24th Sep2020

‘Blade Runner 2019 #10’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Mike Johnson | Art by Andrea Guinaldo | Published by Titan Comics

I notice a slight change in the credits this issue, the first change we’ve seen in the ten issues published, including this one. Not a big one, but Mike Johnson is now writing the book solo, with Michael Green stepping down as co-writer, but hanging around as Creative Consultant. Possibly still helping plot the book I guess. Be interesting to see if any change is noticeable going forward, though I doubt it. This is such a solidly written and drawn book, as long as one member of the original trio remains on the book I don’t think we’ll be too disappointed.

So, last issue kicked off a new arc, though one still very much intertwined with what’s gone before. Ash, restored to both health and as a Blade Runner, went to nose around the ruins of the once mighty Tyrell Corporation, to try and locate the missing Alexander Selwyn, to stop him once and for all being a threat to Isobel and Cleo. She didn’t find Selwyn, but she did find a mad scientist called Fost still working on a project called Project Isobel, seemingly oblivious to recent events. With Fost’s help, Ash uses the Tyrell computer network to locate Selwyn. Selwyn, now aware of Ash’s hunt for him, has played his own hand. He has activated a Replicant replacement for the Blade Runner Hythe, the original of which was killed by Ash. Something, as they say, has got to give…

Cleo’s finally got a lead, so it stands to reason that things are going to go wrong again. On her way to chase down the first name she has, she is intercepted by a Police hover car. Ash knows she can’t be called in or Cleo will never be safe , so high speed hovercar chase it is then. Unfortunately, the house always wins, and Ash is hauled in. The Police of course still think Ash killed Isobel Selwyn and kidnapped Cleo, and want her to give up Cleo. Ash obviously can’t. She starts to realise that this is a different world to the one she left a few years back. No Tyrell. No new replicants any more. Everyone is trying to adjust to this brave new world, and Ash is something of a relic, with the old mindset and attitude. They don’t like her, she doesn’t like them. Does Ash even have a place here anymore?

The LAPD have clearly given up on Ash, and she is to be transported to the worst prison they can send her to, full of the lowest of lowlifes. Things aren’t looking good at all. Then, a miracle. The car Ash is in is attacked, she is dragged out, thrown into a van and essentially kidnapped. Normally, not a great scenario, but on this occasion she’ll probably take her chances. Luckily for Ash it pays off this time, and leaves her with two great surprises. Firstly, her old boss Wojciech, who she assumed was the one who sold her out, was actually the one that helped spring Ash from her fate. Secondly, Wojciech was/ is working with these guys who actually have Ash safely tucked away in a isolated farmhouse. Replicants. Not just any Replicants, but the Replicant resistance. They know themselves and Ash have a common enemy in Selwyn and want to join forces, despite her past as a Blade Runner hunting them. Can they be trusted?

Another great ‘episode’ in what is essentially the best TV series not currently on TV. The story is designed and written like a TV episode. Not just each individual issue, but the entire run of plots so far. Each issue is rewarding in its own right of course, but always feeds into the next, continuity and detail always to the forefront. Superb writing yet again. The art, by Guinaldo, and colouring by Lesko, remains an essential element of the book.

A book I genuinely look forward to reading each month, because I know I’m guaranteed great words, great pictures, and a great time.

**** 4/5


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