Blade Runner 2019 TPB #1

Blade Runner 2019 TPB 1 cover

Welcome back to the future world of 2019 Los Angeles! Flying cars are finally real, known as spinners. Buildings have grown up to the level of the clouds. Artificial humans, known as replicants, serve the wealthy.

Blade Runner 2019 TPB #1
Written by Michael Green & Mike Johnson
Drawn by Andres Guinaldo
Colored by Marco Lesko
Lettered by Jim Campbell

Synopsis:(from the website)The first original comic series set in the iconic neo-noir world of Blade Runner! Detective Ash is a veteran Blade Runner, set on the trail of a kidnapped child in the streets of Los Angeles, 2019 – but as the bodies mount and Replicants crawl from the shadows, Ash’s own secrets come under fire! 
The early days of the famed Blade Runner unit of LAPD, during the same era of the first Blade Runner movie. Eldon Tyrell is still alive so this must be an immediate prequel.

The art is lovely and has a certain eighties feel. This very well written detective story takes us deeper into the streets of LA than the original movie. Ash, the heroine, is not paper thin. She grew up on the streets and became a detective.

And as a detective, she needs a crime to solve. A wealthy family’s child, her mother, and the family chauffeur have disappeared. Ash is assigned to solve the mystery. This is a superior crime drama to the usual Batman contrivance.

Supporting characters are interesting and we actually get to solve the mystery with Ash.

There is a side plot complication of how all cops are phobic of Ash’s cybernetic-prosthetics. Why? According to the explanation, uniformed officers don’t trust detectives that could run out of battery. But uniforms don’t rely on detectives in the field. And surely not Blade Runners. So, plot chug-hole warning.

Art-wise, I miss the art deco visuals. There is little sleek fashion, heeled women, graceful smoke-filled rooms and so on.

In addition, I will gently chastise the writers for gender-flipping every role from the movie. The bad guys are men. The good guys are women. And replicants end up being presumed all good. This ends up making me stumble as a reader.

I mean come on! Look at all these upside down mouths on women in a two page spread:

Ash doesn’t come across as a Mary Sue. Like I said she is not paper-thin. She is a female Deckard for sure and that is the spine of the story.

She is multi-culti but laughably when the artists hand-off to each other you can’t tell if she’s Asian or Hispanic.

She’s tough and doesn’t like to fly her spinner. So they have her fly the spinner everywhere. Sigh.

Looking at the cityscape, tho, Atari is gone from the street level signs. The Chinese may have decreased from the population. Looking at the signs I see some possible Russian, Korean and maybe Farsi.

I wish the colors and blacks were more vibrant.

This volume collects issues #1-#4. In the back are a collection of covers, including–suprise!–a cache of Syd Mead covers. If you can find them slab them!

The mystery is solved in this trade, but it leads to a whole new story. Pacing is great, letters are occasionally goofy, but otherwise no further complaining. This is a buy.

I give it a 4½ of 5 skinjobs!

Lonnie Webb

Look for it in your local comic shop or get it online.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

 

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