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Blade Runner 2019 #6 (Titan Comics) Comic Review

    Ian Jane

  • Blade Runner 2019 #6 (Titan Comics) Comic Review

    Released by: Titan Comics
    Released on: February 19th, 2020.
    Written by: Michael Green, Mike Johnson
    Illustrated by: Andres Guinaldo
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    Picking up where issue #5 left off when it was released two months ago, we open with a flashback in the year 2020 (hey, I know that year!) where Isobel reads to Cleo before bedtime. She doesn't have any books, just a pamphlet for Arcadia, but she reads it and the girl drifts off to slumberland.

    Cut to six years later where a work crew goes into a wrecked ship to clean up a skinjob massacre. They find a single, solitary survivor but before they can do more than ask if she's okay they've visited by a woman named Hythe who appears more or less out of nowhere.

    Flashback to before the attack and Cleo is in a room with her pal Padraic who is fast asleep. A man comes into their room and tells her to come see Pellam and to bring the kid. He needs them to find some things for him, cipher chips specifically, but she won't talk - she's understandably pissed that they killed her mother. Pellam makes it clear, however, that if she isn't useful then she's dead weight and they don't need any dead weight. She tells him to head Ramanjula but he tells her there's no time. She counters with the fact that Heidekcer-Vostro, the owner of the rig they just knocked to the bottom of the sea, will come looking for them but won't expect them to go to Ramanjula. She's got a cipher that will get them through and, once they make it, she'll hand it over to him if he drops her where she wants to go.

    Elsewhere, Ash is going through rehab and getting better. She is, however, to be tested by her therapist - Hythe - who asks her a series of questions to gauge the appropriateness of her responses. One of the questions is why she killed Isobel Selwyn. Ash says she's never killed anyone, that she isn't Aahna Ashina but Darrja Kady. She argues her birthdate and her job history but the doctor knows the truth - Ash was a Blade Runner and one of the best. She doesn't intend to turn her in, but she does have a job for her, and that job involves bringing Ian Kady - or Cleo Selwyn - back in one piece.

    The story from Michael Green and Mike Johnson continues to unfold at a deliberate but perfect pace, building nicely off of the first arc and creating a story that ties into the films but very definitely branches out into its own direction and which is all the better for it. Ash's storyline is starting to tie into Cleo's again, which makes sense and seems very fitting, but bringing Hythe into the storyline adds a further element of mystery to the proceedings that is definitely intriguing. Obviously Ash is going to be back in action sooner rather than later, doing what she does best, but as to why and how, that clearly remains to be seen. The writing is smart and not afraid to make the reader think about connections and circumstances alike. It takes its time to develop characters and situations in a big way and the pay off so far has been rock solid.

    Andres Guinaldo's artwork continues to fit the writing perfectly. It's highly detailed and it just has the right look for the story. The characters 'move' realistically and the backgrounds are illustrated wonderfully, always 'full' and never sparse looking the way that so many comic books can often look. There's a grittiness here that is enhanced in a big way by Marco Lesko's coloring work, which leans towards a cool temperature and further enhances the series' futuristic look.

    This issue's regular cover is by Rian Hughes but alternates are available from Syd Mead and Andres Guinaldo.

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