GRAPHIC NOVELS

Blade Runner 2019. Vol. 1

Titan. Nov. 2019. 1p. ISBN 9781787731615. pap. $16.99. Rated: Teen+. sf
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When corporate titan Alexander Selwyn’s wife, Isobel, vanishes along with their four-year-old daughter, Cleo, he asks Los Angeles Detective Ash Ashina to track them down. Ashina undertakes the task with all the ruthless detachment expected of a classic noir protagonist, and soon discovers that Isobel—revealed to be a Replicant created to take the place of Selwyn’s wife following her death—has come under the protection of an underground network dedicated to helping renegade Replicants escape capture and execution at the hands of the authorities. No problem—Detective Ashina excels at hunting and killing Replicants. Meanwhile, Isobel and Cleo travel through the L.A. underworld and across the border into Mexico in search of an island sanctuary inhabited by runaway Replicants.
VERDICT This first chapter in an ongoing series that promises to bridge the gap between the classic 1982 film and the 2017 sequel from coauthors Green (Blade Runner 2049) and Johnson (Star Trek vs. Transformers) and artist Guinaldo (Justice League Dark) cleverly captures the tone of the source material while thrillingly expanding the scope of the larger world only hinted at in the films, resulting in the rare licensed title that feels essential instead of perfunctory.

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