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Blade Runner 2019 #2 (Titan Comics) Comic Review

    Ian Jane

  • Blade Runner 2019 #2 (Titan Comics) Comic Review

    Blade Runner 2019 #2 (Titan Comics) Comic Review
    Released by: Titan Comics
    Released on: August 21st, 2019.
    Written by: Michael Green, Mike Johnson
    Illustrated by: Andres Guinaldo
    Purchase From Amazon

    Picking up directly where the first issue left off, Aahna 'Ash' Ashina of the L.A.P.D. has been looking into the disappearance of business tycoon Alexander Selwyn's wide and daughter. After finding the family's burnt out spinner, her cybernetic back brace malfunctioned and Ash collapsed. Isabel and Cleo Selwyn, however, are searching in the heart of the city for a name named Malek.

    We flash back to Ash's childhood and learn that when after her mother found out that her daughter's spine didn't work, she left her. Her grandmother told her that her mother left for the off world so that she could send money back. But she's not angry anymore, she knows she belongs in Los Angeles and when we catch up with her she's picking a lock and letting herself into a chop shop. Why? It's the last place that was called from the Selwyn's spinner - but why would a wealthy woman like Isobel Selwyn by hanging about a dump like this? Ash soon realizes she isn't alone in here - she asks the man about a call he got, he admits Isobel called the night before, wanting info on a birthmark removal. She told him she was on her way home.

    Meanwhile, Isobel and Cleo continue to make their way through the underbelly of the city. As Cleo sleeps in her mother's arms we learn through Isobel's narration that her daughter, if she's lucky, will never see her father again. Someone named The Skin sent her down here to make contact with The Lung, a portly middle-aged woman who has been expecting them.

    Ash wonders what was up with the guy at the chop shop - he was unusually forthcoming and that makes her suspicious. She pulls some strings and has him followed and she's given an address where he was last scene, a dumpy hotel called the Carleton. She speaks to a Mr. Bellingham who instantly sets off some red flags. He cops to being a replicant, having had work done by The Skin to age himself, so that could live out his final seventeen months in the city. Just as the subject changes to the Selwyn's, he attacks.

    The potential this series showed with the first issue is perfectly matched with this second chapter. As the mystery behind the Selwyn's going underground is explored, so too is Ash's background. Characters are becoming more fleshed out, and therefore more interesting, and the end result is an increasingly tense, gripping story. Michael Green and Mike Johnson have, so far, done an excellent job of bringing the world of the movie that inspired this series to the page, it just feels right. The story is gritty and noirish, but it's got that requisite sci-fi elements and cyberpunk themes running through it that you would hope for. The dialogue seems real enough to work, and the story is smart enough to ask its readers to pay attention - things get a little dense here, but in the best way possible. There are layers being slowly peeled back here and what we're seeing exposed under those layers turns out to be quite interesting.

    Andres Guinaldo's artwork is beautiful. Rich in detail, the layouts are great - movement is portrayed really well and the flow of the panels works really well. There's a lot of little intricacies worked into the visuals here, not just in the human and not so human characters but the vehicles, the buildings, the wardrobe - even the weapons. Marco Lesko's coloring work does an excellent job of bringing the penciled artwork to vivid life, enhancing the mood and the atmosphere of the book immensely.

    At only two issues in, this one is already proving to be an addictive read.

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