Even creator Philip K. Dick would be impressed with the futurism and dark beauty of Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s 2021 Japanese and American half-hour anime series Blade Runner: Black Lotus. Is the mysterious drifter Elle a young woman with amnesia or a new type of replicant that can fool the Voight-Kampff test? What does it mean to be an android or cyborg with feelings and memories? Those were the questions asked in the series, and this summer the story continues in Titan Comics’ new monthly comic book, Blade Runner: Black Lotus. Get your first look at the covers for the first issue, a look inside, and a peek at Issue #2 below.
Directed by Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamayama and created by Shinichirō Watanabe, the TV series (reviewed last year here at borg) was as good (and sometimes better) than its movie counterparts, blending components of Sleeping Beauty, Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game, the original Total Recall, and Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle. It’s a well-paced journey that surpasses the tech noir and cyberpunk of Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 and James Cameron’s similarly plotted Alita: Battle Angel.
In the TV series we met Elle, a CGI motion capture creation with the look of Lost Girl’s Anna Silk and voiced by Iron Fist’s Jessica Henwick and Arisa Shida. Elle is a badass heroine with amped up defense skills, matched only by the cool, Misty Knight quality of a detective named Alani Davis (Samira Wiley and Takako Honda), pursuing Elle for the murder of a senator in this version of 2030 Los Angeles. The TV series fully captured the essence of Syd Mead’s vision for the original Blade Runner, exploring a character similar to the star of Titan Comics’ Blade Runner tie-in series. Other sci-fi tropes sneak in that were themselves inspired by Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, like Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall, The Matrix and Cowboy Bebop.
Here are a few pages from Issue #1:
And here’s one of the covers for Issue #2:
Add Blade Runner: Black Lotus to your comic shop pull list at Elite Comics or your local shop now. It arrives in stores July 6, 2022.
C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg