I finished reading through this whole comic this weekend. Very interesting. I do have a couple of comments though.

Miracle of Science

They said that there is no crime on Mars in it. Would your spleen steal your wallet? But there are examples of cells in the body going rogue and doing damage to those around it. It’s less a matter of stealing your wallet than stealing blood supplies and nutrients that other parts of the body would need, or damaging other parts of the body. In this case, both Cancer and Autoimmune diseases would count as forms of crime in a society like that. I believe that the true reason that there is no crime is that they’ve setup the ultimate surveillance society there where everyone on the planet is being watched by a portion of their own mind linked to the collective. People are less likely to do things when everyone they know is watching and shaming them for an action. I’ve noted in the past that there is a chance that a surveillance society doesn’t turn orwellian, and this seems to be one of those few examples. I wouldn’t risk it though with normal people running the surveillance though.

Also, he talks about how all collectives are shown as evil in science fiction, and apparently this is his attempt to do the opposite. The means though that he uses to show the collective is non-evil seem to undermine the whole collective concept entirely. He keeps going on about how they are all one mars, but the writing and characters in the comic show a tremendous degree of autonomy and independence from the collective. They have their own personal feelings, though these spread out to others in the collective. They have a degree of individual vanity and accomplishments, and with some adjustments they can operate independently. They’re basically individuals with immediate communications access to everyone else if they choose. The only peg supporting their claim that it’s one entity is Mars taking over individuals for short periods of time.

Lastly, he keeps using analogies to the body in his examples. How about this one. In a body, would the whole host move to defend a single t-cell battling with a virus? This is what happens when the mad scientist severs the link that one of the martians has with the collective. They risk the politics of the entire collective’s presence in the solar system to save one of their own individuals. 

So really, I still haven’t seen an example of a collective that is non-evil and also subsumes the entirety of the individuals within it when those individuals are sentient. No matter what the authors of the comic say.