23rd Apr2021

‘Blade Runner: Origins #3’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by K Perkins, Mellow Brown | Art by Fernando Dagnino | Published by Titan Comics

In just 2 issues this book has really made its mark. The idea of filling in gaps in continuity is always a great idea, and great fan service of course, but quite often it creates more mess than it fixes. There’s always some eagle eyed fan who spots something askew. With this Blade Runner book, which is actually pre-Blade Runner of course, Perkins and Brown are cleverly sticking to any established frames of reference already established, but also creating a story that slots in perfectly. If you slotted this storyline in with the films and the other comic book series you have a seamless timeline that works. Well, at least until that eagle eyed fan proves me wrong of course.

So, last issue ended with a flaming hovercar wreck, after a Nexus-5 Replicant brought it crashing to Earth, killing Marcus (brother to original murder victim Dr. Lydia Kane) and Tyrell Corp’s PR Fixer Ilora Stahl. Or so we thought. Turns out somehow Stahl has somehow survived a flaming car wreck that would kill any…human. Hmm. Also, Marcus isn’t dead either. He was rescued by his…sister. Say what now? The Nexus-5 Replicant leaping through car windows is seemingly Lydia Kane, Marcus’s sister. Just looking a hell of a lot different. Same mind, different body she claims. Is she the same Lydia who was working at Tyrell? Was the human Lydia ever there? Was there ever a human Lydia at all? If not, then who is Marcus? Can he trust her? Should he? Several pages in, and that’s a big old can of worms being opened up right there.

So, while all this is going on where’s our hero, LAPD Detective Cal Moreaux? Taking a hard earned rest it seems. He’s teamed up with Tyrell employee Effie, former assistant to the ‘dead’ Dr. Kine. He just wants to solve the murder, she has grandiose plans to bring down the entire Corporation. The funny thing is, both despise the other. Cal looks at her as someone creating skinjobs, not caring of the morality of it all. Effie looks at him as just another company man, content to keep his head down when the Tyrell’s of this world corrupt it. Idealism vs. Pragmatism.

Back to Marcus and Lydia, and Lydia continues to try and persuade Marcus that she is every bit the sister he remembers. All the memories, all the emotions. It’s a hard sell. Marcus thinks she is just a copy, a hollow one at that. Make believe. Poor Marcus. Effie, meanwhile, has an unexpected visitor at her apartment. Stahl has realised that Effie knew a lot more than she let on, and that Lydia has seemingly mastered transference, putting human consciousness in the body of a Replicant. Dead body, mind very much alive. I think Effie is living on borrowed time. Cal, meanwhile, has a fight of a different sort on his hands. He’d gone to Lydia’s apartment clue-hunting, only to get attacked by Tyrell goons. If that’s not enough to keep him busy, Replicant Lydia herself turns up. It’s all coming together like a 4 issue mini should.

Breathless stuff. Not so much a developing plot as a ‘blink and you’ll miss some important nugget or other’ one. Pure entertainment from start to finish. Questions answered, more questions asked, you just know this can’t end well for everyone. Dagnino’s art continues to be superb, some individual panels in here are good enough to be blown up into posters for every Blade Runner fan’s wall. Again, very cinematic in style using what seems to be film inspired camera angles, close ups, wide shots etc. Lesko’s colours also give it the palette of the films, making it all just a wonder to read and enjoy. As much as I enjoy Blade Runner 2029, this has now become the best Blade Runner book.

To quote the original film, ‘I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe’.

****½  4.5/5

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