Blade Runner 2019 #1
Blade Runner 2019 centers around the mysterious disappearance of Isobel and Cleo Selwyn, the wife and four year old daughter to the well connected owner of the Caanan Corporation, Alexander Selwyn. When Selwyn requests the best detective that the Los Angeles Police Department has to offer they send him Aahna 'Ash’ Ashina. Ash is a Blade Runner and a detective of unparalleled skill. She quickly picks up on their trail and before long is faced with the reality that this case will change her life forever.
Michael Green and Mike Johnson have done something truly incredible with Blade Runner 2019. While plenty of stories have branched off from the original Blade Runner concept their story is so wholly well rounded in its realistic characters, emotionally engaging plot and fast paced action that it surpasses the source material.
The narrative is split between the first hand accounts of Ash in her investigation and the perilous journey of Isobel and Cleo Selwyn. As such the main group of characters in this comic are all strong females. Though having an inclusive or all female cast has been looked down upon or is seen as forced by some readers lately, with this particular story it reads completely naturally. For a comic written and drawn by a group of male artists this female reviewer is incredibly impressed by the depth, strength and range of appropriate emotions given to each person. This story is fraught with emotionally charged scenes and Green and Johnson manage to make you care about the characters and storyline nearly instantly.
Ash is a rugged no nonsense cop whose background as a street urchin of Los Angeles helps her keep close connections to the heartbeat of the city. Her comfort in the underbelly of the slums and friendships with those who reside there gives her a hard yet empathetic edge and a sharpened intuition that she trusts to help her feel out her cases. Ash has her own secret that she keeps from the police force at large and her female boss known only as Wojciech helps to keep it covered in order to keep Ash active and on the streets. Green and Johnson did an incredible job making Ash’s past and character development itself an enjoyable journey that is naturally paced and sewn within the non stop action of the story. While most stories based off of a cult classic are put under a very fine microscope by the most dedicated of fans there is nothing here for them to find but a good time and unparalleled craftsmanship by two talented authors with an obvious love for the material. However if you are not versed in Blade Runner itself this story is one that can be read independently and that is quite refreshing.
The art in Blade Runner 2019 is truly that, art. Andres Guinaldo and Marco Lesko make these pages glow and glisten with the haunting neon futurescape intrinsic to the Blade Runner world. Details are everywhere in every frame and the story plays as well as any film. Guinaldo is extremely good at knowing just what needs a dramatic close-up and the emotions that are so prevalent in the story are heightened tenfold in his artistic interpretations. No space is wasted and even the most minute details like shading from a windowpane are depicted faithfully on our characters faces. When you flip back and forth to take in and fully appreciate a scene visually you know that the art has succeeded. There are many haunting frames from this comic that made such an impression that they will stay with me for years to come.
Lesko’s coloring skills are absolutely incredible. Being able to successfully create a scene where you have a character crashing a burning vehicle into an LED billboard and making the fire glow on top of an already illuminated screen takes a certain level of skill that not many possess.
There are endless examples of just how perfectly these artists have worked together to create the flawless experience that is Blade Runner 2019. But the best way to truly appreciate and understand it is to read it. Which I will highly recommend that every comic fan should do.
Blade Runner 2019 is the kind of comic that sucks you in and doesn't let you take a breath until you've finished. The action is continuous from the first and crafts a thrilling mystery that keeps you emotionally engaged and craving more.
Blade Runner 2019 #1, The Hunt Begins
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 10/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 10/10
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