Archie Megaman #33 Unplugged.
What’s so great about this cover aside from just looking damn shiny and spiffy? How about that Megaman here is shown opened up and plugged into so many cables in a way that resembles life support and the thoughts that provokes. This I think examines the core of his character in one single image. It draws upon a balance between his philosophical existence as a sentient being, and the reality of his existence as a machine. If a machine “dies” is anything lost. If you say destroyed Megaman entirely and then built a copy with backups of all his memories that would to the outside world appear to be the same Megaman, the fact remains that from the perspective of the original his sense of self would be dead, lost forever.
When I say that my writing is fundamentally about examining the concept of identity, this is the sort of thing I want to get at. Robots and other artificial beings are a good way of looking at that since it allows us to dissect the fundamental concepts of consciousness and use them to ask questions.
How much can you say something is simulating personality before you have to ask yourself if it’s genuinely experiencing independent thought, emotion, and free will?