• Blade Runner 2019 #3 (Titan Comics) Comic Review



    Blade Runner 2019 #3 (Titan Comics) Comic Review
    Released by: Titan Comics
    Released on: September 18th, 2019.
    Written by: Michael Green, Mike Johnson
    Illustrated by: Andres Guinaldo
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    Aahan 'Ash' Ashina, a Blade Runner in the employ of the L.A.P.D., has been investigating the disappearance of Isobel and Cleo Selwyn, the wife and daughter of a wealthy and influential business magnet named Alexander Selwyn. Ash's quest led her face to face with a Replicant hiding in plain sight as an old man. Ash went after him, but he escaped - though as he did he gave her one hint and told her to ask Selwyn why he wanted his daughter dead. While this was going on, Isobel and Cleo went underground and met up with Malik, the leader of an underground railway that helps Replicants escape to safety. When the last issue ended, Ash's Spinner was attacked and she crashed onto the streets...

    She manages to steer the Spinner to an old part of the city long abandoned, only empty warehouses are there. She survives the crash and walks away with some injuries, but figures this attack was to prevent her from finding Cleo. Ash’s instincts are right. We head underground and catch up with Cleo and Isobel where Malik is told ‘we got her.’ They know they’re not safe in the city and are told to head south.

    We cut to the hospital where Ash is told by Wojciech that the department is upset to learn that her ‘lower half shuts down when her battery runs out.’ She’s also told Selwyn wants someone else to do the job. Ash counters that being shot out of the sky is a pretty good indicator that she was getting close but it falls on deaf ears – the case is being given to someone else. The hospital charges her brace and sends her on her way and while she knows she should just forget it like she’s been told to do, she instead hops a cab and heads to the Tyrell Corporation. She arrives and is surprised to find out she has an appointment she didn’t make with someone she doesn’t know – Ms. Elo. Ash is taken aback by how much Elo knows about her and by the fact that Eldon Tyrell has made it clear he wants to hire her. Elo also tells her that Isobel was a Replicant given to Alexander Selwyn as a gift by Mr. Tyrell. The real Isobel has been dead from cancer for a few years now. Cleo doesn’t know any of this and believes her natural mother to be alive. Cleo also possesses a rare mutated gene the Tyrell Corporation believes could lead to a longer life span and that Replicant Isobel has kidnapped Cleo to prolong her own life. Elo tells Ash that if she accepts the case not only will she be very well paid, but they’ll also provide a permanent solution to her spinal issues – no need for a brace any longer.

    Ash begrudgingly agrees.

    Building wonderfully off of the first two issues of the series, this third chapter ups the ante considerably in terms of what is at stake. The revelations divulged in this issue make things quite a bit more interesting for the reader, and dangerous for Ash. Having her align with the Tyrell Corporation, an entity that is responsible for all of the messes that she’s been cleaning up ever since she started work as a Blade Runner, is an interesting twist – and obviously we’ll see where it goes from here. The story from Michael Green and Mike Johnson is, thus far, densely layered without being overly complicated. It’s paced well, it’s tense and exciting and it leaves us wanting more when each issue ends. Ash is a well-written character, more than just a female version of Rick Deckard but a different person all together with her own completely unique set of problems. We want to know more about her and we want to see how she’s going to get through all of this. Likewise, the details that emerge about the plight of Isobel and Cleo make their voyage more impactful, and subsequently, Ash’s job more important. It’s clever stuff, and very much in keeping with the tone and the vibe of the source material that inspired it.

    The artwork from Andres Guinaldo continues to shine. It’s hyper-detailed and beautifully rendered. The penciling is very tight, there’s no wasted space or empty, unfinished looking backgrounds or panels – everything feels very full and very complete. The coloring work from Marco Lesco helps bring it all to eye-popping life, giving the Los Angeles of this not too distant future an appropriately gritty, dingy look that suits the tone of the writing perfectly.

    This series had a lot of people skeptical, and rightly so – Blade Runner is a beloved property for a very good reason – but at only three issues in the creative team has hit a serious home run with their work this far. Here’s hoping this winning streak continues.