Man Plus from Titan Comics will be released as a collected edition this month and with the likes of Blade Runner and Akira mentioned in the same sentence it was fair to assume that my interest was piqued and my expectations high.
André Lima Araújo’s creation sees him write and draw his unique take on a gritty future filled with cyberpunk nods & fast-paced action amidst an all-too familiar world where a leading corporation flexes it’s power over the masses. In Olissipo City a malfunctioning droid takes centre-stage as we’re eased into a mix of themes as the complexities of consciousness are pursued like any other commodity in the hope of gaining further profits.
While the android may be cutting edge technology there’s a much more human sensibility in control which we find out is due to one of the main programmers employed by the corporation. We’re soon embroiled in a conspiracy that has far reaching implications and we’re very much in the same boat as the droid that’s captured everyone’s attention who is caught in the middle. The authorities are in close pursuit with a recently hired cyborg strike team ready to face-off on the companies behalf as they too try to gain ground on the escaped droid.
It’s an intricate mesh of plot threads as the programmer/loving husband is trying his best to retrieve a life with his wife, the corporation want the controversy to disappear with the help of their cyborg strike team and the authorities want to reveal the finer details of just what the hell is going on. There’s some interesting ideas from Araújo here and while we may have seen some before in the likes of Ghost in the Shell, Blade Runner or I,Robot; the action is tangible and involving with it’s own unique vibe.
The main reason for that success seems to stem from the fact that both writing & art duties fall to the creator which allows a far more natural blend between the two as the plot and ambitious art work are pulled off with relative ease. Joined by colourist Arsia Rozegar & letterer Tom Williams they help build that world with their own styles that again helps this maintain a unique feel to it. An ambitious sounding title at first but with the talent involved it’s swept aside any doubts in that ambition and proven itself to be a significant title in long list of impressive Titan releases.