In 2020 Titan Comics took fans of the Blade Runner movie franchise back to the future with the comic book series Blade Runner 2019 (reviewed here at borg). Both the sequel to Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and prequel toBlade Runner 2049, the series expanded the franchise based on characters and settings created by Philip K. Dick. Then the series went back 20 years before the theatrical sequel in Blade Runner 2029, and the anime TV series saw its own sequel in the pages of Blade Runner: Black Lotus. Before that, Blade Runner: Origins took fans back even earlier–to Los Angeles 2009. The franchise filled in more blanks following a Replicant named Luv in Blade Runner 2039, a series collected into a new graphic novel available today in comic shops everywhere with its first collected volume, Blade Runner 2039–Luv.
This volume collects Issues #1-4 of the series. Returning to Blade Runner is writer Mike Johnson, with art by Andres Guinaldo and colors by Marco Lesko. Readers want more Replicants–it’s what makes Blade Runner stand out, continuing the legacy of Philip K. Dick’s brand of science fiction. Johnson delivers in this regard, continuing with the Replicants improved from the problems of the past. This includes the highly performing Replicant Luv (both a member of the borg Hall of Fame and our annual kickass heroine list, played by Sylvia Hoeks in Blade Runner 2049 and the best part of the movie) who runs circles around her human peers. It all ties into the story of former Blade Runner Aahna “Ash” Ashina. And there’s still room for Blade Runners to pursue older Replicant models.
Luv is a special project of Niander Wallace, carrying out a mission for him personally. Meanwhile a character from earlier Blade Runner stories is all grown up, searching for a Replicant that brings everyone together. Johnson takes his character’s journey into creepier areas than previous incarnations, pulling in psionic elements from the likes of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report.
Guinaldo’s art style is the blocky characters and imagery made famous in the 1980s by Howard Chaykin and Frank Miller. It works with the world of Blade Runner because of the connection between action and a violent, bleak future. One of his best splash pages features a Replicant seen through a keyhole. My favorite feature of this graphic novel is actually Lesko’s colors. He takes the pencils and inks of Guinaldo and makes them eye-popping, with Spinner vehicles that evoke the neon power of the cars racing across the screen in cinemas. Lesko is responsible for setting the mood and fans of the future noir of the series will feel it.
As always, fans of the TV series Humans and Altered Carbon–and all things borg–will enjoy more cyborg adventures in this world.
The book includes 17 pages of behind-the-scenes content, including a cover gallery, script excerpts, unused cover art, and story thumbnail artwork. Don’t miss this continuing series now in its fifth decade. This is a story packed with more excitement and action than the Blade Runner 2049 movie. Look for the first volume in the story of Blade Runner 2039 today at Elite Comics or your local comic book shop.