15th Sep2021

‘Blade Runner Origins #6’ Review

by Dean Fuller

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

Always a great start when you can boast a Butch Guice cover, and a very nice cover at that. Cal Moreaux looks every bit the classic action hero. Which is funny, because he really isn’t. What he is, as the previous issues have shown, is a moral man in a very unmoral age. A cop who actually believes in the job, rather than seeing the job as a path to earning money any which way. If not a hero then what? Anti-hero? that doesn’t quite work either. He’s not completely selfless, as a little bit of self preservation is important too, when a colleague could as likely shoot you as say ‘Good Morning’. Let’s just say he’s of his time.

So, Cal’s been tracking the Nexus 5 Prototype, that had supposedly murdered Tyrell bioengineer Dr. Lydia Kane. What he discovered was a prototype actually has the memories and personality of the dead bioengineer herself. The two have teamed up to continue their investigations, which have taken Cal back to his old stomping grounds, the slums of Los Angeles. Before focusing on Cal, we first catch up with what’s going on elsewhere. A seemingly out of control murderous Replicant. Relations fraying between corrupt policeman Sgt. Gutman and Tyrell enforcer Ms. Stahl. Asa and Marcus still working through the fact the very human female Lydia is now the very male replicant Asa. A lot going on. None of it worse than what’s going on with Cal.

Cal’s return to his old stomping grounds hasn’t gone very well. He’s taken a savage beating at the hands of Carlisle, a man he once knew well. Cal left the slums while others had to stay and survive. Carlisle and his crew think Cal is working with Tyrell, who they blame for the disappearance of Carlisle’s brother Eason. We also get the origin story you never knew you needed, the origin of Cal’s trenchcoat, the item of clothing that became the uniform of Blade Runners like Rick Deckard. Apparently because Cal grew up in a rough neighborhood and got in a lot of fights, he lined the inside of his coat with metal plates, which he could use defensively, like a shield or armour, and as a weapon, when wrapped around his arm. Clever stuff from Perkins and Brown.

So, Cal’s back on his feet and not bearing grudges. This time. Cal explains to Carlisle and Desiree he is not the enemy, despite what they think. He’s chasing this advanced model replicant, which is seemingly able to corrupt the programming of others and make them do bad things. He’s in a race before time runs out while they getting in his way. Though Desiree may know more about all this than she is letting on. She does decide to trust Cal, and agrees to lead him to the Nexus 5 herself. We now also have a name. Nia. Is she the villain we have been told about, or is she just a mistake Tyrell want taken care of? We’ll soon know. Marcus and Asa’s own investigations have led them right to the deranged replicant murderer himself. They survive. Barely. All these paths are going to cross soon. I doubt all will survive.

I really enjoyed this issue. Firstly, fantastic art and colouring from Dagnino and Lesko. The colouring on this book is always outstanding, a perfect mood setter. The art just really seemed to pop this time out, with very nice layouts and some fantastic individual panels, including full page ones. Visually superb book. The writing, too, was excellent this time out. Plot movement on every page, great character work, and a good action story that has deeper philosophical points to make. How could you not like that?

Detective sci-fi noir this is, but it is far, far more too. What it most definitely is, is a book you should be reading every month.

****½  4.5/5

Blade Runner Origins #6 is out today from Titan Comics.

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