Blade Runner 2029 Vol. 1 Reunion (2021) Review
Publisher: Titan Comics Writer: Mike Johnson Artist: Andres Guinaldo Colours: Marco Lesko Lettering: Jim Campbell
“You’re in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down…”
The collection starts off with a handy recap and background on the story so far and the world of Blade Runner:
Early in the 21st century, the Tyrell Corporation advanced robot evolution into the Nexus phase – a being virtually identical to a human – known as a Replicant. Replicants were used off-world as slave labour in hazardous exploration and colonization.
Replicants who escaped and returned to Earth are hunted by special police squads – Blade Runner Units – with orders to kill any trespassing replicant upon detection.
In 2022, a replicant attack on the Tyrell Corporation erased all records of existing replicants and forced the company into bankruptcy. The surviving Nexus 8 models disappeared with the help of the Replicant Underground. Many Replicants remained in servitude.
In 2027, Aahna “Ash” Ashina, a former Blade Runner, re-joined the department to hunt down fugitive replicants. Her superiors are unaware that her loyalties are divided…
Blade Runner 2029 follows Ash as she uses her status and skill as a Blade Runner to help the replicants she’s supposed to destroy disappear under the radar and live freely. After an encounter with a self-destructive replicant posing as a dock worker she discovers a grand plot masterminded by the Replicant Underground led by Yotun, a replicant she ran into in the past. Yotun and his crew have been collecting a mass of old replicants with the aim of repairing and reviving them to take over L.A. or some such.
The first volume of Blade Runner 2029 provides a solid and intriguing start to the series. Even though it is a sequel to the Blade Runner 2019 graphic novel series (which I haven’t read at the time of this review) it stands well on its own right, the comic opens with a mini flashback scene to provide background to the main character and antagonist, before returning to modern times.
The art style emulates that of the original movie very well, even sneaking in a few nods to its cinematography here and there. It portrays a dark and brooding neo-city battered by the unstable environment, where it always seems to be night and the rain is so polluted it’s acidic. The character design is a bit bland, none of the main characters really stand out making things feel a bit generic.
Overall I thought it was slightly-better-than mediocre, worth checking out if you’re a fan of the series or into dystopian, cyberpunk aesthetics. I’m looking forward to the next volume and may check out the prequel in the meantime.
~Giuseppe Gillespie May 2022
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