Matt Rodgers reviews Blade Runner 2019 #2…
With the parallel narrative threads of Isobel Selwyn and her assailant Ash established in Blade Runner 2019 #1, this second installment of Titan Comics hugely impressive extension of the cinematic world really hits the ground running.
Straight from the first few panels we get some breadcrumbs about the origin of Ash’s spinal problems. It hints at a possible story-line that could fracture off from this initial run, or maybe something that will be introduced sooner than we think. The beauty of the embryonic stages of this noir detective story is that it’s doing a great job of leaving clues for you to ruminate over.The structure once again flits between Ash visiting sources – another shady detective, a skin-job whose nifty disguise is surgery to make him look decrepit – and Isobel’s desperate attempt to escape the city with her child in tow. The latter plays nicely into the structured hierarchy that’s recognisible in most future Sci-Fi dystopias, by having her journey underground to meet up with a group of mysterious freedom fighters. They seem to be atoning for something by helping her, but we don’t know why yet.
You can add that to your own reader’s detective notes though, along with why they’re running from Alexander Selwyn, the man who has employed Ash to find his family. And before you start thinking you’re one step ahead of our intriguing protagonist, it doesn’t take long for her to figure out he’s not all he seems to be. Admittedly this takes another of her enjoyably unique interrogations, once again kinetically drawn in a series of action-packed panels, in order to get the information from the fleeing replicant.
It’s rare for a comic book to flow so seamlessly this early in its run, but because we’ve had all of the world building done for us by the source material, it results in a story that just gets on with it. Well, that is until we reach another frustrating cliffhanger, but what a stunning final image episode 2 chooses to end on, as Ash slides down the side of a video-screen building having been shot out of the sky. #3 can’t come soon enough.
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