Blade Runner 2019 #1

Today sees Titan Comics launch a title telling new stories that unfold in the classic sci-fi world of Blade Runner……..so it already had “READ ME!” written all over it.

This opening issues sees screenwriter Michael Green (Blade Runner 2049) join forces with longtime co-writer Mike Johnson as they introduce us to Detective Aahna Ashina, aka Ash, as she meanders her way towards a new case in the recognizable surroundings of a neo noir LA.  While we open with her taking care of her most recent target, she’s quickly swept away from the dwindling ‘retirement’ cases and into what could be a significant case of kidnapping at the hands of replicants she knows all too well.

Ash’s reputation precedes her and the billionaire with the missing wife & child has done enough of a background check on her to know she’s the one to help solve the case and ease his suffering.  It all sounds straightforward enough but Ash’s connections to the city’s less glamorous side and the resulting leads she quickly gets her hands on give her more than enough to go on.

Michael & Mike have done an amazing job on balancing the world we know with a fresh approach to building on the weighty expectation that the Blade Runner tag brings with it and their central protagonist has just the right amount of swagger to bring the no-nonsense detective to life.  Couple that with the combination of Andreas Guinaldo’s visuals & Marco Lesko’s colours and the seedy underworld of LA & the epic cityscapes smash you in the eye-holes with that sci-fi style we’ve come to expect.  Jim Campbell rounds off that creative team on this opener with his typically effortless approach to the narrative and dialogue that helps keep the story and momentum front & centre.

This feels like an opener that’s more than just a first issue as it helps build on the already strong foundation that we all know and love.  A slick plot unfolds before us with the writers keeping the finer details close to their chest while drip-feeding us just enough about our new favourite sci-fi Detective to keep the mystery fresh.  The art and colours breathe life into that story as the neo noir LA retains a unique blend of gorgeous & garish and Titan Comics have the beginnings of another significant series to add to their growing list.

The first issue also comes with some great covers and there’s a particular nod to Titan for involving Syd Mead the concept artist on the original Blade Runner movie:

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Pick up this first issue at your Local Comic Shop today and check out the Titan Comics website for more on this & the other titles they have on offer.  You can also keep track of what else is on the way through their Facebook, Twitter & Instagram pages too.

9/10

G-Man

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