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Content Type: Gaming Reviews
Date: January 28, 2020

Titan Comics has published a graphic novel collection titled Blade Runner 2019: Los Angeles – Volume 1 available from numerous online retailers and high street book stores. Can the four comic book issues collected together in Blade Runner 2019: Los Angeles – Volume 1 deliver what it sets out to by producing a graphic novel involving a new story set in the world of the iconic original Blade Runner film?

The original Blade Runner starring Harrison Ford and the late, great Rutger Hauer is considered to be one of the greatest iconic films of all time. Blade Runner was released in 1982 to worldwide critical acclaim as directed by Ridley Scott and based upon the Philip K. Dick novel titled Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep from 1968. 35 years later in 2017; Blade Runner 2049 starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto was released in cinemas. Blade Runner had a side-scrolling action adventure videogame released in 1985 on Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum, although was not officially licensed so was more based upon the Blade Runner film’s soundtrack. However, Blade Runner was officially adapted into a point-and-click adventure videogame that was released on PC in 1997; developed by Westwood Studios (Command and Conquer franchise developer) and published by Virgin Interactive.

Blade Runner 2019: Los Angeles – Volume 1 is in seriously expert hands as it is written by Michael Green; a film and TV writer and producer having worked on Blade Runner 2049, alongside New York Times bestselling writer named Mike Johnson whose comic book, animation and games credits include Star Trek, Supergirl, Superman/Batman and Transformers. Meanwhile, the accompanying art to the story is drawn by a comic book artist named Andres Guinaldo that has previously drawn Captain America: Steve Rogers, Joker’s Asylum: The Riddler, Justice League Dark and Son of Hulk, while Marco Lesko is a colour artist that has previously worked on Assassin’s Creed Uprising, Doctor Who and Robotech, alongside an Eisner Award nominated letterer Jim Campbell that has worked on Firefly, Robotech and Roy of the Rovers graphic novels.

Blade Runner 2019: Los Angeles – Volume 1’s story introduces a new lead character named Aahna ‘Ash’ Ashina that is the best Blade Runner and detective of the Los Angeles Police Department. Ash is assigned the investigation of the disappearance of Isobel and Cleo Selwyn; the wife and daughter of successful businessman Alexander Selwyn who himself is a good friend of Eldon Tyrell. Eldon Tyrell is the owner of the Tyrell Corporation that early on in the 21st century has perfected robotics and artificial intelligence to essentially create robotic humans named Replicants.

Quality of writing is exceptional as it establishes what is occurring relating to the behaviour of Replicants not reflecting the nicer qualities of humankind and how the lead character Ash tends to confront Replicants. Dialogue highlights the emotional context of smaller characters as well as important characters such as an early scene when a Replicant is begging Ash for mercy, despite his crimes and the feelings of Alexander Selwyn as he is informing Ash of his missing wife and daughter.

Blade Runner 2019: Los Angeles – Volume 1’s presentation is as outstanding as the original Blade Runner film and videogame. Front cover artwork features the lead character Ash aiming her weapon with a futuristic skyline of flying vehicles and skyscrapers, while the back cover artwork includes Ash preparing her weapon and an ominous looking owl, alongside an interesting synopsis. Every page of art throughout all four chapters are on parallel in the sense of artistic vision as the late, great Syd Mead’s significant contribution to the iconic visionary Blade Runner film of 1982.

Blade Runner 2019: Los Angeles – Volume 1’s value originates from having a new story set in the Blade Runner universe with four comic book issues combined into a single complete volume with each comic book presented as an individual chapter. Meanwhile, there are various additional features including a cover gallery and cover development showcasing the artwork of multiple alternative front covers for each of the four individual comic book issues, alongside character design art for a multitude of characters, artist Andres Guinaldo’s two page audition for the role of artist and creator bios within the total of 112 pages.

Fans of Blade Runner should also look at other Blade Runner related books such as The Movie Art of Syd Mead: Visual Futurist, The Art and Soul of Blade Runner 2049 and Blade Runner 2049: Interlinked – The Art, alongside graphic novels from Titan Comics including Blade Runner 2019: Offworld – Volume 2.

Analysis
• Title: Blade Runner 2019: Los Angeles – Volume 1 Graphic Novel Collection
• Writers: Michael Green and Mike Johnson
• Art: Andres Guinaldo (Art), Marco Lesko (Colour Art) and Jim Campbell (Lettering)
• Publisher: Titan Comics
• Length: 112 pages
• Cover: Paperback

Blade Runner 2019: Los Angeles – Volume 1 graphic novel collection can be purchased in the UK from Amazon and Forbidden Planet and digitally at ComiXology, while Blade Runner 2019: Los Angeles – Volume 1 graphic novel collection can be purchased in America and Canada from Amazon and digitally at ComiXology. You can also find Titan Comics’ official website including a back catalogue of captivating comics and graphic novels and product details regarding Blade Runner 2019: Los Angeles – Volume 1 graphic novel collection.

The second season of the Blade Runner graphic novel collection is released in four individual episodes with a collection titled Blade Runner 2019: Offworld – Volume 2 set to release on July 7th 2020. You can find product details regarding each issue of Blade Runner 2019: Offworld – Volume 2:
Blade Runner 2019 #5
Blade Runner 2019 #6
Blade Runner 2019 #7
Blade Runner 2019 #8
Blade Runner 2019: Offworld – Volume 2

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