Writer Ann Nocenti and artist David Aja are back with The Seeds #2. This issue marks the halfway point for this limited series and makes significant narrative strides. Lola makes a surprising decision to embark on a journey with Race into the Luddite land of Zone-B. If there was any ambiguity about her feelings for her alien lover, then this act cleared up the confusion.
Lola's willingness to have her tech stripped away and to face her fear of the unknown in a new territory is a strong declaration of her love and dedication to Race — but their union brings discord to Race’s group, causing direct problems with him and amongst the collection team. Lola and Race’s interactions are refreshingly honest as she expresses her difficulty with letting go of her former life.
It was also interesting to see Lola explain how Earth got to its current state, citing events like floods and violent earthquakes that became daily occurrences. Her flippant attitude toward terrible natural disasters is not too far off from the almost numb reactions that society has to the constant barrage of tragedies via nature and humans. In return, Race is blunt with Lola about the Earth’s impending demise and admits that his team leader is destructive at best. A big revelation about Race and Lola’s life is revealed and serves as a medium to tie Astra back into the story.
Readers get to see her go head to head with Gabrielle once again as she pushes Astra to concoct a story to opiate the masses. Astra uses her alien spotting incident to get resources from Gabrielle to enter Zone-B with her tech still intact. Another conversation about curating information for selling purposes reveals tidbits about the pair’s dueling thought processes and prejudices.
It doesn’t take long for Astra to run into Race’s clan which results in a scene with disturbing commentary involving torture and sexual assault. Fortunately, she is freed due to an alien’s mercy and ends up collecting the information she came for — a picture of Race and Lola.
But, an internal moral conflict arises about what she should do with the photo and the information about their relationship. Will she appease Gabrielle and run with this story? Should she stay and investigate more about this alien team? And what will happen to Race and Lola if she doesn’t help protect them from imminent danger? The QTNA are mounting and Astra's next moves are going to play a key role in the subsequent chapters of this story.
The Seeds' ability to seamlessly weave in Race, Lola, and Astra’s stories despite no verbal interaction between the three (yet) is brilliant, and there are other elements that tie into their respective journeys. The continued evolution of animals, particularly bees, is interspersed into the story as they take on an almost omniscient role. Lola appears to have a connection with the bees so she may have a bigger role in this story outside of being a love interest and a representation of tech addiction.
Readers also get a peek into other characters lives and events going on simultaneously with the main stories. There’s a lot of understated and smart social commentary combined with a few working parts that have yet to fully come together with the overall story. It’s like having a political documentary, love story, investigative series, and sci-fi thriller all wrapped up into one cerebral story.
Aja continues to deliver stunning panels with details worthy of multiple looks. Each panel really plays into the gritty, desolate environment and manages to paint vivid pictures despite being devoid of color. The Seeds #2 builds an intriguing layer on a solid foundation. A path has been set for this universe to extend beyond Earth with the eventual arrival of Race’s boss and discovery of aliens gathering samples to remember the final days of a dying planet.