s bisexuality has been bullied by DC for years
Batman was right in developing so many ways to kill Superman